May 15th 2020 - A steady increase in Canada Post and Purolator shipping delays since the beginning of April

May 15, 2020 3:19:00 EDT PM / by Matt Lessard

The COVID-19 crisis is greatly affecting Canada Post and Purolator shipping delays since the beginning of April at the expense of online merchants.


More and more delays, but suspended guarantees

According to statistics obtained by Buster Fetcher, a platform specialized in claiming refunds for late package deliveries, during the week of April 12, 2020, 20% of packages were delivered late by Canada Post. By the week of May 3, 2020, late deliveries had jumped to 37.14% of parcels. As for Purolator, for the same week, that percentage was at 12.28%. To illustrate, one of Buster Fetcher’s customers, who had more than 500 shipments during this period, reported that 90.12% of his shipments were not received on time.

Late deliveries since the beginning of the crisis are not the only problem. What penalizes most online merchants is the fact that Canada Post and Purolator have suspended their on-time delivery guarantees, which amounts to a financial loss for many entrepreneurs who normally track and claim refunds for late deliveries.

In view of these statistics, we are entitled to ask why our national carrier suspends its guarantees while its shipping fees have not decreased and late deliveries are steadily increasing since the beginning of the crisis. On average, during the week of May 3, 2020, packages delivered by Canada Post arrived 2.1 days later than usual in the case of Purolator, 1.2 days. These are averages meaning that delays can sometimes be longer.


Significant variations between provinces

While British-Columbia, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba have managed fairly well during the crisis, we can’t say as much for Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, where late delivery percentages go up to 70%. Quebec hits the national average with 34.81% of packages delivered late.


Priority is late too

If you think paying for a priority service is the solution, think again! During the week of May 3, the delivery times for Expedited Parcel, Xpresspost™, or Priority™ were the same. It doesn’t sound like spending more to have a quicker delivery is a strategy that would pay off at the moment.


Questions raised

Of course, the pressure on Canada Post and Purolator staff is even greater than during the holidays due to the high number of online orders during this stay-at-home period and without a doubt, they are doing their best to keep up and ensure a continued quality service.

However, looking at the figures raises several questions. While many businesses are reeling in this period of crisis, how can we justify a carrier suspending its on-time guarantee?

Imagine a merchant with more than 80% of its shipments delivered late claimed refunds for all these packages. This would help his bottom line of course, but one can wonder if it wouldn’t also prompt the carrier to be more diligent in respecting its promised delivery times.

At a time when governments encourage online shopping, why is it that our national carrier, despite the best efforts of its employees, is unable to ensure a reliable system to support the very businesses that rely on it for punctuality and the survival of their own operations?



Between April 12 and May 3, 2020, on packages delivered by Canada Post, the percentage of late deliveries jumped from 20% to 37.14%, in large part due to the crisis.

Yet, the on-time delivery guarantees usually offered by Canada Post was suspended during this time, a move resulting in significant financial loss for online merchants who would depend on refunds to compensate for late deliveries.



Matt Lessard

Wrote by Matt Lessard

Passionné d’entrepreneuriat depuis mon enfance, je me suis orienté rapidement vers le commerce électronique. Après avoir œuvré longtemps en conception Web, je suis devenu propriétaire de ma propre boutique en ligne qui expédie une cinquantaine de colis chaque jour dans plus de 75 pays. J’aime trouver les meilleures ressources pour accélérer la progression des entrepreneurs que je rencontre.

Passionate about entrepreneurship since my childhood, and even more about e-commerce businesses, I like to find the best tools and resources to help fellow entrepreneurs to grow their business exponentially. After years of growing other businesses, I launched a couple of years ago, my own online store, which now ships about fifty parcels every day in more than 75 countries.