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Week of May 31, 2020: Purolator improving, Canada Post regressing

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Buster Fetcher is paying close attention to delivery delays at Canada Post and Purolator. The data coming out of this week shows that our national carrier is still piling on the delays while Purolator seems to be improving for the first time since early May*.



Canada Post still struggling

The average delivery delay has not improved at Canada Post during the week of May 31, with 39.90% of all packages delivered late. Parcels reach their destination on average 3.2 days late. These figures are unfortunately worse than the previous week.

We know Canada Post currently has a number of trucks standing by waiting to be unloaded. The data we compiled from our clients suggests that, for the time being, the carrier is not catching up on its backlog:

  • Worst percentage of delays on 200 delivered packages: 96.11%
  • Maximum number of days late: 26
  • Average number of days for delivery: 3.6


The worst-performing destination provinces this week are (percentage of packages delivered late):

  • Nova Scotia: 80.00%
  • Newfoundland: 70.43%
  • Prince Edward Island: 63.38%


The provinces with the least number of packages delivered late are:

  • Manitoba: 22.22%
  • British Columbia: 24.77%
  • Saskatchewan: 26.43%


Note that these percentages have increased over last week.

A quick look at the percentage of packages delivered late using Canada Post’s Expedited Parcel™, Xpresspost™, and Priority™ services:

  • Expedited Parcel™: 39.03% (week of May 24: 38.85%)
  • Xpresspost™: 43.82% (week of May 24: 43.26%)
  • Priority™: 45.31% (week of May 24: 30%)


The average number of days it takes to deliver packages when using an accelerated service is also on the rise:

  • Expedited Parcel™: 3.5 days (week of May 24: 3.1 days)
  • Xpresspost™: 3.1 days (week of May 24: 2.9 days)
  • Priority™: 3.0 days (week of May 24: 2.1 days)


In short, Canada Post is still unable to catch up and its on-time delivery guarantees remain suspended. For entrepreneurs, this means they must continue to deal with unhappy customers, yet the financial compensation they should be entitled to is still withdrawn.

Fortunately, this week, Purolator put up an encouraging performance. 


Purolator doing its best to fulfill its commitments

Many are commenting on Purolator’s motto “Promises delivered” these days and we really can feel the carrier’s desire to get through this crisis working alongside its entrepreneur partners.

The average delivery delay has improved during the week of May 31, with 23.53% of all packages delivered late compared to 29.71% just a week prior. A remarkable improvement indeed!

Packages reach their destination an average of 1.9 days late, which is the same as last week, and the record number of days went down from 20 to 17 days.

The worst-performing destination provinces this week are (percentage of packages delivered late):

  • Nova Scotia: 32.35% (week of May 24: 54.55%)
  • Ontario: 27.62%
  • Quebec: 27.24% (week of May 24: 31.48%)


The provinces with the best performances are:

  • Alberta: 5.34% (week of May 24: 15.27%)
  • British Columbia: 12.10% (week of May 24: 15.83%)
  • Manitoba: 15.19% (week of May 24: 22.73%)


Ground® and Express® services are really bouncing back nicely with much improved percentages compared to the previous week:

  • Ground®: 21.22% (week of May 24: 31.21%)
  • Express®: 21.81% (week of May 24: 29.11%)


As for the average number of days it takes to deliver packages:

  • Ground®: 1.9 days (week of May 24: 2.1 days)
  • Express®: 1.5 days (week of May 24: 1.7 days)


We should point out that Purolator’s on-time delivery guarantee also remains suspended but it looks like the carrier is really working hard to dig itself out of the backlog since the beginning of the crisis. Without a doubt, entrepreneurs will appreciate the effort, since their reputation in the eyes of their customers is at stake.

Buster Fetcher will continue to monitor next week’s data closely and we will be sure to inform you of any improvement – or regression. Hopefully, this crisis will pass sooner than later so that consumers and online merchants can go back to enjoying the usual punctuality of their preferred carriers.



This week, while Canada Post continued to pile on the delays, Purolator showed good signs of improvement for the first time since early May. Buster Fetcher continues to pay close attention to carrier performance based on its clients’ data.


* Statistics are based on Buster Fetcher’s analysis of shipments made by its customers across Canada (almost 1000) who ship across the country and internationally. Though there may be discrepancies with official data released by the carriers themselves, our statistics still help paint the portrait of the situation in this time of crisis.



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