101 - Header Landing
Shipping Tips & Trends

Strategic Shipping with Canada Post: A Comprehensive Guide to Timely Deliveries

Published on September 27, 2023

Canada Post worker in action- Shipping Delivery Strategy


Every time a business owner selects a vendor for a new project – whether it's a new design, website, or something else – they rely on data to make the best decision for their business. 

Costs, quality, efficiency, and other factors play a significant role in selecting the right partner.

As the digital marketplace expands, shipping services are becoming more integral than ever. In 2021, Canada saw a significant uptick in online shopping, with 72.5% of the population, or approximately 27.6 million individuals, embracing digital purchases.

In this new era of commerce, selecting the right shipping partner is no different from choosing any other service provider.

We analyzed 1,823,443 packages sent and delivered by Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, and Purolator during the second quarter of 2023 for the Buster Fetcher Shipping Report, and we're ready to share our insights about Canada Post.


Unraveling the Unboxing Experience: First Impressions Matter

‘First impressions last.’ Nothing beats the extraordinary feeling of being special, right?

The emotion, anticipation, and connection you establish with your customers during their first time buying from your store can create a long-lasting relationship. For sure!

Just think about it — let’s say you bought exactly the same product from two different stores. The first one arrived in perfect condition but packaged in a plain and simple box. 

The second one also arrived in perfect condition, but this time it’s packaged in a special wrapper, with colorful ribbons, and even includes a handcrafted thank you letter with your name on it.

Now, let me ask you this — from which store would you buy again? The first one or the second one? I’ll let you answer that for yourself!

See? So if you’re still using some boring boxes for your product’s packaging, this is a sign for you to upgrade. 

According to Pregis, excellent packaging increases customers’ perception of the product's value by 45%. That’s a lot!


How Long Does Canada Post Take To Deliver a Package?

In 2020, Canada Post and Purolator held dominant positions in the Canadian parcel shipping market, collectively accounting for 34% of the total market share.

As one of the leading players, Canada Post plays a significant role in shipping and parcel delivery in Canada. When it comes to shipping with Canada Post, the delivery time can vary based on several factors, including the destination province and the service option you choose.

Here is a breakdown of the average delivery times for each service, along with some interesting insights from our analysis:


Shipping With Canada Post Regular Parcel

Canada Post Regular Parcel is the entry price point for shipping with Canada Post.

While it is the most affordable option, it doesn't guarantee specific shipping times. Here's what we found in our analysis:

  • Average Delivery Time: It typically takes 2.19 days on average to deliver a parcel from one location to another within Canada.

  • Delivery Times by Province: Interestingly, it takes only 2.04 days for shipments sent to Ontario, but 3.37 days to ship to British Columbia. That’s 133% longer to ship to British Columbia than to Ontario. Shipping to British Columbia with Canada Post Regular Parcel takes 118% more time than the Canadian national average. Meanwhile, Quebec comes out on top as the fastest province to receive parcels, with an average of 1.57 days. On the other hand, Newfoundland and Labrador are at the bottom of the list, with an average shipping time of 4.66 days.

Did you know?

Quebec is the province ranking as the fastest province to receive Canada Post Regular Parcel, which just takes 1.57 days.

Delivery times when Shipping With Canada Post Regular Parcel

Shipping With Canada Post Expedited Parcel

Although Expedited Parcel does not deliver as quickly as some other Canada Post services, it offers a guaranteed delivery date. 

Here’s what our data shows:

  • Average Delivery Time:  On average, it takes 1.86 days to ship from one Canadian location to another using Expedited Parcel.

  • Delivery Times by Province: Shipping to Quebec is the fastest provincial option with delivery within 1.37 days. Similar to Regular Parcel, delivery to Ontario at 1.73 days is faster than to British Columbia at 3.14 days, which is 141% slower. However, shipping to British Columbia via Expedited Parcel is still 23% faster than with Regular Parcel. In the case of Nunavut, the delivery time is the longest at 5.51 days, closely followed by the Northwest Territories at 5.40 days.


If you are shipping to British Columbia you need to know that the fastest service is Canada Post Expedited Parcel.

delivery times Shipping With Canada Post Expedited Parcel

Shipping With Canada Post Xpresspost

Xpresspost is one of the quickest ways to deliver packages across Canada with Canada Post, and it comes with a delivery guarantee. 

  • Average Delivery Time:  With an average delivery speed of 1.60 days, your shipment is guaranteed to reach your customers swiftly.

  • Delivery Times by Province: There are some slight variations by province. For instance, it takes only 1.49 days to ship to British Columbia via Xpresspost, which is a significant improvement from 3.37 days with Regular Parcel and 3.14 days with Expedited Parcel. Conversely, it takes longer to send a package to Ontario via Xpresspost at 1.77 days, 28% longer than to British Columbia. This is a departure from the trends observed with Regular Parcel and Expedited Parcel, where shipping to Ontario is faster.


Check the latest Buster Fetcher Report Now ️

Maximizing Your Shipping: Best Days to Send with Canada Post

Choosing the right day to send your packages can impact their timely arrival. 

Here are some fascinating insights into how Canada Post delivery delays vary depending on the day of the week:

  • Monday: Nationally, Canada Post has a late delivery rate of 13.52% for packages posted on Mondays. Business owners in Ontario, in particular, can expect a significant failure rate, with missed delivery date guarantees of 22.51% on Mondays.

  • Tuesday: Tuesday sees a slightly higher failure rate than Monday, at 13.75% nationally. In Ontario, late deliveries remain high, with a failure rate of 22.40%.

  • Saturday: In British Columbia, packages sent on Saturdays have a timely delivery failure rate of 11.54%.

It is important to note that to claim a refund for a missed delivery date, the Canada Post employee must scan your package for proof of the delivery date sent. 

If this doesn't happen upon collection, it will be scanned later at the station.

Best Days to Send with Canada Post

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

  • Making Your Customers Happy: Want your customers to get their packages quickly? Send them on days when Canada Post is usually on time! For shops sending to Ontario, maybe think twice about Mondays and Tuesdays – they're not the best days for on-time deliveries. When your customers get their orders fast, they're more likely to come back and shop again. It's all about trust!

  • Saving Some Cash: Looking to save on shipping? Here's a tip: Send on days when Canada Post might be a bit slower. Why? Because they'll give you your money back if they're late. So, for places like Ontario, Mondays might be a good bet. This is especially helpful if you're watching your budget closely. Every penny counts!

Quick Thought: Whether you're all about making your customers happy or you're keen on saving some cash, knowing the best days to ship can really help your shop stand out!


Distance and Shipping Costs: What You Need to Know

The cost of shipping is mainly influenced by three key factors: the weight of the package, the delivery zone, and the distance it needs to travel. 

As an e-commerce business owner, understanding the average distance that packages cover when sent through Canada Post can be crucial in budgeting for shipping costs and finding strategies to optimize your expenses.

Knowing the average distance your packages travel can give you a better idea of your shipping costs, allowing you to more accurately predict your expenses and set competitive prices for your products. 

Furthermore, this information can be a valuable asset when negotiating shipping rates with Canada Post, especially if you are in a province that typically sees longer shipping distances.

The Relevance of Distance Data

Knowing the average distance your packages travel can give you a better idea of your shipping costs, allowing you to more accurately predict your expenses and set competitive prices for your products. 

Furthermore, this information can be a valuable asset when negotiating shipping rates with Canada Post, especially if you are in a province that typically sees longer shipping distances.

Average Distance by Province

  • British Columbia: Businesses in British Columbia not only deliver actively via Canada Post but also ship packages the furthest. The average distance a package travels from this Pacific Coast province is 1,479.49 km.

  • Saskatchewan and Manitoba: The Prairies come in second and third, with packages from Saskatchewan traveling an average of 1,243.48 km and those from Manitoba at 1,209.14 km.

  • Ontario: Businesses in Ontario ship an average distance of 996.71 km, which is still further than the national average.

  • National Average: Overall, the national average distance that a package travels is 782.50 km.



If you run a business in one of these provinces that tend to have longer shipping distances, it may be worth negotiating better rates with Canada Post. Understanding the specific needs of your business, including the average shipping distances of your packages, can help you make more informed decisions and potentially save on shipping costs.


A Look Into Exceptions: Canada Post's Delivery Steps Explained

Understanding the reasons for exceptions and the percentage of packages affected by them is crucial for businesses to prepare for potential disruptions in the delivery process. Let's dive into the details:

Why Exception Information is Relevant

Exception information is essential as exceptions can prevent you from receiving refunds when a package arrives late. Knowing the reasons for exceptions and the carriers that tend to have higher exception rates allows you to better plan your shipments and minimize disruptions.


Delivery Steps and Their Importance

The delivery process involves several steps, from pick-up to final delivery. Any issues that arise during these steps can lead to exceptions. Understanding the steps involved in the delivery process lets you better track your shipments and address any issues that arise.


Common Reasons for Exceptions

Exceptions can occur for a variety of reasons, including incorrect or incomplete addresses, delivery attempts outside business hours, or even unforeseen circumstances such as adverse weather conditions. Understanding these reasons can help you take preventive measures to reduce exceptions.


Percentage of Exceptions per Province with Canada Post

On average, Canada Post has the highest rate of exceptions among carriers at 19.40%. Here is a closer look at exceptions by province:

  • New Brunswick: Experiences the highest rate of exceptions with Canada Post, at 30.46% of all packages sent.
  • Ontario and Quebec: Both provinces experience nearly 20% of deliveries affected by exceptions, with Ontario at 19.69% and Quebec at 16.19%.
  • British Columbia: Slightly under at 16.9%.

For comparison, other carriers have different rates of exceptions:

  • Purolator: 14.83% nationally, with 21.68% in British Columbia. 
  • FedEx: 11.33% nationally, with 10.84% in British Columbia.
  • UPS: 9.67% nationally, with just 7.00% in Quebec.

Understanding the percentage of packages affected by exceptions and the reasons behind them can help you choose the best carrier for your needs and minimize disruptions in the delivery process. 

Being proactive in addressing potential issues can improve your shipping success and customer satisfaction.

Check the latest Buster Fetcher Report Now ️

Strategic Shipping with Canada Post: Conclusion

Take your shipping strategy to the next level with comprehensive insights and actionable data. Download the Buster Fetcher® Report for a deep dive into the trends and data that can shape your shipping strategy. 

Get a full understanding of how different carriers perform, including Canada Post, UPS, FedEx, and Purolator. With our detailed report, you'll be equipped with the information you need to choose the best shipping options for your e-commerce business.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to enhance your shipping strategy and improve your customer experience. Download the report today!




About the Author

matt lessard

Matt Lessard

E-commerce Entrepreneur and Founder of Buster Fetcher®

Since 2001, Matt Lessard has launched various projects, ranging from an E-commerce SaaS to an online store shipping to over 80 countries. He created Buster Fetcher®, a technology that significantly reduces shipping costs, with a mission to help businesses Win the shipping game™.

Thousands of clients benefit from his expertise in finding refunds for late packages, optimizing costs, and clarifying their shipping profiles, thus helping businesses grow.

106 - CTA - Simple


Join the nearly 2,000 Canadian customers who save on shipping every month with Buster FetcherTM

A hand signing a contract
Optimize your shipping costs by learning the essential parcel contract negotiation strategies with your carrier. Read our guide to win the shipping game.
 A delivery van filled with stacked cardboard boxes from various brands.
Learn how to claim refunds from Purolator for late deliveries. Our step-by-step guide covers eligibility, claim filing process, and tips to maximize your refunds.
Person holding a cardboard box in a workspace with desks and various items.
Learn the essential shipping KPIs for e-commerce success. Measure and improve your logistics performance, from operational efficiency to customer satisfaction.
102 - Footer