Canada Post labour duispute- alternatives


#1

We sell on amazon.ca and ship from within Canada. We rely on Canada Post to deliver our packages throughout Canada.

However, we are concerned about the possibility of a lockout or strike because of the expiration of the CAnada Post contract with its employees.

So we would like to get something lined up as an alternative in case Canada Post is not able to deliver.

We use ordercup for our shipping labels, so it looks like we would need to select from UPS, Fedex, or DHL. Puralator might be an option too if we switch to shipstation.

Any suggestions on which courier is a good choice in Canada and also how to negotiate a good rate (we have a 10000 package per year commercial contract with Canada Post)?


#2

Personally I’d rank them as:

  • Fedex
  • UPS
  • Puralator (90% owned by Canada Post)
  • DHL

I’d check out each and see what they have to offer you. Unfortunately, they have the bargaining upper hand because of the potential strike/lockout with a flood of sellers looking for alternative shipping methods,

-…-


#3

This is going to get complicated. Because of the relationship between Canada Post and Purolator, I would not rely on Purolator. UPS and FedEx only cover part of the country and hand off the last part of the delivery to some areas to Canada Post. Therefore, whichever option you choose, is problematic.

Personally, I am vacationing all of my FBM merchandise and making it Amazon’s problem.


#4

I assume you got a call from your Canada Post rep to register to get updates. The last day of guaranteed delivery is June 30 as that’s when they can give their 72 hour strike notice.

We are going to get a contract with UPS as FedEx has strange requirements for pickup notices. With FedEx, you need to give them 24 hours notice for a pickup whereas you can get same day pickup by UPS if you contact them up to 3 pm.


#5

We have scheduled daily Fedex Ground pickups however we don’t always have pickups every day as we only use them for our USA shipments. I believe they charge us $6 per week for this which I believe is the same price as 1 on-demand pickup(which requires 24 hr notice as you mentioned). It ends up being cheaper to have the scheduled daily pickups. When we don’t have pickups we just send our driver a text message telling him not to stop by.


#6

It is also possible that the couriers could see this as good opportunity to secure some long term business after the dispute is finalized so even though they may have the upper hand in the short term they might be ready to negotiate.


#7

The problem I’ve seen with FedEx is they don’t have many pickup places. For example, we have one at the airport that serves a 100 km radius. I live in an urban area. I don’t want my customers to have to put up with that.

This is why we prefer Canada Post. I hope this won’t take long. I have little confidence in our government handling this.


#8

I am going to be putting all my amazon.ca listings on vacation effective immediately… we ship small items via Canada Post letter mail. Hopefully it doesn’t last long!


#9

FBM seller here.
thinking this might be a great time to try FBA instead.


#10

I wouldn’t count on UPS or FedEx stepping in. We are a 3PL doing huge volumes with CP and we have had everyone in over the past 2 months in preparation for a strike. No other carrier has the bandwidth or network capacity to absorb CP’s volume. UPS told us they would take our existing volume + a little more but that’s it.

What they are trying to prevent (and what I believe will eventually happen) is that the sorting centers get so bogged down that very little gets delivered anyway. Instead of 3-5 days for standard ground, it’s going to take 2 weeks at which point I bet the strike is over. We are telling customers to sit tight and wait it out. Fingers crossed.


#11

Based on a conversation with my UPS driver, I don’t think that they are going to add much extra bandwidth. From a purely pragmatic perspective, if I was their CEO, I wouldn’t as it doesn’t make sense to try to ramp up for a short period of time that cannot be quantified.

I got this in my inbox today from Fedex:

Pay close attention to the bullet about package limits.

FedEx
Important Information
Potential Postal Service Disruption
Dear Valued Customer:

As you may be aware, Canada Post Corporation is negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement with the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW).

While FedEx hopes negotiations between Canada Post and CUPW are resolved amicably, we have a comprehensive contingency plan in place.

Our first priority is to deliver the exceptional service you expect from FedEx every day.

To help you prepare, please note the following key points:

• Regular-scheduled pickups will not be affected at this time
• Pre-labelled shipments can be dropped off at your nearest FedEx location
• Package limits may be introduced based on the amount of incremental volume
• Where possible, delivery will be attempted to extended service areas. If we are unable to deliver your package, it will be available for pickup at a FedEx location
• Status of your shipment(s) may be checked at fedex.ca/track
• Invoices may be viewed and paid by registering for FedEx Billing Online at fedex.ca/invoice. Payments may also be made through your online bank account — just choose FedEx from the Payee list

Your business is important to us and we are committed to providing the best possible service. Please visit fedex.ca for additional resources to assist you in managing your shipping and ongoing service updates.

Sincerely,

FedEx Express Canada


#12

It looks like Amazon has finally sent a message to Canadian sellers. They did not do that for the last strike. Here is the message below for anyone who did not receive it. I have removed some of the contact information since this is a publicly accessible forum.

Dear Sellers,

Please read the following information regarding the Canada Post potentially going on strike. We realize that tomorrow is a holiday in Canada and that 4th of July is on Monday. We are hoping to help lessen any potential issues that may take place if the strike occurs.

A potential Canada Post work disruption in July 2016 may impact shipments to, from, and within Canada as early as next week. We are communicating recommended actions sellers can take more broadly, but we are reaching out to important Amazon.ca sellers individually in advance of that announcement to answer any additional questions you have and provide you an additional point of contact during any disruption.

In addition to the guidance in the announcement below, please be aware of the following additional suggestions for top sellers:

  1. Common alternative carriers for shipping within Canada are UPS, FedEx, and Purolator; all carriers are expecting increased volume in the event of a Canada Post labor disruption
  2. Customer contacts are expected to increase during any potential disruption; consider creating a standard message regarding any potential delays to simplify customer responses, since you will still need to meet standard commitments in response time to customer inquiries.

Announcement:

A potential Canada Post work disruption in July 2016 may impact shipments to, from, and within Canada as early as next week. To minimize this event’s impact on your seller performance ratings, you may consider the following actions for orders you fulfill yourself:

  1. Use alternative carriers for Canada shipments, when possible.
  2. For Canada Post shipments, consider updating your Shipping Settings in Seller Central to increase Handling Time to account for possible delays.
  3. Contact buyers if a work disruption impacts their order. Learn how to contact buyers.
  4. If you cannot fulfill customer orders, consider updating your Vacation Settings to set listings to inactive temporarily, rather than cancelling orders.

Fulfilment by Amazon orders will continue to be processed. In the event of a work disruption, consider alternate carriers for shipments to Amazon fulfilment centers in Canada.

Dave


closed #13