Online shopping during COVID-19 drives massive surge in holiday shipping

Click to play video: 'Retail experts say act now to avoid the holiday shipping rush'
Retail experts say act now to avoid the holiday shipping rush
Consumer Matters: Online retail analysts are warning Canadian shoppers to buy now, in order to avoid the possibility of not getting those gifts before Christmas. Anne Drewa reports – Nov 30, 2020

Major delivery services have some advice to make sure your package arrives on time for the holidays amid COVID-19: Shop early and shop now.

Canada Post has said it’s preparing for one of its busiest holiday shipping seasons in years — delivering nearly two million parcels in just one day recently.

So shoppers should take advantage of times like Cyber Monday and get going on their lists.

“The reality is Canadians became comfortable shopping online throughout COVID-19. It became a habit and now we expect that to continue as we go into the holiday season,” Jon Hamilton, Canada Post spokesperson, said.

“Our Christmas started in May and June and kind of went through to the year.”

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To deal with the massive surge in packages, the corporation is adding 4,000 more employees, 1,000 more vehicles, and more key equipment. It’s also encouraging customers to shop early to ensure their packages arrive on time.

It’s a similar message echoed by several major delivery companies.

“There’s going to be a considerable surge in demand for services in the shipping industry right around the world and in some cases, there is a worry that the demand might be greater than the capacity,” said James Anderson, communications advisor of FedEx Canada.

​According to FedEx, e-commerce fueled by the pandemic is driving extraordinary growth. In a recent survey of 1,500 online Canadian shoppers, the company found that eight in 10 Canadians plan to shop online for holiday gifts this year and six in 10 believe it’s important to do all their holiday shopping online to avoid being around too many people.

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Consumers asked for community support on BC Buy Local Week

To avoid parcel theft, Canada Post is encouraging customers to sign up for Flex Delivery on its website.

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“It’s a free service. You have that item delivered to any post office of your choice — one that is nearby or one that’s near where you do your shopping,” said Hamilton, adding that it’s important to track your items as they make their way to you.

For more information on mail-by dates, go here.

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