Winter storm wallop could delay holiday package deliveries: ‘We will do our best’

Click to play video: 'Shipping and postal services impacted by severe weather ahead of Christmas'
Shipping and postal services impacted by severe weather ahead of Christmas
WATCH: Canada Post, among other organizations, are warning people of potential service delays due to the extreme weather which has hit much of the country. As Tracy Nagai reports, a shipping analytics expert says the delays are unavoidable with mother nature creating dangerous conditions for workers – Dec 23, 2022

As a major winter storm slams across the country, Canada Post is warning customers of service delays ahead of the Christmas weekend.

In a statement emailed to Global News Friday, the national postal service said it will try to deliver on Friday and Saturday, which is Christmas Eve, but these efforts will depend on the weather and road conditions.

“We will do our best to process and deliver today (Friday), but it may not be possible in some regions and may be delayed in others,” Canada Post said.

Read more: Winter storm power outages may not be fixed until Christmas Day: ‘A difficult go’

“While our delivery agents will do their best to deliver through these difficult weather conditions, severe winter elements pose a safety risk to our employees — and others,” the statement added.

Story continues below advertisement

For Friday, a red alert — which means delivery is suspended — has been issued in many regions across the country. A yellow alert, which means there could be delays, is also in place for Friday.

“Regular delivery operations will resume on Wednesday, December 28,” Canada Post said.

Click to play video: 'Holiday hassles: Canadian travellers fed up with storm-induced flight delays, cancellations'
Holiday hassles: Canadian travellers fed up with storm-induced flight delays, cancellations

To ensure the safety of its employees who are delivering during the massive cross-country storm, Canada Post has also offered some tips to Canadians.

Those include:

  • Removing snow and ice from your walkways, driveway, and around your mailbox.
  • De-icing your stairs, entrance, and the path to your mailbox — using sand or salt.
  • Keeping your stairs, handrails, and mailbox free of obstructions, and in good repair.

FedEx customers can also expect delays in the coming days as the postal agency continues to “closely monitor winter weather events that could impact various regions of Canada.”

Story continues below advertisement

They are, however, implementing “contingency plans to help restore service levels in affected areas.”

In an email to Global News, a communications adviser for FedEx Canada said, “We appreciate our customers’ patience as we leverage our vast and highly flexible network to minimize disruption.”

“The safety of all FedEx team members remains our top priority.”

“Our thoughts are with the millions of people impacted by the inclement weather affecting much Canada.” they said.

There could be disruptions in UPS deliveries as well.

“If we cannot safely deliver to an area, we will resume service as soon as conditions permit,” a spokesperson for UPS told Global News in an email.  “Safely delivering on our commitments is UPS’s most important priority. Our drivers are trained to safely make deliveries,” they added.

Satish Jindal, founder and president of Matrix OC — a tech company that offers shipping solutions — says, at this point, blaming postal services may not be a solution because there’s “only so much they can do.”

Read more: Bomb cyclone: What to know as Canada faces a stormy Christmas weekend

“They can’t win against Mother Nature,” Jindal told Global News in an interview.

Story continues below advertisement

“The same weather that keeps people from driving to a store is the same (that) affects a FedEx or a UPS driver from being on the road.”

The storm blew into Canada on Thursday night and is expected to wreak havoc on the country into the holiday weekend.

About 300,000 people across the country are facing power outages, according to an outage tracker from the generator company Generac, which aggregates data from providers across the country.

Holiday plans have also been hampered for many Canadians, between dangerous road conditions and hundreds of airline cancellations.

— with files from Global News’ Rachel Gilmore, Adam Toy and Twinkle Ghosh

Sponsored content