Small Businesses Brace for Canada Post Strike
After a period of contract disputes between its higher-ups and workers, Canada Post warned customers that carriers may not deliver mail or parcels if service shuts down this weekend. CBC reported that many businesses have looked to other carriers, but small businesses likely will still feel impacts if the workers do strike.
We spoke with Alex Morin, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Concord, Ontario-based Debco, about how the potential strike could affect promotional products businesses in Canada and the U.S.
"What we're learning about right now is that some delivery times are doubling due to overcapacity at sorting stations across the country," Morin said. "This is a direct correlation to companies all over Canada sending their packages to alternatives of Canada Post."
As a result of this companies are going to have a harder time delivering goods in time for deadlines and dated events.
John van Egmond, general manager of Ottawa, Ontario-based Speedy Messenger Service, said to CBC that the company already has seen a 10 to 20 percent boost in sales this week, and if the Canada Post goes through with the strike, it could see an increase of 50 percent.
"Extra time will have to be built into delivery, bearing in mind that we're in the midst of a very busy buying cycle," he said.
The postal workers have been without a contract since January of this year, and the terms of the previous contract end tomorrow. CBC reported that the management of labor has to give at least 72 hours of notice ahead of a strike or lockout.
Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamilton told CBC that he's already seeing a slowdown at offices.
"Companies are making decisions to go around Canada Post," he said. "We hope many of them come back, but that's no guarantee."
This isn't the first time Morin and Debco have had to deal with a postal strike. So, for distributors in Canada hoping to make their deliveries in time, there are things that you can do.
"As always, communication and planning are the two key ingredients to getting through challenges," Morin said. "If we're able to articulate the challenge properly and work with our customers to accelerate production on dated events and manage expectations on regular orders, then there shouldn't be any major disappointments."
Monique Moreau of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business told CBC that small businesses in Canada will see the brunt of the impact.
"Consumers are not really that patient with increased potential costs," Moreau said. "In some rural areas Canada Post is [the only option], so that's another element that's going to be problematic."