Canada Post has issued a 72 hour lockout notice to the Canadian Union of Postal Workers and have notified Canadian mail order retailers to use their courier services.

If this lockout occurs people who have their shipments sent to their local store for pickup will likely notice no change because those parcels are usually delivered to these stores with regular shipments of merchandise at retailers (like Sears.ca and Staples).

Neither will customers of retailers that have multiple carriers like Amazon.ca, chapters.indigo.ca and Old Navy Canada.

According to Canada Post it appears that their major e-commerce retailers have decided to go with other carriers resulting in a 75% drop in parcels processed at their plants ; “The number of parcels arriving at our largest plants via transport trucks has declined to the point where there often are not enough parcels to last an entire processing shift”.

Perhaps the postal banking and seven day parcel delivery services proposed by the Union might help but a lockout doesn’t seem prudent because it simply causes smaller retailers to be exposed to the services offered by the other carriers.

In regards to imports by mail, unfortunately some importers will have their parcels delayed until the lock-out is over. And others will be subjected to significant customs processing fees, like customers of UPS.

Some American retailers like Amazon.com and Sheet Music Plus do offer customs processing services through alternative couriers so try purchasing from those retailers first. Foreign retailers that offer this service usually add taxes and customs fees during their checkout procedure and mention that this service is available in their shipping and handling policies.

By the way, if you’re thinking of traveling soon you might want to obtain your new or renewed passport directly from a Service Canada or Passport Office. This will cost more because of a pick up fee but it would bypass some of the delays associated to the lockout.