parcel

Canada Post’s New Outlet Concept

Canada Post is now offering more secure options via their new outlet concept stores in Richmond (British Columbia), Edmonton (Alberta) and Vancouver (British Columbia).

These stores have drive-thru parcel pickup services, free wi-fi, changing rooms and vending machines that sell stamps, prepaid envelopes and anything you need to ship 24/7 – Great for anyone that wants to shop and ship at all hours of the night.

People who have issues with “porch bandits” can also use these new concept stores or the existing self-service options found at the Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal post offices listed on the Canada Post statement.

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Bad News For Canada Post?

Amazon.com has not only expanded the Whole Foods delivery services to Prime Members in 32 American metropolitan areas but is now experimenting with their own courier service, SWA, in Los Angeles.

“Shipping with Amazon” is expected to become a major competitor to the existing companies. But it’ll probably take years for them to expand this new parcel delivery service into Canada, although i’ve always thought they should open something up at the Mirabel Airport north of Montreal.

One has to wonder what Canada Post would do if this happened, now that they’re relying on parcel deliveries for their profits.

Their profits had climbed from 1.22 billion dollars in 2011 to 1.75 billion dollars in 2016 because of parcel deliveries according to their 2016 financial report so the introduction of another competitor would not be good, especially one that would divert more of Amazon.ca‘s parcel traffic away from them.

My local Whole Foods store here in Ottawa currently only delivers platters and a select number of items. But I can already order their brands via Amazon.ca and I suspect more will be made available this year.

Now that Best Buy has decided to remove CDs from their stores in the summer, I guess I will be relying on my Prime membership a bit more than before. But i’m still hoping to pop by my local music store from time to time.

Parcel Theft : Options

The media has been reporting on the theft of parcels lately so I thought i’d give you a few tips :

1. Signature required. If you’re shipping out gifts you should choose this option, which may cost you about $2 on most shipments. And this option is available from several online retailers, some of which are free.

2. Ring Doorbell Option. Some retailers offer this option or allow people to leave a note to their delivery person to ring the doorbell. Look for this option when placing an order online or consider a small sign instructing the courier to ring the doorbell whenever they deliver a parcel.

3. Delivery Notification. Some online retailers, shippers and courier companies offer this option, which can be sent to you by text and/or email. This will also give you a heads up if you’re at home or on your way home. And if you’re at work, you can always call home to get someone to bring it in after getting one of these notifications.

4. Drop-off / Pickup Points. Many retailers offer the option to pick shipments up at your local store, post office or a dedicated pickup point. In the case of Amazon you can either pick your shipments up at a Canada Post outlet near you or Amazon Locker in Toronto or Vancouver.

5. Security. Security cameras help but unfortunately it’s normal for people to wear balaclavas or other winter face masks during winter in some areas, so some people wouldn’t think twice seeing someone walk off with a parcel or two, even from apartment buildings. It can be a good visual deterrent though.

6. Insurance. Many shippers offer a basic amount of coverage but if you are personally shipping something out, you can always consider insurance on your shipments.

7. Package Guard. This device has been available from Amazon.com for a year or two and sends notifications via an app whenever someone places a parcel on the device. Placing a parcel on the device also arms a loud alarm that cannot be disarmed without the app.

8. Canada Post Options. If you’re going out of town and are expecting parcels via Canada Post, you can always place a hold on your mail, which can be done via this online form. You can also forward your mail and temporarily relocate your mail. And some of these options may be available from other shippers so contact them in regards to their programs.

If I think of any more tips i’ll add them to this blog entry.

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