Canada Post has seen a rapid decline in first-class mail. It says the organization delivered 17 percent fewer letters last year than five years ago – the Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) says it has dropped by just 6 percent – and anticipates a further 30 percent drop over the next five years. At the same time, it has to deliver to more homes as Canada’s population grows.
The volume of first-class mail has also dropped dramatically in the United States. The US Postal Service is set up to deliver 300 billion pieces of mail a year, but currently handles just 170 billion pieces and predicts that will fall to 150 billion by 2020. The USPS is looking to make reforms such as cutting back to five-day-a-week delivery and closing some of its post offices.
Canada Post has been struggling for several years to adapt to the new online environment.
It has reduced management by 25 percent, bought more efficient sorting equipment, and replaced dedicated post offices with counters in pharmacies or convenience stores that sell a variety of products such as writing paper, envelopes, and packing materials. In addition, some of the losses in letter mail have been offset by an increase in parcel delivery, as more people do their shopping online.