The Canada Post logo is seen on the outside the company’s Pacific Processing Centre, in Richmond, B.C., on June 1, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Canada Post reports $153M loss in 2019 amid rising parcels competition

The Crown corporation delivered more than 7.7 billion pieces of mail and parcels last year

Canada Post lost $153 million before tax last year as intense e-commerce competition slowed growth at its parcels business and an ongoing shift toward online communication prompted mail operation declines.

The Crown corporation, that delivered more than 7.7 billion pieces of mail and parcels last year, said processing and delivering packages demands a range of resources, weighing on profits as tech giants such as Amazon expand their reach.

“Parcels processing and delivery requires more technology, space in buildings and vehicles, and time interacting with customers, making it significantly more costly than sorting and delivering letters,” Canada Post said in a release after markets closed Wednesday.

While the number of addresses receiving daily mail and parcel service climbed by 168,000 in 2019, residents and businesses increasingly chat, advertise and do business digitally, Canada Post said.

The COVID-19 pandemic had no impact on the its business last year, it said. “However, it has the potential to significantly impact the Canadian and global economy and therefore our business in 2020 and, possibly, going forward.”

READ MORE: Wearing non-medical masks now recommended in public: Canada’s top doctor

Shippers are in uncharted territory as the crisis upends delivery patterns, with surging consumer demand mitigating a drop in corporate orders amid border closures and travel controls.

Residential deliveries have gone up at an “equal if not greater pace” than the drop in business-to-business parcels as house-bound Canadians order items online, Purolator Inc. chief executive John Ferguson told The Canadian Press in late March.

The Canada Post Group of Companies, which owns the vast majority of the profitable Purolator, reported a loss of $23 million before taxes for 2019, compared with a loss of $118 million 2018. The net loss was $14 million compared with a net loss of $93 million in 2018.

PHOTOS: Canada Post employees salute healthcare workers

Purolator itself turned a before-tax tax profit of $152 million, a roughly five per cent decrease from $161 million of black ink in 2018.

Canada Post said its parcels revenue climbed by $232 million last year, topping $2.73 billion to exceed revenue from letters, bills and statements for the first time.

Revenue from that ”transaction mail,” sometimes known as snail mail, dropped by $69 million or 2.5 per cent year over year to $2.71 billion, with volumes falling by more 192 million pieces or 6.4 per cent to 2.8 billion.

The postal service’s direct marketing revenue decreased by $32 million or three per cent to generate roughly $1.1 billion, with volumes dropping by 75 million pieces or 1.6 per cent.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Canada Post

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No active confirmed COVID-19 cases in Interior Health: BCCDC

Numbers from the BCCDC’s dashboard show 193 of the 195 COVID-19 cases in the region have recovered

Historic Hat Creek finds novel way to keep part of site open

VIP shopping experience offers people private visit to site’s gift shop

Mobile harm reduction service making weekly trips to Cache Creek

Service provides free kits, instruction, information, and referrals to those who need it

Ashcroft food bank benefits from donation as demand increases

Community Futures Thompson Country provides much-needed cash donation

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

IHIT names homicide victim found in the Fraser Canyon this week

Police asking for tips into the suspicious death of 29-year-old Alicia Berg

Most Read