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

West Kootenay jogger barely escapes bruin attack

Man spends two hours up in tree, bear not located

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

Restorative pole project underway in Edgewood

The pole was made almost 50 years ago to pay respect to local First Nations

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Risk of COVID-19 low in schools, Interior Health states

Medical Health Officer reassures parents as some children and staff head back to class June 1

Most Read