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

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

B.C. premier applauds call to decriminalize drug possession

Police shouldn’t struggle with health issues, Horgan says

Most Read