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

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

Ramona Kaptyn. (Submitted photo)
Ramona Kaptyn to run as Surrey Connect candidate in next election

She’ll be joining councillors Brenda Locke and Jack Hundial as the slate’s third candidate

White Rock Whalers head coach Jason Rogers (centre) along with other members of the team show off their whale-tail-inspired moustaches in support of Movember. (Photo courtesy of White Rock Whalers)
White Rock Whalers raise thousands through Movember campaign

Junior ‘B’ hockey team fundraising for men’s health initiatives

White Rock council is narrowing the scope of the current White Rock Official Community Plan review to focus on building heights in the city, in keeping with the mandate it received in the 2018 municipal election. (File photo)
White Rock council to renew focus on limiting building heights

OCP review modified to reflect 2018 election mandate

Surrey RCMP is asking for the public’s help to find Jasvir Singh, who was last seen crossing the border into Canada on Nov. 24, 2020. (Photo: Surrey RCMP handout)
Surrey RCMP looking for missing man last seen crossing border into Canada

Police say Jasvir Singh hasn’t been seen since shortly after midnight on Nov. 24

Bonnie and Ken Fletcher’s annual Christmas lights display, complete with animated, inflated and hand-painted treasures, and more. (File photo)
South Surrey Rudolph & Friends display to light up this weekend

Scaled-back effort, ‘aiming to bring happiness’ despite pandemic

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

People wear face masks as they pose next to a Christmas display in Montreal, Sunday, November 22, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
How to tell family their Christmas gathering is too risky and you’re not going

Dr. Hurst says it’s best to frame the conversation from a place of care, stressing safety precautions.

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.”
Free ‘Hollywood Suite’ movies in December include ‘Keanussance’ titles starring Keanu Reeves

Also featured is the Israeli-made ‘Valley of Tears,’ a 10-part war drama

Jessica Peters is a reporter at the Chilliwack Progress.
COLUMN: Bouncing back from a brain injury isn’t easy

‘We didn’t know how bad it was until I tried to return to work’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

Most Read