Canada Post is urging Canadians to shop early this holiday season to avoid the late arrival of gifts caused by a pandemic-induced shift to online shopping.
The postal service says it is scaling up operations to handle an expected surge in parcel volumes by adding more than 4,000 seasonal employees, more than 1,000 vehicles and extra equipment.
Canada Post will also deliver on weekends in many communities, add more pickup locations and extend hours at many post offices.
The changes come as retailers in Canada and the U.S. launched their holiday season earlier in a bid to partially make up for store closures caused by COVID-19.
Purolator, Canada Post’s parcel service, is also rolling out low-speed electric vehicles in busy downtown areas of Toronto and Montreal, along with electric-cargo bikes (e-bikes) in Montreal.
The changes are designed to improve the customer experience in densely populated areas and reduce vehicle emissions.
Rod Hart, Canada Post’s chief customer and marketing officer, says many retailers are gearing up for early shopping.
“We’re gearing up to help you and to help them have a great ending to a very challenging year. So this holiday season, please shop early,” he said in a video to customers.