Canada Post begins parcel delivery — just in time for Christmas

Packages delivered to your door in the evenings



Canada Post will begin doorstep parcel delivery in the capital city on Dec. 1.

Iqaluit has undergone massive growth in the past decade, nearing a population of about 5,500 at last count.

With that growth has come a mail crunch. Canada Post officials identified parcel delivery and general delivery as the biggest problems. Line-ups at the post office are frequent as patrons wait to buy postage to send mail or pick up parcels.

And with a waiting list for post office boxes, general delivery was the only way newcomers to the city could receive mail. At one point, officials estimated a three-month wait for a post office box. Having customers waiting in line to pick up their general delivery mail only added to the congestion.

But in June, an additional 700 lock boxes were installed at the post office, putting an end to the waiting list. Craig said there are currently a number of empty boxes and “there’s more than enough for the growth of the community over the next few years.”

Around the same time this past summer, post office officials asked all residents to contact them and supply a house address.

“As people are coming through we’re putting them in,” said David Craig, Canada Post’s local area manager in Iqaluit. “And we do have boxes for convenience mode, which is, say, you move a lot in town, you can actually rent a box.”

That means that if you move within the city, you don’t have to change your address, or redirect your mail.

Post office boxes were linked to house addresses to make sure parcel delivery could be started and maintained.

“The community has grown and we want to improve the service there,” he said. “Part of that is the delivery, but it also will help to reduce the congestion at the counter, which the customers have identified. People won’t have to make that jaunt down to the post office to pick up their parcels and for a lot of people, if they don’t have a vehicle, it’s a little more difficult.”

Arctic Express was awarded the contract to deliver the parcels. The company already had the contract to deliver mail to the post office from the airport, and also delivers mail to many businesses in town.

On Dec. 1, blue and white Arctic Express trucks topped with 3-D triangular Canada Post signs will start delivering parcels to businesses at 9 a.m. and ending at 5 p.m. Residential parcels will be delivered in the evenings between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

If someone is not at home to receive their parcel, a card will be placed in their box at the post office instructing them to pick it up at the counter.

“Say [the attempted delivery] was today,” Craig said. “We would try and deliver it tonight and the card would be prepared and would be in the box for the next day.”

Residents need to be aware, however, that if they move within the city, they must inform the post office so their parcels will be delivered to the correct home.

“If people don’t tell us when they move then we will have problems,” Craig admitted. “That was why we went through the exercise to get everyone’s house assigned to the box and it was specifically for that purpose. So if people move and they don’t advise us of that then that will cause problems.”

Canada Post officials had looked at the option of opening a second postal outlet in the city, but Craig said that option is still on the drawing board.

“It’s still being looked at, but right at this time we don’t have any viable options,” he said. “At this time our main concern is just making sure the parcel delivery goes smoothly.”

Craig said the move to home delivery was welcomed by most of the patrons of the post office in Iqaluit.

“When we were talking to people about why we had to assign their box to their house it was so that we could move forward,” he said, “and for the most part it’s been pretty positive.”

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