Deluge of Amazon orders nearly overloads Iqaluit’s post office

Flurry of shipments follows fears of losing free shipping

An Iqaluit resident visits the post office’s package warehouse, which is dealing with a glut of deliveries spurred by fears that the city may lose the free shipping currently offered by Amazon. (File photo)

By Dustin Patar

It’s been nearly two weeks since some Iqaluit residents encountered an error message from Amazon that prevented items from being shipped to the city.

It wasn’t long before many residents found workarounds, such as changing the postal code from the one usually used to ship to the city, X0A 0H0, to X0A 1H0.

With the future of Amazon deliveries to the community seemingly uncertain, some Iqalungmuit took advantage of the opportunity and placed large orders.

Now all those packages are arriving, on top of the usual parcel traffic. A Canada Post employee said on social media at the end of last week that the Iqaluit facilities were at capacity.

In order to alleviate the influx of packages, Canada Post asks that residents pick up their parcels as soon as they receive their delivery notice cards.

To maximize pickup times, Canada Post was open this past Sunday, Oct. 20, and will continue to gauge the situation on a daily basis to determine if additional pickup times are needed.

By the middle of last week, the Amazon issue was resolved, but the service disruption lasted long enough to remind people of 2015, when Amazon stopped offering free shipping to Nunavut communities outside Iqaluit.

Many Iqaluit residents have come to depend on Amazon for the delivery of staples, including everything from toilet paper to food. The popularity of the delivery service is evident from the long lineups frequently seen at the city’s package warehouse, which was specifically acquired to handle a large number of incoming packages.

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(8) Comments:

  1. Posted by Convenience on

    The convenience of shopping at Amazon is not only lining the pockets of a multi-billionaire, but it’s entirely unfriendly to the environment. Small items are shipped from foreign countries, while our landfill is Amazon boxes and plastic air cushion thingies.
    With Christmas coming, I intend to buy locally. It’s a bit more thoughtful and supporting someone who needs it.

    • Posted by customer on

      I burn my boxes, they do not end up in the landfill.
      As a single mother who has 5 mouths to feed, I will gladly order food from amazon instead of buying from the local stores. I also have a monthly subscription that lowers the cost of already cheap dry goods.

  2. Posted by Tragic on

    Tragedy of the commons

  3. Posted by Observer on

    Those of us who live outside Iqaluit and lost our free shipping years ago have little to no sympathy

    • Posted by Realization on

      A lot of people in Nunavut do not realize that the beginning
      and end of Nunavut, is the runway in Iqaluit !

  4. Posted by Northener on

    If the main grocery stores were more reasonably priced perhaps the need for amazon would be less desireable. So as for the comment lining the pockets of millionaires, i’m just trying to keep a little lining in my own pocket.

  5. Posted by John Williams on

    I recently came back from a trip to Toronto. While there I bought my favorite package of cookies. They cost $2.48. Here in Iqaluit at Ventures or Northern they cost $12.99. I did the math, If I bought the cookies in Toronto at $2.48 and paid $3.00 to ship them here to Iqaluit they would cost $5.48. Why then do they cost $12.99? Someone is making a profit. They say they do not have the same buying power as the large stores in Toronto…I call bull, I think they line their pockets. They set margin on top of the cost of the product and on top of the shipping cost. So you pay 40% more on shipping and cost of food, plus a bit more in their pockets……sad.

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