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Centralized mail points are becoming more common as door-to-door service declines [Photo by Michael, used under a Creative Commons license]

Canadians are asking what the future of Canada Post will look like as mail volumes decline every year. The first report of the Liberal task force review was released in early September.

Whether or not to continue door-to-door delivery has been one of the issues at the centre of the debate. This pie chart shows how Canadians are currently receiving their mail. More than half are receiving mail from a centralized point, such as an apartment building or retirement home, and community mailboxes.

In Ottawa, mail service concentrates near houses and apartments, especially for residences outside the city centre.

Stations in Orleans, Kanata and Nepean register as having the highest home-delivery rate. Those closer to the city centre, such as the station on Fleming Street, deliver to apartments more frequently.

In the map below, the size of the dots correspond to how many total destinations each office serves.

With the growing use of electronic communication, mail volumes are declining worldwide. Like other postal services, Canada Post is facing challenges maintaining fast delivery and low costs.

This map shows the cost of a standard stamp in developed countries worldwide, and explores some of the ways other postal services have restructured to account for declining demands.

One of the challenges of Canadian mail delivery is addresses across a large land mass and a small population. The cost of mail delivery rises with a low population density. The scatter plot above shows how the cost of buying a stamp compares with population density which measures how many people live in an average square kilometre of the given country.

The government task force identified parcel delivery as a growing sector. Parcel deliveries increased by 10 per cent from 2014 to 2015, according to its report released early September.

Online shopping is creating a growing need for parcel delivery, fuelled by online retailers such as Amazon, but overall demand is falling. The task force put forth options to account for the lesser revenue including alternate day delivery, potentially saving $74 million a year. Canadians interviewed for the report voiced concerns about slower mail delivery, but 43 per cent indicated they wouldn’t notice if mail delivery took twice as long.

Though the company has had to cut down on services, Canada Post’s rates still come out favourably compared with other major Canadian mail providers.

Comparing the cost of overnight package delivery, Canada Post offers the best price.

 

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