CANADIAN MAIL HIGHLIGHTS:
WHAT ORGANIZATIONS SHOULD KNOW AS THEY MAIL ACROSS THE BORDER By Kristi Kanitz
While Canada’s postal system is similar in many ways to that of the US, there are still significant differences to take into account.
anada has long been a market for US products, and the popularity of e-commerce makes the Great White North even more attractive. Mail remains essential in Canada, with its large size and scattered populations. It continues to be crucial in commerce, from acquisition to fulfilment to billing. A 2016 review by the federal government indicated 94% of Canadians believe mail is important, with 91% reporting satisfaction with Canada Post Corporation (CPC). The mail industry in Canada is a significant economic force, representing approximately $88 billion (CAD) in annual revenue and employing more than 800,000. The industry itself makes up between 80 and 90% of CPC’s annual revenues. There are close ties 16
JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2018 | MailingSystemsTechnology.com
between the US and Canadian mailing industry members, with mail flowing across the border daily and well-established processes for entry. A LOOK AT OUR NEIGHBORLY DIFFERENCES Although the Canadian postal system looks similar to the US, there are significant differences mailers need to take into account. Like with the USPS, there are regulated versus non-regulated products impacting price setting. However, CPC is a Crown corporation — a rather peculiar organization. It is structured as a private corporation, making it, in theory, at arms-length from government influence. However, the federal government is its sole shareholder and the company, like private
ones, needs to ensure its shareholder is happy. Thus, political influences are at play. The Canadian system uses metric measurements such as grams and millimeters (but is fluent in imperial!) and operates in both official languages (French and English). The postal imprint or indicia must be bilingual. Delivery is Monday through Friday and subject to statutory holidays. Then, there is the alphanumeric Postal Code with its space in the middle, causing headaches in US systems built for numeric ZIPs. Mail classes resemble those in the US, although minimum volumes are higher. USPS First-Class Mail is equivalent to CPC’s Lettermail and its discounted Incentive Lettermail for transactional pieces. Personalized Mail is for promotional pieces, equivalent to USPS Marketing Mail.
Mailing Systems Technology Jan/Feb 2018