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Canada Post to hire over 4,000 new workers to battle holiday demands

Global News logo Global News 2021-10-14 David Lao
FILE: Canada Post has issued wide-ranging new contract offers to its employees in the hope of preventing a work stoppage at the Crown corporation ahead of the busy holiday online shopping season, The Canadian Press has learned. Canada Post employee Shelly Paul delivers the mail in snowy Water Valley, Alta., Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh © Provided by Global News FILE: Canada Post has issued wide-ranging new contract offers to its employees in the hope of preventing a work stoppage at the Crown corporation ahead of the busy holiday online shopping season, The Canadian Press has learned. Canada Post employee Shelly Paul delivers the mail in snowy Water Valley, Alta., Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Canada Post says it'll be hiring over 4,000 more "seasonal" staff across Canada in preparation for the upcoming holidays.

In a statement to Global News, a spokesperson for the nation's postal agency said that another 1,400 vehicles and 2,000 parking spots would be added, besides the 4,200 more workers it was hiring.

Read more: Purolator hiring 2,400 workers to cope with busy holiday season

The spokesperson also said that they would be using new “sortation capacity” to help process packages coming to and from their post offices, depots and processing plants.

"For perspective, during the two weeks ending on Christmas Eve in 2020, our employees delivered nearly 20 million parcels to Canadians -- including a record 2.4 million parcels on December 21 alone," said Canada Post spokesperson Valérie Chartrand.

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Earlier Thursday, Purolator Inc. — another shipping company Canada Post owns a majority share in — announced that it too was hiring several thousand new employees for the holiday season.

Purolator said that the workers are expected to handle a record 54 million packages, a near 10 per cent increase from last year, between the start of November and end of December.

"It's a big number to process,'' John Ferguson, Purolator's president and chief executive, told the Canadian Press.

Read more: Supply chain snarls: Freeland says Canada watching ‘very, very closely’ for spillover

"There's an unprecedented volume for us and that's after we've been through quite a bit over the last few years through the pandemic."

The ramp ups from Canada Post and Purolator come amid increasing pressures wrought on shipping companies by the COVID-19 pandemic -- which has forced many people to opt for e-commerce and online shipping as opposed to traditional brick-and-mortar shopping.

And amid the boom in online shopping, also came rampant supply chain issues that plagued industries -- particularly that of appliance parts, semiconductors and electronics.

Video: Global National: Oct. 13

Speaking from the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said Canada was watching the supply chain situation "very, very closely."

Freeland had just attended meetings with U.S. lawmakers which touched on the supply chain issues on both sides of the border.

“In terms of Canada, we are definitely mindful of the supply chain issues in the Canadian economy. We are monitoring the supply chain and Canadian ports very, very closely,” Freeland told journalists.

Video: Biden announces biggest U.S. ports to operate 24/7 to address supply chain crisis

With companies as large as that of Apple, Sony and Ford being impacted by the shortage, retailers and even shipping companies like Canada Post have been warning shoppers to grab their holiday gifts early and to get them in the mail sooner rather than later.

"We encourage customers to take the time and do their research online with retailers to understand the availability of certain items and ensure they aren’t disappointed," said Chartrand.

"There are also many more small businesses offering online shopping this year, so shoppers can look for local and more unique options when shopping. Last year we saw the volume of parcels from small businesses grow by approximately 50%, which is unprecedented."

-- With files from The Canadian Press and Global's Amanda Connolly.

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