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Community Mailboxes Continued: The Realities of Canada Post’s Superboxes & Direct Mail in Canada

September 30/2015
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Most of the media hype surrounding Canada Post these days is aimed at community mailboxes. As each Federal Party leader takes a stance on “the end of home delivery,” this discussion has become a cultural and electoral focal point. Direct mail fulfillment is changing, and this change affects both the commercial and personal worlds.

While it is necessary to critique any moment of change, we must also ask ourselves:

Is this really that bad?

To use CBC News’ recent article as a base for comparison, here are some issues regarding direct mail superboxes, followed by several realities:

Issue #1: The Canadian Union of Postal Employees will see up to 8,000 positions eliminated.

Issue #2: Community mailboxes are not–or will not–be installed within walking distance of certain residences.

Issue #3: Some community mailboxes might be inconveniently installed (beside bike lanes, etc.)

Issue #4: Seniors and many people with disabilities will not be able to access these superboxes themselves.

Some of the following realities have been discussed in previous blog posts…

Reality #1: Lettermail volumes have seen a consistent decrease. Naturally, the lower the demand, the less product there is to be delivered.

Reality #2: Suburban Canadians have used community mailboxes for years, and many residents love their superboxes (if installed within a reasonable distance from home).

Reality #3: Community mailboxes are secure, and come with a firm perk: small and medium-sized parcels do not have to be picked up at the neighbourhood postal outlet.

Reality #4: Canada Post offers direct mail home delivery one day of the week for those who have no other way of collecting their mail.

CBC News also conducted a CrossTalk phone-in survey on the subject:

Question: Are people overreacting to community mailboxes?

The majority of CrossTalk participants argued that the switch to community mailboxes “is not life-shattering.”

While there are also environmental issues to factor in–regarding vehicle traffic and snow clearing, etc.–we must also consider that only a third of Canadian direct mail recipients receive the home delivery service. Through universally-increased postage rates, should the whole country have to cover a service that most Canadians cannot use?

To continue the discussion, and to learn how the future of direct mail services can work for you, please call our Toronto mailing house at 1-866-486-0423.