| Canada Post is Placing Canadian Merchants at a Disadvantage to
By Sean Ross
January 5, 2012
Dear Mr. Stephen Joseph Harper,
Canada Post is placing Canadian Merchants at a disadvantage to our American
counterparts by gouging Canadians with unfairly high shipping prices.
Canada Post has tried to set-up the Venture One program for Canadian small
businesses by offering a discount of approximately 5% on parcels, but
this discount is far from being enough to allow Canadian sellers to compete
with our American counterparts.
U.S.P.S. (United States Postal Service) offers Americans a great product
called Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes. These allow Americans
to package these envelopes and boxes with as much weight of products that
will fit inside and ship them anywhere within the USA for a low flat rate
price. I could ship a 66 pound (The reason I selected 66 pounds is because
Canada Post will not ship a box weighing more than 66 pounds) box of gold
bars from New York to Alaska for $15.95 and USPS would even provide the
box for free. This makes American online retailers extremely competitive
in the online commerce arena. Canadians would have to spend $135 to send
the same 12" X 12" X 6" package to Alaska. How can a Canadian
e-tailer compete in this unfair playing field?
What makes no sense is why Canada Post cannot offer these same Priority
Mail Flat Rate boxes and envelopes to Canadians at a small mark-up. Essentially
Canada Post would buy these items from USPS and then sell these items
to Canadians who are shipping to the USA and drop them off at USPS the
next day. Currently there are hundreds of Canadian courier companies doing
just this, which siphons millions of dollars out of Canada Posts potential
revenues. However, only medium sized businesses are able to afford the
cost of using these courier companies, a small Canadian merchant who wants
to try to enter the online business is restricted because he/she is not
able to compete at Canada Post's ludicrous prices.
If I purchase a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope and ship it from the
US to Canada it costs $11.95. If I purchase a Canada Post Xpresspost National
Prepaid envelope it costs me $15.75 to ship from Quebec to British Columbia.
It costs less for an American to ship to a Canadian, than a Canadian to
a Canadian. How is that fair?
USPS's rates for International parcels destined outside of North America
are at least half of the price of Canadians. A Priority Mail International
Small Flat Rate Box weighing 4 pounds with the size: 8-5/8" x 5-3/8"
x 1-5/8" costs $13.95 to ship to Australia. The same size and weight
box from Canada Post costs $83.24 to ship from Canada Post. Why would
an Australian customer, or a customer from any other country buy an item
from a Canadian seller, when a US seller can ship the item for a fraction
of the price the Canadian seller has to pay? It is simple, Canadian sellers
cannot compete with American sellers online. That is why there are so
few Canadian online retailers.
Canada Post needs to seriously re-evaluate its prices, and make it more
competitive for Canadian merchants to deal in the online marketplace.
After all, e-selling is the wave of the future, with the total dollar
value of online sales rising on a year over year basis. Canada Post is
Canadians main conduit into this area of commerce and Canadians are being
left sorely behind. It is imperative that something be done to prevent
this from continuing.
Please find the time in your busy schedule to discuss this in the House
of Commons. It is an issue that needs to be addressed.