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Canada Post Super Boxes (Mail Box Doors)
It was a mild sunny day here yesterday so I thought I’d invite you along on my lunchtime walk to go get the mail.
Go GET the mail?
That’s right. Though Canada Post does deliver parcels to over 16.1 million addresses across the country, today less than 5 million of those still receive daily to-the-door postal delivery, and ours is not one of them.
So once or twice a week whenever we think of it, we go down to the end of our street, put our key in this little door and open it to see if we have any new junk mail.
How did we go from weekday mail delivery right across Canada, to actually having to pick up our mail at the end of our street?
Well, even though Canada Post is a crown corporation, it is required by law to not become a burden on taxpayers and therefore it must be financially self-sufficient.
This means they are constantly analyzing their rates and service offerings to make sure they are efficient and profitable.
Back in the 1980’s one of the conclusions that came from this self-analysis was that home delivery of letter mail was getting expensive (d’uh!) and the price they’d need to charge in order to make it at least a break-even proposition, was more than customers would accept.
Looking at demographics and the acceleration of urban sprawl it was decided that door-to-door mail delivery would be continued in areas where population density warranted it, and would be gradually phased out in the suburbs where it just didn’t make economic sense.
So how would people in suburban areas receive their mail?
With much fanfare Canada Post introduced so-called ‘Super Boxes’.
I like to joke that we have two national pastimes in Canada: Hockey and complaining. As good as we are at hockey, when it comes to our government and government agencies, we Canadians are really good at complaining 😀
Needless to say ‘Super Boxes’ and the idea of having to go pick up the mail gave lots of Canadians something to complain about.
So much so that in an attempt to defuse the negative attention Canada Post eventually decided to re-brand them as ‘Community Mailboxes’ – you know, like togetherness and all 😉
In the 30 years since, folks in the burbs have learned to accept it, which becomes easier to do since hardly anyone sends letters through the mail anymore anyway.
In the meantime, between electronic communications such as email and text messaging, as well as online banking and direct deposits, domestic letter mail keeps dying a slow, painful death.
Canada Post has since put more focus on the profitable part of its business, domestic parcel delivery, and thanks to the huge growth in online shopping they are making money at it. But losses incurred by mail delivery eat into those profits forcing them to raise rates and look for ways to make further cuts.
In case you’re wondering, it now costs $1.00 to mail a letter within Canada.
So what’s next?
A plan instituted by our previous federal government to abolish door-to-door letter delivery in urban areas in favour of community boxes is now on hold pending further study. In other words, a whole bunch of city folk complained.
Other cost-cutting plans that have been floated include reducing the frequency of mail delivery to alternate weekdays, or even just once or twice a week…that’s right, cue the complaining.
You gotta feel for Canada Post; they’re not allowed to lose money, but they can’t raise rates or cut service without getting complaints from customers who are using the service less and less to begin with.
For now we’ll keep picking up our junk mail once a week at the end of the street while we wait to see what happens 🙂
As always I thank you for stopping by.
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