The trouble with Canada Post- one size does not fit all: Report

CALGARY, Feb. 11, 2016 /CNW/ - The explosion of electronic communication has caused Canada Post's lettermail volumes to plummet, with no relief in sight. E-commerce parcel deliveries are on the rise, but not nearly at the rate necessary to offset the decline in lettermail, and there are many competing private courier companies.

Meanwhile, Canada Post's plan to end the remnants of door-to-door home delivery has halted in light of the new Liberal government's promise to maintain the service. The extraordinary disruption that electronic media has caused to the model of state-owned postal services, with their mandate to provide universal delivery, is dire.

In a report released today by The School of Public Policy and author Philippe De Donder, there are viable solutions to help Canada Post succeed. They include:

  • One size does not fit all - charge varying rates (capped at a maximum) based on the type of sender, volume and how far the letter has to go.
  • Outsource certain upstream operations, like sorting facilities, to further reduce infrastructure and labour costs.
  • Introduce competition in the collection, transport and sorting of mail.
  • Charging for delivery to your door.

Is immediate privatization the answer?  Not necessarily. According to the report "The burden of universal service obligations in a country as expansive and minimally populated as Canada is, could make it difficult for the government to realize appropriate value in selling Canada Post. But if the Liberal government intends to help Canada Post endure in this environment, it should allow the corporation to introduce some basic elements of competition and market-based reform." 

The paper can be downloaded at http://www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/?q=research

SOURCE The School of Public Policy - University of Calgary

For further information: Media Contact: Morten Paulsen, 403.220.2540, morten.paulsen2@ucalgary.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ucalgary.ca/policystudies/

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