Canada Post was unprepared for the explosion in online commerce and shipments coming from China but blames the shippers for using an old system of shipping in a new age of commerce.

“The problem with these is they’re using an envelope that was a product developed years ago for minor items,” said Canada Post Communications Manager, Jon Hamilton.

CTV Vancouver exposed how some consumers are waiting up to six months for online shipments from China to be delivered to their home but in response Canada Post makes no apologies.

The small packages can’t be sorted on automated machinery, they often have errors in the addresses, and they need to be hand sorted. 

Often these items are ordered off of Chinese websites that offer free shipping and those preferred shipping rates that China Post gets don’t cover the actual cost of delivering them.

China is considered a transitional country and is a member of the Universal Postal Union which sets rates every four years. Canada is one of 192 countries and only gets 1 vote on what those rates should be.

So unless you’re willing to pay more to ship online goods from China, Canada Post says you’ll just have to wait.

“We’re not going to move existing resources on products and parcels that people have paid a premium for, we’re not going to move resources off that in order to move our way through something that somebody ordered for 3 bucks from China,” Hamilton explained.

Canada Border Services Agency is part of the problem too because it needs to screen all that merchandise to make sure it’s safe and it can’t keep up with the volume.

Ryan posted about our first story exposing the problem writing – “I ordered a few items off of Amazon, which were supposed to be from Canada, turns out they were being sent from China. Still have not received them and it has been over 6 months.”

Hamilton says shippers need to abandon the cheap small packets and replace them with boxes or packages that can be automatically sorted.  He also says that Canada Post is working to speed things up but in the meantime the cheap packets get low priority. 

Photos sent to CTV News showed crates of Chinese packets, cleared, sorted and sent to Canada Post’s Delivery Depot on River Road in Richmond sitting untouched after more than a month.  We’re told letter carriers “will get to it, when we get to it” because other packages with expected delivery times take priority.