CANADA POST

CANADA POST

November 20, 2006 12:20 ET

Canada Post Helps Canadians Send Joy: Post Office Ready for Busy Holiday Season

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 20, 2006) - Canada Post has everything Canadians need to ensure timely delivery of their gifts and greetings this holiday season. Whether parcels and cards need to be shipped within Canada, to the United States or abroad, Canada Post has a delivery option for every destination and budget.

"The holidays are a magical time but getting ready for them can be hectic," said Robert Waite, senior vice-president, Communications and Stakeholder Relations at Canada Post. "With a variety of sending options and an array of holiday stamps, Canada Post helps Canadians send joy to loved ones near and far."

The holidays are the busiest time of year for Canada Post. On December 19, 2005, more than 48 million pieces of mail were processed; normal volume is 40 million pieces.

Shipping Options

Xpresspost™ is a smart alternative to courier services for people who need to get holiday cards and packages delivered quickly. It provides fast (1-3 days for most areas in Canada), guaranteed delivery at a cost much less than other courier services and can be used to send packages and parcels within Canada, the U.S. and abroad. For more information, go to www.canadapost.ca and click on Xpresspost.

With Ship-in-a-click™ Canadians can print shipping labels and postage from the comfort of their own homes, making it even easier to get ready for the holiday season. Ship-in-a-click is an easy-to-use, online shipping service that allows Canadians to send packages all day, every day. After affixing the label, packages can be placed in any Canada Post mailbox or brought to a post office. Visit www.canadapost.ca/shipinaclick to see how easy it is.

The average Canadian sends approximately 24 holiday cards and letters and many Canadians deliver some or all of their gifts by mail. To ensure that those gifts are packaged correctly, visit www.canadapost.ca/holiday for packaging tips.

Holiday Stamps

Again this holiday season, Canada Post has released stamps honouring both the religious and festive aspects of the holiday. A stamp showing the Madonna and Child, featuring a painting (Vierge a l'Enfant) by Quebec-born painter Antoine-Sebastien Falardeau, is available in post offices now. Three festive stamps are also available, each featuring an original card that was painted by one of Canada's premier painters of the interwar years, Edwin Holgate, J.E. Sampson and Yvonne McKague Housser.

The Queen has hers; Santa has his; do you want yours in time for Christmas? To personalize your holiday cards and packages even further, Canada Post offers Picture Postage™, a unique way to create real domestic stamps from your favourite photos. Delivery takes two to three weeks so go online to www.picturepostage.ca to order today.

Send Joy in the Mail

Packaging Tips from Canada Post

Canada Post offers several options (for every budget and speed requirement) to ensure your gifts and greetings arrive on time for the holidays. Some simple steps can help to ensure that your packages arrive safely.

- Put it in a Box

Envelopes are meant for paper - if you're sending anything other than a card or a letter, use a box to protect it. Even very small items (like candy, small jewellery, lapel pins, magnets, key chains, etc.) must be mailed in a box or a padded envelope.

- The Box

The box protects your gift from mail processing machinery, the elements and handling. Choose a sturdy box that has enough room for both your gift and some protective wrap. Gift boxes provided by department stores usually aren't solid enough; save them for under the tree. The post office sells boxes of all sizes that are specifically designed for mailing. If you are reusing a box, make sure all previous markings have been covered to avoid delivery confusion.

- Protective Cushioning

The goal is to make the box's contents immovable inside the box. Bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts (or popcorn) are the best way to ensure your gifts are properly protected as newspaper and tissue paper condense with movement. Wrap gifts well and gently shake the box to ensure you have enough cushioning throughout.

- Sealing

Ensure the box is well sealed. Use clear or brown packaging tape, reinforced packing tape or paper tape for your boxes (regular household adhesive tape is not secure enough). Do not use cord, string or twine on the box - it can get caught in mail processing equipment.

- Wrapping

If the box has a lot of markings on it, wrap it with kraft paper (available for sale at the post office), not gift wrap.

- Correct Address

Ensure the complete sender's and recipient's address appear on the label, including the postal code. Postal codes can be found at www.canadapost.ca and in postal code books at any Canada Post location. As an added precaution, you should include the address information on a separate sheet of paper inside the package, in case the outside of the package becomes illegible for any reason.

- Correct Postage

Make sure your packages have enough postage. The local post office will be happy to weigh and post your package, or ship from home using Ship-in-a-click™.

Shipping Options

Xpresspost™ is a smart alternative to courier services for people who need to get holiday cards and packages delivered quickly. It provides fast (1-3 days between most regions in Canada), delivery confirmation, on-time delivery guarantee with $100 coverage and can be used to send documents, packages and parcels within Canada, the U.S. and abroad. For more information, go to www.canadapost.ca and click on Xpresspost.

With Ship-in-a-click, Canadians can print shipping labels and postage from the comfort of their own homes, making it even easier to get ready for the holiday season. Ship-in-a-click is an easy-to-use, online shipping service that allows consumers to send packages when it's convenient for them all day, every day. After affixing the shipping label, packages can be placed in any Canada Post street mailbox or brought to a post office. Visit www.canadapost.ca/shipinaclick to see how easy it is.

Holiday Mail Volume Facts

Canada Post has been helping Canadians send joy to friends, family, loved ones and businesses for more than 150 years. It's busy year-round but at Christmas, the number one occasion for sending cards, letters and gifts by mail, it gets even busier.

- During the 2005 holiday season, Canada Post processed and delivered 787.3 million cards, letters and parcels. On Christmas Eve alone, more than 35,000 parcels were delivered by the post office.

- On Monday, December 19, 2005, more than 48 million pieces of mail entered the Canada Post mail stream - the peak day in the holiday season. This amount of mail, received on one single day, would span from the Shea Heights (NL) Post Office (Canada's most easterly post office) to the Beaver Creek (YT) Post Office (Canada's most western post office) and back again.

- In 2005 Santa received three per cent more letters for a grand total of 1,045,739 letters from children around the world. Thanks to more than 11,000 Canada Post employees (current and retired) - Santa's dedicated Postal Elves - each child received an answer from the North Pole. The Postal Elves respond in more than 20 languages (including Braille).

- Santa also received more than 34,000 emails from children who wrote to Santa via Canada Post's website www.canadapost.ca/holiday.

- It takes more than 575 daily flights to deliver all the holiday mail that enters the Canada Post system. Come mid-December, virtually every domestic flight in Canada will carry mail and the post office will also run a charter freighter network of some 20 extra flights a week.

- 6,000 postal vehicles (that travel 77 million kilometres a year) also help to move the mail across the country each day, including 150 highway service tractor-trailers. As of early December, an extra 100 trucks will also be called upon, where needed, to move mail. Canada Post also moves some 100 tractor-trailer loads of mail per week by train.

- Canada Post has the most extensive retail network in Canada with approximately 7,000 full-service outlets and about 17,000 stamp shops.

- Three out of ten Canadians choose to deliver some or all of their holiday gifts by mail using Canada Post, sending an average of three gifts to friends and family. The majority of those who do not use Canada Post's services chose to be there in person to deliver their gifts themselves.

- For almost 77 per cent of Canadians, mail is the method of choice for sending holiday greeting cards. On average Canadians send approximately 24 cards or letters to friends and family over the holiday season.

- More than six in ten Canadians look forward to what's in their mailbox, and seven in ten say they like the surprise of receiving something personal in the mail.

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