2018 Annual Report

Our business

Canada Post continues to adapt as Canadians do more of their shopping online. We are working with businesses and retailers of all sizes to help them grow, and we are making it more convenient for shoppers to receive their online purchases. In a competitive environment, we are focused on growing our Parcels and Direct Marketing lines of business as the shift to digital communications continues to erode our Transaction Mail business.

The labour disruption in the fall was difficult on our business and the Canadians we serve. We are working hard to improve our service to Canadians, strengthen their confidence in us and provide a superior customer experience.
Lindley Graham, Director of Parcels and E-commerce Enterprise Marketing, presents at one of Canada Post's GROW events.


In 2018, our Parcels business grew significantly. For the first three quarters of the year (before the labour disruption in the fall), Parcels volumes grew by 26.7 per cent compared to the same period in 2017, and revenue increased 21.8 per cent. For all of 2018, Parcels volumes grew by 54 million pieces or 21.7 per cent2 compared to 2017, while revenue increased by $308 million1 or 13.6 per cent.12

Below are some of the ways we supported e-commerce and improved the customer experience in 2018:

  • Canadians are ordering small items from abroad in record numbers, facilitated by trackable packets. In 2018, we had strong growth in revenue and volumes of international inbound Tracked PacketTM items, from Asia-Pacific countries in particular.

  • Parcel lockers offer residents of multi-unit buildings convenient, secure delivery of their items. We have installed about 5,300 parcel lockers in more than 4,800 apartment buildings and condominiums across Canada; they serve more than 1.5 million customers.

  • Consumers want delivery options tailored to their needs. We launched a new delivery preference in July 2018 that allows customers to specify where our delivery agents can safely leave a package outside their home when they aren’t there. We’ve had more than one million requests for this delivery preference.

  • Canada Post offers small and medium enterprises more than just delivery services. In 2018, we held GROW workshops in nine communities: Kitchener-Waterloo, Barrie, Vancouver, Edmonton, Quebec City, Montréal, Halifax, Toronto and Yellowknife. Our e-commerce team offered entrepreneurs valuable insight into industry trends, shopper preferences, shipping options and marketing strategies – to help them grow and succeed.

Direct Marketing

In 2018, we continued to share with Canadians how direct marketing campaigns can be effective for businesses. We hosted customer forums across the country and our Think Inside the Box marketing conference. We also launched an upgraded version of Precision TargeterTM, our interactive map-based digital tool that helps customers plan their Neighbourhood MailTM campaigns.

Our Direct Marketing line of business saw revenue and volumes decrease in 2018, primarily due to the labour disruption in the fall. In 2018, total Direct Marketing revenue decreased by $23 million1 or 2.4 per cent,12 and volumes decreased by 169 million pieces or 3.9 per cent2 compared to 2017.

  • Personalized MailTM service allows customers to personalize mailings. Personalized Mail revenue declined by $7 million1 or 1.8 per cent12 and volumes decreased by 36 million pieces or 4.2 per cent2 compared to 2017.

  • Publications Mail, which includes newspapers, magazines and newsletters, saw revenue decline by $9 million1 or 5.8 per cent12 while volumes declined by 19 million pieces or 8.3 per cent2 compared to 2017.

  • Neighbourhood Mail lets customers reach specific neighbourhoods or regions. Neighbourhood Mail revenue decreased by $7 million1 or 2.2 per cent12 compared to the previous year, and volumes decreased by 114 million pieces or 3.5 per cent.2

Canada Post sees growth potential for its Direct Marketing business as a complement to digital advertising by putting a company’s message directly into the hands of prospective customers.

Transaction Mail

Canadians’ communication and transactions are increasingly digital. Households and businesses have sent fewer pieces of Transaction Mail – letters, bills and statements – each year since volumes peaked in 2006.

For example, in 2006 Transaction Mail accounted for 55 per cent of Canada Post’s revenue; in 2018 that number was 42 per cent. In 2018, we delivered about three billion pieces of mail – 44 per cent less than we did in 2006.

In 2018, total Transaction Mail revenue decreased by $151 million1 or 5.5 per cent12 compared to 2017, and volumes declined by 187 million pieces or 6.2 per cent2 compared to 2017, primarily due to ongoing volume erosion and the labour disruption in the fall that reduced revenue by approximately $12 million.

The decline of mail per address is a significant financial challenge.

The number of addresses we deliver to grows each year while the number of pieces of mail delivered to each address decreases.
The number of addresses we deliver to grows each year while the number of pieces of mail delivered to each address decreases.
The number of addresses we deliver to grows each year while the number of pieces of mail delivered to each address decreases.

1. The amounts for 2017 were restated as a result of new or revised accounting standards. For more details, see section 9.2
Accounting pronouncements in this MD&A and Note 5 – Application of New and Revised International Financial Reporting Standards in the accompanying financial statements. ↩ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

2. Adjusted for business days. There was one more business day in 2018 than in 2017. ↩ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

TM Trademark of Canada Post Corporation. ↩ 1 2 3 4