Friday, October 24, 2014

Mail now sorted in Thunder Bay

Mail posted in the mailbox at the Fort Frances post office now is being sent to Thunder Bay for sorting.
John Caines, a spokesperson for Canada Post in Ottawa, said yesterday that Canada Post has been in the process of “de-twinning” here and elsewhere across the country.

While there used to be separate types of mailboxes at the post office—for local delivery and for forward mail (i.e., mail going out of town)—there now is just one type.
And all mail put in that mailbox, including local mail, is being sent to Thunder Bay for sorting.
“The local mail now is probably less than 20 percent, probably closer to 15 percent,” Caines explained.
“There isn’t that much local to local mail.
“We have trucks going in the community to take the forward mail, or mail leaving the community, into the larger centre, in this case, Thunder Bay, for sortation and then send it on its way wherever it’s going in Canada or anywhere else,” he added.
“We have capacity in the plant there to take in more mail,” Caines noted. “We have high-speed sorting machines, as well, that sort upwards of 30,000 pieces an hour.
“And so the trucks that are going in there to collect the forward mail are going to collect all the mail.”
This means you don’t have to sort your mail before you put it in the box.
“You put it in the box, our people pick it up, bring it in to Thunder Bay, it’s brought back the next day,” Caines said.
“Our delivery standards are the same,” he stressed. “Our delivery standard for local mail is two business days; provincial mail is three business days; and nationally four days.
“That won’t be affected at all.”
The Times has been told by the local post office that the newspaper is considered addressed admail, so district customers who normally receive the Fort Frances Times by mail will continue to receive it each Thursday.
Caines also said the change to the way mail is sorted will not impact staffing levels here.
“No one will lose their job because of this change,” he affirmed. “Our employees have job security.”
Caines said Canada Post is looking at its network because it has to change the way it does business going forward.
He cited a Conference Board of Canada report, which came out in April, that stated if Canada Post maintains the way it does business now, it will be in debt to the tune of $1 billion by 2020.
“Our volumes are declining,” Caines conceded. “People aren’t coming into the post offices like they used to; people aren’t mailing like they used to.
“Rural Canadians generally are ordering a lot of products online and we’re delivering them because the computers you order them through can’t deliver them, but we can,” he added.
“That’s where the future of our business is.
“We have to align our business to make sure we’re viable in the future and we can meet the needs of our customers, so that’s what we’re doing,” he reiterated.
Caines said Canada Post has gone across the country and held 46 sessions where they met with community leaders, Chambers of Commerce, and business owners to find out what they want the corporation to be going forward.
Canada Post also has asked Canadians to go canadapost.ca and click on the button on the upper right-hand side labelled, “The Future of Canada Post,” so they can offer their thoughts on what kind of postal service they will need in the future.
“We’re going to take all of that information and go through it all, and find out how we can move forward,” said Caines.

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