The Slow Death of Snail mail – Canada will phase out door to door mail delivery over 5 years

Canada will have urban home delivery of mail phased out over the next five years.

Starting March 31, the cost of a stamp to mail a standard-size first-class letter will increase to 85 cents if bought in a pack, up from 63 cents. Individual stamps will cost a dollar.

Canada Post said that over the next five years, it will eliminate 6,000 to 8,000 positions, but it expects 15,000 workers will leave the company or retire within that period.

Altogether, it projects that the changes will account for an annual gain of between CAD$700 million to CAD$900 million.

Canada Post serves 15.1 million addresses, but only one-third of Canadians (about five million homes) get their mail delivered to their door. Everyone else picks it up from community, apartment or rural-lot-line mailboxes.

Canada Post has 60,000 employees and 6,600 Post Office. Canada Post said it is also planning to scale down its labour force by between 6,000 and 8,000 people, though it maintains it can do so through attrition as about 15,000 employees are scheduled to retire in the coming years.

It costs Canada Post an average of about $168 per address annually to operate the mail system. Here’s a breakdown:

Door to door (one-third of Canadians) – $283 per address
Centralized point, such as an apartment lobby lock box (one quarter of Canadians) – $127 per address
Group/community mailbox/kiosk (one quarter) – $108 per address
Delivery facility such as a postal box (12 per cent) – $59 per address
Rural mailbox (five per cent of Canadians) – $179 per address
An April report by the Conference Board of Canada said almost half of all Canadian households send no more than two pieces of mail each month

Community mail boxes

In the USA, 35 million residences and businesses get mail delivered to their doorstep.

It costs $353 per stop for a delivery in most American cities, taking into account such things as salaries and cost of transport. By contrast, curbside mail box delivery costs $224, while cluster boxes cost $160, according to a report from the Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General.

Delivering mail is the agency’s largest fixed cost — $30 billion. Ending such door deliveries would save $4.5 billion a year. That’s more than the $3 billion it would have saved from ending Saturday mail service, according to government reports.

The USPS lost US$ 15.9 billion in 2012, and its revenue was US$ 65.2 billion.

The USPS employed 522,144 workers and operated 212,530 vehicles in 2012.

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