Canadian company InPost ready to challenge Canada Post for package mail

With labour turbulence at Canada Post, Canadians are considering alternatives for getting mail and parcels across the country, and Ontario company InPost wants in on the action.
InPost has installed more than 160 of its parcel box machines at Loblaws and Petro Canada locations in Ontario, with plans to install 300 to 400 in Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary by the end of 2016. The company incorporated in Canada in 2014, but is headquartered in Poland. (Henryk Borawski/Wikimedia Commons)

With labour turbulence at Canada Post, Canadians are considering alternatives for getting mail and parcels across the country, and Ontario company InPost wants in on the action, saying now is the time to shake up the postal business with parcel lockers. 

"Home delivery is very hard these days, very costly. So we provide another alternative. We solve the first mile and last mile, expensive part of home delivery," said Tony Jasinski, CEO of InPost Canada.

Jasinski said their system is a minimum of 25 per cent cheaper than courier or Canada Post parcel rates and uses banks of parcel lockers as pick up points for customers ordering products online from companies like Newegg, NCIX and soon Avon.

Up to 400 lockers by end of 2016

The company installed its first parcel locker in late 2014 and after ensuring the machines could survive a Canadian winter, started rolling them out across Ontario a year later. 

Right now, there are 163 of the lockers in the Greater Toronto Area, including 24 in the Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph area, with plans to have 300 to 400 installed across the country by the end of 2016. 

Despite that ambitious goal, Jasinski says the company doesn't see itself as a replacement to Canada Post. 

"Not at all. No one can replace Canada Post – nor do we even want to consider it," said Jasinski.

Profits in parcel mail

However, the company does want a piece of the Crown corporation's most profitable business: parcel mail raked in $421 million for Canada Post in the first quarter of 2016. 

"Canada Post delivered one million or more parcels on every Monday in January as Canadians shop online more often," said the company in a news release in May. 

"By providing Canadians with reliable, convenient delivery and working closely with retailers of all sizes, the Canada Post segment became the country's No. 1 parcel company in 2015."

InPost's services will be less useful for people in rural parts of Canada. Jasinski said the focus now is on urban centres and expanding the company's reach to Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton in September. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story said InPost planned to have 3,000 to 4,000 lockers installed across Canada by the end of 2016. In fact, the company plans to have 300 to 400 lockers in place by that time.
    Jul 15, 2016 10:03 AM ET

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