eCommerce has been proven time and time again as the future of business, but there has been a huge barrier in Canada that prevented us from competing with other countries. Canada Post has continued to gouge Canadian businesses, refusing to entertain any feasible ideas to make shipping affordable. Their consistent answer to losses is to increase prices, when implementing small business friendly solutions would benefit both the economy and their own bottom line as more businesses choose to ship with them. Ironically, a 2013 Canada Post study found that 68% of Canadian online shoppers cited shipping costs as the number one reason they avoid Canadian retailers.

While Canada Post seemingly lacks interest in creative solutions, FedEx has apparently been thinking about the potential of Canadian eCommerce very carefully. FedEx Express Canada Ltd, recently announced a new opportunity for Home Hardware store owners, allowing them to have FedEx Authorized ShipCenters in their store. As a result, FedEx services will be available at the retail level, much like Canada Post is in stores like Shoppers Drug Mart. This is the most aggressive expansion plan FedEx has attempted in Canada, beginning with 100 Home Hardware stores out of a possible 1100.

Canadian eCommerce May Finally Escape Canada PostThe online shopping market in Canada is set to explode over the next few years, with experts predicting online sales will total over $30 billion by 2018. A 2014 study by J. C. Williams found that Canadian online shoppers spend more in almost every category, whether they make the actual purchase online or in-store. The market potential has motivated US companies to expand their eCommerce offerings to Canadians and that is expected to continue to almost universal North American coverage. With our population being spread out and often isolated, online shopping may even surpass levels in the United States. Canada already reigns over the US in both Internet connection and social media usage.

2012 eCommerce and Internet Usage Statistics from Statistics Canada

  • 83% of Canadians used the Internet (up 3%)
  • Value of online orders from Canadians were $18.9 billion (up 24%)
  • 56% of Canadians ordered online (up 5%)
  • Canadians age 25-34 shopped online most (69%)
  • 23% of Canadians sold products or services online

As the US moves in, Canadian eCommerce is crowded out because we can’t possibly compete with the high cost of shipping here.

As we have suggested to Canada Post, it appears FedEx will offset the cost of serving a highly spread out market by gaining a larger volume of business through more reasonable prices. If they include a few minor conditions, such as mandatory use of online shipping tools in exchange for discounts, they will find this to be a very profitable space.

Comment on Canadians Internet BusinessCanadian eCommerce may now have a fighting chance. Will it make a difference in how you do business? Please share your comments below.

FedEx Express Canada Ltd
Statistics Canada
J.C. Williams
Forrester Research
World Bank

You may also be interested in reading:
Online Canadian Businesses Need Easy, Affordable Shipping Options
Canadian Internet Shoppers Spend More, Both Online & Offline


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9 Responses to "Canadian eCommerce May Finally Escape Canada Post ©"

  1. Krista  June 12, 2014

    Well wouldn’t that be a nice change! It’s a shame CP can’t see the opportunity to work with Canadian businesses so everyone benefits, but if they won’t then too dam bad!

  2. Walter  May 26, 2014

    Holy cow that’s amazing news! I hope Fedex is able to beat their prices!

  3. Kelly L  May 26, 2014

    Really?? That would be such a relief! I can’t afford to pay 4x more than they do in the US and still compete with them.

  4. Blaire Scarborough  May 26, 2014

    Good, CP needs something to shake them up. With more locations and lower expenses than opening stores they should have no problem competing on price, plus their service is way better & faster. Competition is exactly what CP needs.

  5. Peter Sauer  May 25, 2014

    Just did an online comparison of Fedex VS Canada Post based on recent packages mailed from Vancouver.
    Vancouver to Campbell River cost same
    Vancouver to Hampton Georgia +20%
    Vancouver to Westminster +45%
    Vancouver to Westlock AB +30%
    Based on these I would love to know where the cost savings are.
    Footnote I do use the PayPal platform to mail my packages by Canada post

    • Melody McKinnon  May 25, 2014

      The savings aren’t based on their current prices, Peter. It’s in their future plan with the expansion.

      • Peter Sauer  May 25, 2014

        Thanks,I look forward to seeing how competitive they will be

  6. Peter Sauer  May 25, 2014

    Do you have any price comparisons CPC VS FedEx

  7. BlakeS  May 24, 2014

    WOOHOO!!!! That’s AWESOME news!!! I can’t wait to see one on every corner and CP can kiss my business goodbye!!! I am so sick of their crappy service and crazy prices…they can only blame themselves because their monopoly was bound to end one day.


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