Canada Post strikes, UPS & Scythe Shipping

Canada Post on Strike Again?Canada Post is likely going to have a strike / lock-out in July.  Nothing officially confirmed, but it sounds like it’s going to happen. Here’s how we are handling things and how it is going to affect shipping at Starlit Citadel.

Canada Post Strikes / Lockouts

The lockout is currently rumored to happen in July, probably July 1 as the postal workers are looking to vote on the strike on July 2. As such, any Canada Post shipment that is estimated to deliver before June 31, 2016 will be fine (unless you aren’t able to receive the delivery and aren’t able to pick it up before then or the shipment gets delayed).  In other words, we CANNOT guarantee a shipment that is en-route for delivery around June 31, 2016 and later will arrive as it might get stuck in Canada Post’s warehouses.

We will likely turn off Canada Post delivery completely next week as anything ordered after Monday is unlikely to get delivered anyway.

UPS Shipping

We have turned on UPS shipping in Canada in the meantime.  You will notice a huge difference in pricing between UPS & Canada Post due to the difference in our contracts and base costs between the two companies. If you are in the East Coast / Maritimes and a rural location, we recommend using UPS anyway as they will be able to make deliveries to your location during the strike even if you order rihgt now.

Free Shipping Promo of $100 cancelledFree Shipping at $100 Promotion Cancelled

Please note, the Free Shipping promotion at $100 is now cancelled as we are not able to run this promotion while shipping via UPS.  Previous pre-orders that need to ship out during July wills till ship for free.

We have re-instated usual free shipping promotion – that is, shipping is free for orders over $175 (before taxes and after discounts) so you can still receive free shipping on your orders, it’s just going to be at a higher level.

Scythe Shipping

Lastly, for those who have Scythe shipments going out from our facility. We are working as fast as possible to get all shipments to the Maritimes / Quebec / rural East Coast out today. We currently have 7 business days before July 1, so we’re hoping to get as much out as possible in the next 2 days so that all shipments will be on the way to customers and in their hands before the strike happens.  This means that if you are in the West Coast, unless we have processed your orders already, you might not get a processing notice for a few days as we take care of these backers as we have more time to get your shipments out.

Jamey will have a more detailed update for everyone later. Please bear with us as we are working as fast as possible to get as many shipments as possible out to everyone.

Balancing shipments through multiple parties

As many of you know, we’ve started using UPS as a shipping option for international shipments. Part of the reason for this is due to pricing – it’s actually cheaper (marginally) to ship to some countries with UPS with our discounted rates than with Canada Post. A side goal is to reduce our cost of shipping to the US to a more manageable level for large shipments.  While the Small Packets USA costs is extremely reasonable for shipping, it only works for packages up to 2kg.  That means that most of our US orders are for smaller products.

Currently, we are on a tiered discount level with UPS, with shipping costs reducing as we spend more on a rolling basis.  It’s a good system, especially at our current spend levels since it gives us specific goals to shoot for in terms of shipments.

However, to get the most out of it, we need to hit the next tier up. Unfortunately, it’s a chicken and egg scenario – we can’t provide good rates till we ship a lot, but customer’s won’t purchase from us till we get good rates.  So occasionally, we balance out shipments by contacting individual customers who are shipping outside of Canada to see if they’re okay with us shipping via UPS rather than Canada Post.  It’s more work, but the goal of course is to eventually move up the tiers and get a decent (and consistent) shipping rate.

The obvious question is why don’t we move to UPS in Canada? The simple answer is that it’s more expensive to use UPS for most shipments in Canada, even at the best discount rates UPS can provide us.  As such, it makes more sense to keep Canada consistent with Canada Post and move to cheaper rates with them.  Of course, we’re now at a size that moving from one tier to another requires a significantly higher number of shipments.