Surge in Online Holiday Shopping Brings As Many Logistical Headaches as Joy

December 10, 2020 3 Minute Read

Surge in Online Holiday Shopping Brings As Many Logistical Headaches as Joy

Most of the purchases made on Black Friday and Cyber Monday are in the midst of being delivered and there is concern that the volume of packages will exceed the capacity of Canada Post and other courier companies. Some are calling it ‘Shipmaggedon.’

The collision of the holiday shopping season with the forced shutdown of many stores in major Canadian cities has led to an explosion in online shopping and deliveries.

A recent survey by FedEx found that 8 in 10 Canadians plan to do their shopping online this holiday season. Adobe Analytics predicts that there will be a 33% increase in online shopping in the U.S. compared to last year.

Canada Post reports it delivered just under two million packages in a single day in the last week of November. They anticipate this volume to continue leading up to the holidays.

Delivery companies are ramping up in order to accommodate this massive increase in shipping.

Canada Post is adding 4,000 employees, 1,000 additional vehicles and is shoring up their equipment. Meanwhile, FedEx will be adding 2,000 permanent employees in Canada to help them through the peak parcel delivery season. It’s also added another package sorting facility in the GTA to deal exclusively with ecommerce deliveries.

FedEx Canada president Lisa Lisson noted that prior to COVID-19, the company projected that the U.S. domestic market would reach 100 million packages per day by 2026. The pandemic has pushed this projection forward by three years.

Parcel deluge

The surge in holiday shopping ecommerce is presenting a series of logistical challenges, especially in condos and apartment buildings. Most buildings are not equipped to deal with the deluge of parcel deliveries.

Informa Connect’s 2020 Multi Family Survey reveals that 10.9% of tenants get their items delivered to a common parcel room in their building, while just 3.7% report that their packages are delivered via a parcel locker system. The lack of facilities means that packages are filling up common areas and spilling over into amenity spaces.

Landlords and property managers are increasingly looking to smart solutions to facilitate package delivery. Companies that offer smart locker systems such as Snaile and Package Concierge are seeing interest in their products spike.

Other multifamily operators are taking a different approach and are employing proptech solutions. An app-based personal assistant for apartment dwellers, Hello Alfred enables residents to track their packages and issues an alert when the package arrives. Fast Company calls Hello Alfred one of the most innovative real estate companies of 2020.

Once the holidays are over and all of the returns have been processed, people will continue to do their shopping online and the need for ecommerce solutions will persist. In the meantime, people are being urged to get their shopping done early to ensure parcels arrive on time.


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