Joseph B asked in TravelCanadaOther - Canada · 6 months ago

Why Does It Take Longer for a Letter to Get from the U.S. to Canada That It Does to Get from the U.S. to the U.K?

In my experience, a letter mailed in the U.S. takes 8 days to get to Canada. A letter sent to the United Kingdom normally takes about 4 to 7 days. Why is mail to Canada so slow?

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  • 6 months ago
    Best answer

    U.S.P.S. delivers collected mail to its closest sortration plant. That plant then delivers all ex-U.S. mail to one of several very large sortation plants situated around the country. During 1986-1991 when I was an Operations Supervisor at Canada Post Corporation (C.P.C.) in Calgary, the nearest of these large U.S. sortation plants was at Salt Lake City, Utah. That meant that a letter sent from (e.g.;) Great Falls Montana (443 km./275 mi. south of Calgary) 1st went south 463 mi (745 km.) to Salt Lake City before being forwarded to Calgary.

    Every Friday afternoon, the Calgary plant would get two wagons from Salt Lake City that contained between 80 & 100 boxes of mail of all types - letter, oversized letters & parcels. Depending on how busy it was at the time, either that Friday night or on Saturday, mail handlers in the Mechanical Sortation section that I worked would open those boxes & loosely sort the various types of mail into large wire "cages". The cage of parcels would be wheeled to the Parcels Sortation side of the plant. This meant that the mail may already have spent as much as 6 days in the U.S. while not only not getting to its final destination but, often, in getting farther from it.

    The rest would be sorted into letters or oversized & wheeled to the appropriate machines in my section for sorting. All the letters that were subsequently found to have a hand-written address would be brought to the Manual Sortation section for sortation there. All that had typed addresses would be dealt with in my section.

    A major problem is that people in the U.S. plant seemed ignorant of geography. Among the mail we received, a great deal (often more than 1/2) was addressed to other countries. It seemed they just dumped everything that wasn't a U.S. address in the boxes sent to us. We got mail meant to be in Mexico or places south, for Europe, Asia, Africa. While this mail was ultimately sent to its destination, between the up to 6 days that it "suntanned" while being moved about the U.S. & the time needed to get it sent where it was actually supposed to be, a lot of time was lost.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    How many letters are you sending to get to this conclusion?

    • Joseph B
      Lv 4
      6 months agoReport

      Every time I mail a letter to Canada. Every time anyone in Canada mails a letter to me. I am 61 years old, and that has been the way for as long as I can remember.

  • 6 months ago

    Because Canada has a government funded, union controlled corporation called "Canada Post". It takes 4-7 days to deliver a letter from one side of Toronto to the other.

    • Killmouseky
      Lv 6
      6 months agoReport

      You clearly know S.F.A. about the postal systems in either country. That explains why your comment is completely wrong.

  • 6 months ago

    Kind of hard to say if that is even the usual thing without knowing where in the US or Canada . I mean, are we talking about Detroit to Windsor or Key West to Yellowknife?

    • Joseph B
      Lv 4
      6 months agoReport

      From anywhere in the US to a metropolitan area in Canada, such as Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver. Good grief. I have no idea how long it would take if they had to put it on a kayak in Eskimo country.

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  • RICK
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    One or 2 examples do not show actual norms

    I have had letters take 5 days within the same city but have had one delivered to the Philippines in 3 days.. But evidence says same city should be 1 or 2 days while PI averages 2-3 weeks

    • Joseph B
      Lv 4
      6 months agoReport

      Every letter I send to Canada, every letter I receive from Canada, and everyone I talk to about the Canadian postal system, does show the actual norm.

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    It actually has to go to the UK before it goes to Canada. All Commonwealth nations are like that.

    Bellingham WA to Surrey BC.... or Detroit MI to Windsor ON.... all have to go to Old Blighty first.

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