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Canada Post vs. Purolator: A Detailed Comparison


Sending a package across Canada can be a daunting task, especially when you’re faced with a plethora of courier options. Canada Post and Purolator are the two giants in the Canadian shipping landscape, each offering a range of services to meet diverse needs. Choosing the right carrier can significantly impact your delivery speed, cost, and overall experience. This comprehensive guide will delve into a detailed comparison of Canada Post and Purolator, providing you with the information needed to make an informed decision for your next shipment.

Table of Contents

Key Factors for Comparison

Shipping Services

Canada Post

Canada Post offers a wide array of shipping services to cater to various needs, including:

  • Regular Mail: The most economical option for non-urgent, lightweight items.
  • Expedited Parcel: A faster option for parcels under 30kg, offering next-day delivery in some areas.
  • Xpresspost: Canada Post’s flagship service, providing expedited delivery within 1-3 business days across Canada.
  • Priority Worldwide: A reliable option for shipping internationally, with different delivery speed options available.
  • Specialized Services: Canada Post also offers unique services like FlexDelivery, allowing for package pick-up and drop-off at various locations.


Purolator focuses on providing reliable and efficient shipping solutions, with options like:

  • Express: Purolator’s fastest service, guaranteeing overnight delivery within major urban areas across Canada.
  • Ground: A cost-effective option for shipments that don’t require immediate delivery, offering delivery within 1-5 business days.
  • International: Purolator provides various international shipping options, with delivery times varying based on the destination.
  • Specialized Services: Purolator also offers services like Purolator Direct, focusing on same-day delivery within select areas.

Shipping Rates and Costs

Determining which carrier is cheaper requires a detailed comparison of their pricing structures. Here’s a breakdown of key factors that influence shipping rates and costs:

Factors Affecting Cost

  • Weight and Size: Both carriers use a weight-based system to determine their shipping rates. Heavier packages generally cost more.
  • Destination: Distance plays a crucial role in shipping costs. Shipments to remote areas are typically more expensive than local deliveries.
  • Service Level: Faster delivery services, like Xpresspost or Express, usually come with a higher price tag compared to regular or ground options.
  • Packaging Options: The type and size of packaging used can also influence the overall cost.

Comparison Table

To illustrate the difference in shipping costs, here’s a simplified comparison table showing estimated rates for a standard package under 1kg, shipped within major urban areas in Canada:

Service Canada Post Purolator
Regular Mail $4.00 N/A
Expedited Parcel $10.00 N/A
Xpresspost $15.00 N/A
Express N/A $20.00
Ground N/A $12.00

Potential Discounts

Both carriers offer various discounts and promotions, including:

  • Volume Discounts: Businesses that frequently ship large volumes of packages can often qualify for discounted rates.
  • Online Promotions: Both Canada Post and Purolator periodically offer promotions and discounts through their websites.
  • Loyalty Programs: Some carriers have loyalty programs that reward frequent customers with discounts and other benefits.

Delivery Speed and Reliability

Choosing a courier often depends on how quickly you need your package delivered. Here’s a closer look at the delivery speeds and reliability of Canada Post and Purolator:

Guaranteed Delivery Times

  • Canada Post: Guaranteed delivery times vary depending on the chosen service level and destination. For example, Xpresspost offers a guaranteed delivery within 1-3 business days for most locations across Canada.
  • Purolator: Purolator’s Express service offers overnight delivery within major urban centers. Their Ground service offers delivery within 1-5 business days, depending on the destination.

Tracking and Visibility

Both carriers offer robust tracking tools to monitor the progress of your shipment in real-time:

  • Canada Post: Canada Post’s tracking website and app allow you to track your package’s journey from pick-up to delivery.
  • Purolator: Purolator’s online tracking platform provides detailed updates on the package’s location and estimated arrival time.

Real-World Experiences

To get a better understanding of the delivery speeds and reliability of both carriers, it’s helpful to consider real-world experiences:

  • User Reviews: Websites like Trustpilot and Google Reviews offer valuable insights into customer satisfaction with both carriers.
  • Industry Reports: Independent organizations publish reports evaluating the performance of couriers based on metrics like on-time delivery rates and customer service satisfaction.

Customer Service

Excellent customer service is crucial for any shipping company. Let’s compare the customer service provided by Canada Post and Purolator:

Contact Options

Both carriers offer multiple ways to contact customer service:

  • Phone: Both Canada Post and Purolator have dedicated phone lines for customer support.
  • Email: You can submit inquiries or complaints through their respective websites.
  • Chat: Some carriers offer live chat support for quick and convenient assistance.
  • Social Media: Both carriers have active social media accounts where customers can reach out with questions or concerns.

Response Times

The response time and overall customer service experience can vary depending on the time of day and the nature of your inquiry.

  • Canada Post: Canada Post is known for its relatively long wait times on phone lines and email responses.
  • Purolator: Purolator’s customer service is generally considered more responsive, especially for online inquiries.

Complaint Handling

When facing issues with a shipment, it’s important to know how each carrier handles complaints:

  • Canada Post: Canada Post has a detailed complaints process outlined on their website.
  • Purolator: Purolator provides a similar complaint resolution process with options for escalation if needed.

Additional Features and Benefits

Both carriers offer additional features and benefits beyond basic shipping services:


  • Canada Post: Canada Post offers insurance options to cover lost or damaged packages, with different coverage limits available based on the value of the shipment.
  • Purolator: Purolator provides comprehensive insurance options, including coverage for loss, damage, and delays.

Packaging Options

  • Canada Post: Canada Post offers a wide range of packaging supplies for purchase, including boxes, envelopes, and packing materials.
  • Purolator: Purolator also offers packaging supplies through its website and retail locations.


  • Canada Post: Canada Post has a vast network of post offices and drop-off locations across Canada, providing convenient access for sending and receiving packages.
  • Purolator: Purolator offers a network of drop-off locations and pickup services through its partnership with various retail stores.

Environmental Considerations

Both carriers are committed to sustainable practices:

  • Canada Post: Canada Post is actively working to reduce its environmental impact through initiatives like using recycled packaging materials and reducing fuel consumption.
  • Purolator: Purolator is also focused on sustainability by optimizing its delivery routes and using fuel-efficient vehicles.

Use Cases and When to Choose Each Carrier

Now that you have a solid understanding of the key differences between Canada Post and Purolator, let’s discuss when each carrier might be the best choice for your specific needs:

Canada Post:

  • Best for:
    • Domestic shipments: Canada Post excels in delivering packages within Canada, offering a broad range of services and affordable options.
    • Affordable options: For budget-conscious shippers, Canada Post’s regular mail and expedited parcel services can provide cost-effective solutions for non-urgent shipments.
    • Local deliveries: With a vast network of post offices and drop-off locations, Canada Post provides convenient access for local deliveries.
    • Convenience: Canada Post’s widespread accessibility makes it easy to send and receive packages.


  • Best for:
    • Time-sensitive shipments: Purolator’s express service is ideal for urgent deliveries requiring overnight delivery within major urban areas.
    • Guaranteed delivery times: For shipments where on-time delivery is crucial, Purolator offers guaranteed delivery times, providing peace of mind.
    • Enhanced tracking: Purolator’s tracking platform provides comprehensive information on the location and progress of your package.
    • Comprehensive insurance options: Purolator offers a wider range of insurance options, providing greater protection for valuable or fragile shipments.


  • What is the cheapest option for shipping a small package within Canada?

Canada Post’s Regular Mail is typically the most economical option for lightweight and non-urgent shipments.

  • Which carrier is faster for delivering a package from Toronto to Vancouver?

Purolator’s Express service offers overnight delivery for most packages within major urban centers. However, Canada Post’s Xpresspost service can also be competitive for this route.

  • Can I ship internationally with both carriers?

Yes, both Canada Post and Purolator offer international shipping services. However, their rates and service levels vary depending on the destination country.

  • What happens if my package gets lost or damaged?

Both carriers have insurance options to cover lost or damaged packages. Review their websites for specific coverage details and claim procedures.

  • How can I track my package?

Both carriers provide online tracking tools allowing you to monitor your package’s progress in real-time.

  • Are there any hidden fees I should be aware of?

Always check for potential fees like fuel surcharges, residential delivery fees, or additional insurance charges.


Choosing between Canada Post and Purolator ultimately depends on your individual needs and priorities. Canada Post is a budget-friendly option for domestic shipments, offering convenient accessibility and a wide range of services. Purolator excels in providing fast and reliable delivery with enhanced tracking capabilities and comprehensive insurance options. By carefully considering the factors discussed in this blog post, you can select the carrier that best suits your requirements for your next shipment. Remember to visit the official websites of both carriers for the most up-to-date information on their services, rates, and promotions.