With a possible Canada Post lockout looming and postal costs soaring, an enterprising family run business is driving to the rescue to help Canadian e-commerce businesses keep deliveries to customers on-track — no matter what.
For more than 15 years, Chit Chats Express has been driving mail across the border to the US Postal Service for thousands of businesses. Chit Chats truck fleets transport thousands of parcels and mail (valued at $800 or less) every day from its locations in Halifax, Toronto, Markham, Mississauga, Pickering and Vancouver.
Thousands of Businesses Could Be Left in the Postal Lurch
“While Canada Post has been trying to avoid a strike or lockout, it’s not looking good. We’ve had an influx of calls from panicked business owners this week as Canada Post has been advising them to proactively find alternative shipping methods,” says Chit Chats Express President & CEO Carly Wood, who estimates call volume is up 250% over this time last year.
“A potential lockout could mean that thousands of online businesses will be unable to delivery their products through Canada Post, so it’s gratifying to be able to offer a helping hand since Chit Chats Express can cost-effectively deliver to the USA through the US Postal Service – and we’ll be open six days a week all summer long,” she says. For within Canada deliveries, Wood says Chit Chats has created a unique partnership with Canpar and UPS courier services to help small businesses benefit from Chit Chats volume rate discounts.
Demand for Postal Alternatives is Growing
“We’ve become a one-stop ship to the USA shop thanks to our willingness to do what it takes to cut the bureaucracy, hassle and costs that make it hard for Canadian retailers to succeed,” says Wood, who adds that most Chit Chats customers can save an average 70% on cross-border US Postal Service shipping, compared to traditional Canada Post business rates.
The past five years have seen massive growth for Chit Chats Express, which Woods’ family started back in 2001 with one rickety green Suzuki station wagon and a necessity to save on shipping costs. “We ran a bookstore back then and we just could not afford the cross-border postage costs, so out of necessity my Dad started driving to the US to drop off mail at the US Postal Service,” she says. Wood says that word soon spread and soon the family’s station wagon was overflowing with parcels from a range of local businesses.
Chit Chats Express Hustles to Help Canadian Businesses During Postal Lockout
“We quickly evolved; got a fleet of cube vans to expedite deliveries and began focusing solely on helping Canadian retailers and small businesses save money, hassle and time on US deliveries,” says Wood. “Wood says the success of Chit Chats Express is a testament to her late Father, Derek Nolan’s enterprising spirit and enthusiasm for helping e-commerce businesses succeed.”
Today, Chit Chats Express has six locations – a newly opened Vancouver depot, a Toronto depot, three GTA suburban warehouses and a Halifax depot. As the business has evolved, Chit Chats has grown to offer full-service fulfilment, technical support for digital services like Stamps.com and on-site access to printing and tracking software. Chit Chats Express also offers pick-up services for high-volume customers and prides itself on offering its customers competitive postage discounts that otherwise are not available in Canada.