It is still November, but local postal workers say they are already feeling the start of a likely unprecedented Christmas season for parcels.
Shari Cloutier is the secretary/treasurer with Canada Post North Bay CUPW Union local 576.
With Christmas approaching, they are planning to bring in more staff to help offset the Christmas rush.
"The rush did start very early this year," noted Cloutier.
"So they have basically tried to change the floor plan to make room for parcels knowing how much they have increased. They are planning to bring extra people for strictly parcel delivery. So on the positive side, that means more jobs while keeping some more of our casual employees working and giving us some relief."
See related: Postal workers seeing Christmas level parcel rush in May
In fact, postal workers have been busy since the outset of the pandemic as many felt the weight of Christmas level parcel volume back as early as May.
"It never really let up from the spring," admitted Cloutier.
"In the summer with parcels, we normally get a bit of a breather and get to give your body a rest but this year it really never let up from March on through.
"Today, for example, there are so many more than what we are used to," she admitted.
"I am anticipating on top of everything that has been happening parcel-wise, it is only going to increase because now with COVID-19's greater restrictions more people will be ordering online as well as for their normal online shopping."
With that massive amount of parcels to deliver, the postal workers ask local residents to be patient with the process.
"It was heavy last week, Monday was brutally heavy and I see that happening through Christmas," she said.
"Be patient and understand that some of our processes have changed, including signing off on registered letters. Hopefully, people are just patient and respectful that we have made some changes in our delivery that might inconvenience some but hopefully is for the greater public good."