Fulfillment companies process, pick, pack and ship your orders, but not do the delivery themselves. Instead they rely on a variety of well-known shipping companies to do the job. These are usually private logistics and supply chain management companies such as UPS, or public, state-owned carriers like Canada Post (in Canada).
Each option has its advantages and drawbacks.
Dealing with Canada Post has one major advantage: it is quite inexpensive for Canadian shipments, although that tends to evolve quite rapidly. The main disadvantage is that packages cannot be tracked, for all intents and purposes. The only information available is whether the package has shipped, which you already know, and whether it’s been received, which you probably also aware of. Making any type of inquiry through Canada Post can take weeks.
UPS, on the other hand, is very responsive. It is not only very easy to track packages online, but getting somebody on the phone is simple and fast, and they are generally not only willing to help, but often able to; those are two different things! What many won’t like about UPS is that they can be significantly more expensive than a national carrier such as Canada Post.
That’s where dealing with a leading order fulfillment company can help. Because of their large volumes, they are normally able to wrestle large discounts which UPS, which they can in turn pass on to you.
Working with these companies can bring you discounts as high as 30% off UPS’s published rates, which can almost eliminate the Canada Post pricing advantage, while retaining all of UPS’s benefits, such as tracking, guaranteed services, etc.
Be aware that not all order fulfillment companies pass on their shipping discounts to the customer – you. Make sure you read the fine print and get the discount you deserve!
In the end, it’s really a matter of volume, and time. If you ship only a few items a day, then you can probably afford to work with Canada Post. When the occasional item gets lost or misdirected, you can spend the time it takes with them to correct the problem, file a claim, et cetera. If you are shipping larger volumes, you simply cannot afford to use anything but UPS: this is when the value of better service becomes obvious.
As the customer, the choice is always yours, of course. We always recommend the use of a shipping company offering tracking (such as UPS), but it is possible to use Canada Post first, and then switch when your shipping volume increases.