Help support TMP

"Unreasonably slow delivery to Canada?" Topic

21 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Wargaming in Canada Message Board

Back to the Shipping and Customs Message Board

Areas of Interest


1,168 hits since 17 Jun 2015
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Pattus Magnus17 Jun 2015 7:34 a.m. PST

I'm in Alberta, Canada, and in the past few months all of the orders I've placed with several gaming companies in the UK have been very slow to arrive. Previously, shipments from the UK typically arrived within two weeks. I checked the postmarks and all of the suppliers sent the the packages promptly, so the delays are coming from somewhere in the postal system.

I'm curious if other gamers in Canada are experiencing a recent increase in delays on international orders.

Codsticker17 Jun 2015 7:49 a.m. PST

I have had the odd order come slowly, but generally they are only 2-3 weeks. My most recent ebay purchase from the UK was prompt.

boy wundyr x17 Jun 2015 8:06 a.m. PST

My last few have been "normal speed", a couple of weeks too. Were they sent surface or air?

OTOH, the strangest trip I've had a parcel take was when Royal Post sent one box (of two, it was a large order from Irregular) to Australia, then back to the UK, then finally to Canada. One box came in two weeks, the other in about six, all sent on the same day.

Buff Orpington17 Jun 2015 8:23 a.m. PST

You'd think the pack ice would have melted by now.

GonerGonerGoner17 Jun 2015 8:36 a.m. PST

I sold an item on ebay which sat in your customs for over three weeks. About 4 days in the post from UK to Canada, then almost four weeks for a dozen or so lead minis to clear customs.

Maybe the Women's World Cup has caused an upsurge in security?

DColtman17 Jun 2015 8:43 a.m. PST

I'm also in Alberta and have been waiting an unusually long time for a UK order to arrive. I know the date it shipped from the vender, so it must be held up somewhere. A bag MDF bases with a value of around 20 quid – go figure.

In the past shipping from the UK has been very reliable and fast.

Toronto4817 Jun 2015 9:04 a.m. PST

Have heard from sources that more overseas parcels are now being scanned does not mean that duty will be charged A lot of our packages contain elements like resin, various metals and occasional paints that can trip a sensor requiring a more detailed look I have found that straight books packages come through OK while "toys" are slow

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2015 9:12 a.m. PST

My guess is that they are being held up by customs.

wrgmr117 Jun 2015 9:31 a.m. PST

I live in White Rock, British Columbia, just south of Vancouver and I've seen packages take 3 weeks or more. One from Front Rank took over 6 weeks.

I actually contacted them and they sent a replacement shipment which came a day before the original one.

IronDuke596 Supporting Member of TMP17 Jun 2015 9:42 a.m. PST

I live in Ontario and I regularly receive my orders between 8 and 14 days…from good companies such as Front Rank, Perry, Warlord and Renedra.

Pattus Magnus17 Jun 2015 10:25 a.m. PST

Hmmm, I don't think it's the pack ice (icebreakers are one of the few ship types the Canadian navy does have these days), or the Women's World Cup (a couple of the slow orders were placed months ago, when pack ice could have still been an issue ;) ).

It seems like it might be something with the Customs process for air freight arriving in the western Canadian area (Alberta and BC).

Or maybe it's just random, always a possibility with Canada Customs…

Thanks for the replies!

gisbygeo17 Jun 2015 1:23 p.m. PST

I'm in Winnipeg, and times have been very slow – a month or more. Several have gone missing completely.

DColtman17 Jun 2015 4:02 p.m. PST

Hey lo and behold mine arrived today!

Posted from the UK May 21st by airmail, 4 weeks door to door. Must have been a strong headwind.

Mako1117 Jun 2015 5:29 p.m. PST

Seems to me cross-border traffic, going both ways, probably due to additional screening, is very slow, and has been for several years now.

Stuff from Europe has been slow too, inbound, to America.

Codsticker18 Jun 2015 8:21 a.m. PST

Yesterday I received an order from Partisan that took only 9 days. Go figure…

Midgetmanifesto18 Jun 2015 10:22 a.m. PST

TL;DR – there are changes afoot in Canada post that MIGHT be adding to delivery delays.

The border is pretty random for the delays it imposes. I have a friend who is a postie who reports that Canada post is revising all the routes (a fairly regular thing) and changing how the delivery is done (a new big change).

The posties now do all letters, magazines, small packages AND big packages on their own route. Everyone gets a truck. They aren't given time to sort their mail (it just sorta disappeared), and supposedly they get time savings from having mechanically sorted mail (which still needs the magazines, leaflets, & packages interlaced into them by hand).

It all sounds a bit chaotic, as any big change usually is. Maybe it will be a better way to do things? Who knows…
In summary, it could be that the changes moving through the system right now are giving a big delay to the terminal (last couple klicks) delivery.

Codsticker19 Jun 2015 6:48 a.m. PST

Interesting stuff. What puzzles me is the difference in postage in shipping something from Canada to the UK or from the US to Canada (both expensive) compared to shipping from the UK to Canada (relatively in-expensive).

Pattus Magnus19 Jun 2015 7:30 a.m. PST

I've wondered about that too, Codsticker, but I'm not complaining about the UK to Canada connection! Most of my mail-order gaming purchases are from companies in the UK…

spontoon21 Jun 2015 8:53 a.m. PST

As a Canada Post Employee, a wargamer and a wargames vendor this phenomenon has hit me hard. It seems that any parcel over 1kg, or so; gets dealt with differently from Britain. They all come by a company called Parcel Force. Not the British Post Office.

Remember, that is not literal weight. Most post offices nowadays work on a " volumetric weight" system. This involves quantum physics and higher mathematics than I am capable of doing. length X width X depth X weight divided by 6000 used to be the formula at Canada Post. It may be different now. So, a packet with only a couple hundred grams of lead might be over the 1kg limit!

I have had very poor delivery times lately, and I fear my suppliers have been taking the blame. I just picked up a parcel yesterday that had been posted on the 16th. of January! So, not the suppliers' fault!

As far as Customs goes, I had a friend that worked for Canada Customs at Toronto Airport. I once asked him what process was used to determine which parcels were processed first. First-in/First-out?,or Some other factor. His answer was, "Closest to the door".

I do find that if the mailer marks the parcel " toy soldiers", or somesuch description it is more likely to be hit for customs duty, and seems to take longer. Probably triggering a closer scan. I try to train my suppliers to use " unfinished White Metal castings' as the description for customs. Seems to avert Customs scrutiny!

@ Midgetmanifesto; the changes at Canada Post don't make that much difference to the delivery time. At least not from the local depot level. Perhaps at the point of entry to Canada, it would.

I'd like to finish off with kudos to the Australian Post Office. I have had parcels arrive from them in 3 days! I think that at least two of those must have been in the hands of my colleagues at Canada Post! SO! Aussie Post, Good on yer!!!!

Pattus Magnus22 Jun 2015 8:16 a.m. PST

Spontoon, thanks for the insider's perspective, those are some interesting insights.

I just hope whichever link in the system has held up deliveries here recently gets any problems worked out. Over the past ten years when I've been making overseas orders consistently, Canada Post has almost always delivered well within a reasonable time frame (I'd estimate less than one very late/lost package to me per year). Considering the number of gaming purchases I made and the number of parts in the system where something could go wrong, that's pretty amazing. I really don't want to have to rely on private courier companies – they're (usually) quick, but expensive.

Marcus Brutus25 Jun 2015 6:43 a.m. PST

Yes, I have noticed a change in shipping time recently. It has gone from 2 weeks to 4 weeks on average.

SurfingMoose26 Jun 2015 10:01 a.m. PST

I'm in Vancouver and once in a blue moon does an order take 3+ weeks. If it does I put it down to being lost in the system. This has happened with items with tracking numbers.

Have actually placed an order on a Thursday and received it by Tuesday. I was impressed.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.