How long does Canada post hold a parcel before returning it to sender?

How long does Canada post hold a parcel before returning it to sender? Canada Post holds packages for an inordinate amount of time before they decide how to handle them in the complex dance of parcel delivery and logistics, which resonates with many recipients.

Individuals may become concerned about the fate of their shipments when timelines are unclear, resulting in an increase in concern. In this blog post, we explore how Canada Post keeps parcels before returning them.

The fate of our cherished packages can be influenced by a number of factors during this temporal window, as we explore the nuances of this period.

How long does Canada post hold a parcel before returning it to sender?

Normal conditions allow a domestic parcel to be held at a post office for 15 calendar days for pickup. It is a standard holding period that gives recipients ample time to retrieve items that were unable to be delivered.

If a package remains unclaimed after 15 days, Canada Post will return it to the original sender.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused Canada Post to suspend its normal 15-day hold period. Parcels left at the post office for pickup will not be returned to the sender until further notice.

Customers who are ill or self-isolated are advised to wait until it is safe to pick up their parcel.

More detailed information and customer service information are available on the official website of Canada Post. 

How to Request Parcel Holding with Canada Post?

With Canada Post’s parcel holding service, your package is safe and secure while you are unavailable to receive it.

Preparing your parcel for delivery is as simple as following these steps:

The following steps can be followed to request a hold on your parcel through Canada Post:

  1. Online:
    • Visit the website of Canada Post for more information.
    • The information you enter should include your address and identification.
    • The length of the service needs to be determined.
    • Making a payment with a credit card is possible.
  2. At a Post Office:
    • The order form can be filled out at home rather than going to the post office.
    • You can find your nearest post office there.
    • It is necessary to show both the form and your ID.
    • Make a payment.

The person ordering on your behalf must provide a government-issued photo identification and proof of authorization if they do not already have a Canada Post account.

More detailed information and customer service information are available on the official website of Canada Post.

Canada Post’s Policy on Parcel Holding for Different Services

Canada Post holds parcels based on the service it provides and the circumstances surrounding the parcel transfer.

The following key bullet points will help you better understand Canada Post’s parcel holding policy if you are not familiar with it.

  • Priority parcels take 5-7 business days to process.
  • Five to seven business days are required for Xpresspost to hold packages.
  • The recipient must pick up a parcel sent internationally after it has been cleared by customs.
  • In the case of regular mail, a hold period of 15 days is in effect from the date the delivery attempt was made.
  • A parcel delivered by expedited service may take up to seven business days.
  • Depending on the location, parcel delivery to Community Mailboxes is held for 10 to 15 days.
  • A signature item will be held for pickup in the event that the recipient is not available for delivery.
  • FlexDelivery holds parcels for 15 days after they are picked up at the pickup location.
  • It takes 15 days for a Card-for-Pickup parcel to be released after an attempt to deliver it has been made.

How long does Canada Post hold a package?

The time that Canada Post holds the package depends on the type of package and the particular service that is being used for shipping. Usually, packages are held for 15 days after they are attempted to be delivered.

If the recipient does not pick up the package during this time, the package will be returned to sender. If the recipient does not pick up the package, the package will be returned to sender.

It is essential for recipients to keep track of their packages’ tracking information and pick up their packages as soon as possible, based on the return policy specified by the sender or shipping service.

Packages that require additional customs clearance may require an extended holding period. For example, if package clearance is necessary, the holding period can be extended.

What to Do If Your Parcel is Not Picked Up in Time?

The hold duration for your service will vary based on the service you use, ranging from 5 to 15 days. When your parcel isn’t picked up within the designated hold period, you can take several steps.

You may be able to request an extension or re-pick up the parcel if you are unable to pick up the parcel during the hold period by contacting Canada Post customer service as soon as possible.

If your package is still within the hold period, Canada Post may offer a redelivery service. Consider providing a pickup authorization to someone you trust if you cannot pick up the parcel personally. You can arrange a new delivery attempt at a time more convenient for you.

Your authorization should include a copy of your government-issued photo ID, their full name, and their signature.

You may request Canada Post to redirect the parcel to another address if you cannot pick up the parcel at the initial location. The authorized person must also present their ID when picking up the package.

In cases where the hold period has expired without any arrangements for redelivery or pickup, Canada Post may return the parcel to the sender. In such cases, you should contact the sender to discuss possible reshipping.

Canada post hold a parcel

Main Reasons Why Canada Post May Hold a Parcel

A parcel may be held by Canada Post for a number of reasons. It is important to know what these reasons are so that delivery can be performed smoothly.

I will give you some of the main reasons why a parcel may be held.

Recipient Unavailability: 

When the recipient is not present at the delivery address when the parcel is delivered, Canada Post will hold it for a specific period of time at the local post office.

If the recipient is not present at the delivery address, they can collect the package or request a redelivery.

Security Concerns: 

Canada Post has the right to hold a parcel due to security concerns. Items suspected to be suspicious or potentially hazardous may be inspected more closely or held until it is determined to be safe for delivery.

Customs Clearance: 

If the parcel is being shipped internationally, it may have to pass through customs. In addition to determining duties and taxes, customs officials ensure that the package complies with import regulations. This process may take some time, which may cause a temporary hold on the package.

Insufficient Postage: 

Depending on the circumstances, Canada Post may hold a parcel until the recipient covers the postage deficit due to insufficient postage from the sender or inadequate shipping instructions from the recipient.

Incorrect Address: 

It is possible that Canada Post may still hold a package if the address is incomplete, inaccurate, or unclear, so that the sender or recipient can verify the correct delivery address with them.

Weather or Natural Disasters: 

It is possible for severe weather conditions or natural disasters to disrupt mail delivery services. In these situations, Canada Post may temporarily hold parcels until regular operations can resume.

Canada Post Delivery But Not Received Complete Guide


Having investigated Canada Post’s parcel holding policy over the last several months, we have realized the best way to ensure timely and safe delivery of packages is through proactive engagement.

In order for Canada Post to function smoothly, it is important to understand how long parcels are held before returning them to sender.

In order to participate actively in the smooth operation of the postal system, one must understand how long parcels are held before they are returned to sender.

The recipient plays an extremely important role in this process, especially when tracking information is available, delivery attempts are monitored, and alerts or requests for action are addressed promptly.

In addition to protecting our packages from untimely returns, we will also improve Canada Post’s delivery services’ efficiency and reliability through our commitment to responsibility and awareness.

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