How long does Canada Post hold a parcel? Depends on Multiple Factors

The duration for which Canada Post holds a parcel is a vital aspect of the delivery process that can impact both senders and recipients. However, the length of the holding period is not fixed. It can vary based on several factors.

Understanding these factors is crucial for ensuring successful parcel delivery and retrieval. In this article, we will explore the main reasons that influence the duration for which Canada Post holds a parcel. Let’s rush down to the main details.

How long does Canada Post hold a parcel
How long does Canada Post hold a parcel

How long does Canada Post hold a package?

Canada Post typically holds a package for a certain period before taking further action. The duration for which they hold a package can vary depending on the specific service used for shipping and the type of package. In general, packages are held for a period of 15 days from the date of delivery attempt.

During this time, the recipient has the opportunity to collect the package from their local post office or arrange for a redelivery. If the recipient fails to retrieve the package within the 15-day window, it may be returned to the sender.

It will mainly depend on the return policy specified by the sender or the shipping service used. To avoid any inconvenience, it is crucial for recipients to keep track of their packages’ tracking information and be vigilant about collecting their parcels promptly.

In some cases, specific services or situations may allow for extended holding periods or additional options for package retrieval. For instance, if the package requires additional customs clearance, the holding period may be extended to accommodate the clearance process.

Main Reasons Why Canada Post May Hold a Parcel

Canada Post may hold a parcel for various reasons. You need to understand them to ensure a smooth delivery process. I am going share here some of the main reasons why Canada Post may hold a parcel. Let’s check them out.

  • Customs Clearance: If the parcel is an international shipment, it may go through customs clearance. The customs authorities inspect the package to assess duties, taxes, and compliance with import regulations. This process can take time, leading to a temporary hold on the parcel.
  • Insufficient Postage: If the sender hasn’t paid sufficient postage or hasn’t adhered to the correct shipping guidelines, Canada Post may hold the parcel until the recipient covers the postage deficit.
  • Recipient Unavailability: When the recipient is not present at the delivery address during the initial delivery attempt, Canada Post will hold the parcel at the local post office for a specific period. This gives the recipient a chance to collect the package or request a redelivery.
  • Security Concerns: In certain cases, Canada Post may hold a parcel due to security concerns. Suspicious or potentially hazardous items may be subject to further inspection or held until they are deemed safe for delivery.
  • Incorrect Address: If the address on the package is incomplete, inaccurate, or unclear, Canada Post may hold the parcel. They need to verify the correct delivery location with the sender or recipient.
  • Weather or Natural Disasters: Severe weather conditions or natural disasters can disrupt mail delivery services. In such situations, Canada Post may temporarily hold parcels until it is safe to resume regular operations.

Canada Post’s Policy on Parcel Holding for Different Services

Canada Post holds parcels based on different services and circumstances. You need to know them in full details. Knowledge about them will help you to take the necessary steps. Some of the key bullet points of Canada Post policy on parcel holding are shared below.

  • Regular Mails are hold for 15 days from the delivery attempt.
  • Expedited Parcels are hold for 5-7 business days.
  • Priority parcels are hold for 5-7 business days.
  • Xpresspost parcels are hold for 5-7 business days.
  • International Parcels are hold for customs clearance and recipient pickup.
  • FlexDelivery parcels are hold for 15 days from arrival at the pickup location.
  • Card-for-Pickup parcels are hold for 15 days from the delivery attempt.
  • Community Mailbox parcels are hold for 10-15 days, depending on the location.
  • Signature items parcels are hold for pickup if the recipient is unavailable during delivery.

How to Request Parcel Holding with Canada Post

Requesting parcel holding with Canada Post is a simple and convenient process. It ensure the safekeeping of your package when you’re unavailable for delivery. Follow these steps to request parcel holding:

Visit the Canada Post Website: Go to the official Canada Post website, where you can access their online services.

Track Your Package: Use the tracking number provided to locate your package and check its delivery status.

Delivery Notice Card: If the delivery attempt was unsuccessful, Canada Post leaves a delivery notice card at your address. It will have instructions on how to proceed.

Choose a Pickup Location: On the delivery notice card, you can select a nearby post office or retail location to hold your parcel.

Request Redelivery or Pickup: If you prefer redelivery, you can schedule it for a more suitable time. If you choose pickup, make sure to note the location and its business hours.

Online Redelivery Tool: Alternatively, you can use Canada Post’s online redelivery tool on their website to schedule a new delivery attempt.

Provide Identification: When picking up the parcel, bring a government-issued photo ID. It will help to ensure the name on the ID matches the recipient’s name.

Hold Period: Be aware of the hold period specified for your service and ensure timely collection to avoid package returns.

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

If your parcel is not picked up from Canada Post within the designated hold period, there are several steps you can take. First, verify the specific hold period for your service. The hold duration can vary depending on the service used, ranging from 5 to 15 days.

If you are unable to pick up the parcel within the hold period, get in touch with Canada Post customer service as soon as possible. They may be able to provide you with options or extensions for parcel retrieval.

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

This authorization should include their full name, signature, and a photocopy of your government-issued photo ID. The authorized person must also present their ID while picking up the package. If you are unable to pick up the parcel at the initial location, you may request Canada Post to redirect it to another address.

If the hold period has expired, and you have not made 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 potential re-shipping options.

For extended absences or frequent delivery challenges, consider using Canada Post’s Hold Mail service. It temporarily suspends mail and parcel delivery, ensuring that items are held securely until your return. Remember that prompt action is crucial if you are unable to pick up your parcel within the hold period.


The length of time Canada Post holds a parcel is influenced by multiple factors. Recipients must be aware of the specific holding periods for different services and take prompt action to collect their packages within the designated timeframe.

I tried to share the reasons behind parcel holding and following the guidelines provided by Canada Post. Staying informed and proactive will not only prevent delays and potential returns. Guarantee the safe and timely receipt of parcels with Canada Post.

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