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Tracking Guide: Shipment Picked up by Canada Post

A package has recently been sent and you have received a “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Is it as obvious as it sounds or is there more to it?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Shipment Picked up by Canada Post

The “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” tracking alert is triggered when the Canada Post driver (or applicable third-party partner) first picks up a package. The alert can also be sent if a drop box or collection point is used. Importantly, the package has yet to enter the Canada Post delivery infrastructure at the point the update is created.

Shipment Picked up by Canada Post – Guide

So, on the face of it, the “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” means what it states, namely Canada Post (or a related third party) has possession of the package.

It has been picked up by the postal service.

However, until the shipment enters the post office or a local Canada Post facility for its first scan into the delivery network, there exists a bit of a grey area in terms of legal responsibility. 

We will cover this in a section below, however, first, let’s take a look at what normally happens after a “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” update.

The Process

Essentially, the package is at the very beginning of its transit journey at the point the alert is sent.

After being transported to the local post office or facility it will be sorted for dispatch to the destination address. An international shipment will be redirected to an appropriate hub for cross-border transit.

Even a long-distance domestic shipment with Canada may also travel via air cargo should the appropriate service speed have been used, (or the distance great enough).

Essentially, the alert is a standard update that signifies Canada Post is aware of the shipment and that transit toward the nearest sorting center will now take place.

Tracking Stuck on “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post”

Shipment Picked up by Canada Post

A problem occurs if you see this tracking update for too long without any further alerts.

The chances are you have reached this article because you are experiencing this right now.

In fact, during the Covid Pandemic, this was happening a lot. Packages would be picked up by Canada Post, reach the post office or sort center, and not be scanned for days.

It was all down to the backlog caused by staff shortages.

Just because the package had reached the facility, doesn’t mean that it will be processed straight away.

If there is a large backlog, the package will go to the back of a large line of items that need to be sorted and scanned.

When your tracking doesn’t update past the “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” alert for several days, this is the most common reason and will occur on occasion, pandemic or otherwise.

This means that patience is necessary during such a time.

And while you can always contact Canada Post for an update, they are unlikely to make the issue a priority. Eventually, your package will be scanned and the shipping process will resume.

But it Has Been Weeks Now, the Package Must be Lost!


If several weeks pass, it is very likely that the package is now lost.

Unfortunately, depending on the Canada Post service used, (was the shipment insured?) you may not be able to claim any compensation for the missing package.

As this forum post shows; “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” does not mean received by Canada Post.

It seems that Canada Post only sees itself liable once the package has entered the delivery infrastructure properly, i.e once it is inside the post office or sort facility and receives its first scan there.

Before this takes place, the item is in a situation legally, where Canada Post is not liable to “either proceed investigation or compensate you for it.

Thanks, Canada Post!

Yet another area where the Canadian postal service fails to win any supporters. (In my opinion, the fact you are not covered in this situation is ridiculous).

If the package really is lost or stolen, there is little you can do because Canada Post will not even look into it for you.

Long story short, with important packages, take them to the post office yourself and/or purchase insurance.

Final Words

Overall, the “Shipment Picked up by Canada Post” tracking update is to inform you that Canada Post or a relevant third party has picked up the package and it is on its way to the nearest sorting facility.

With any luck, it will be scanned, sorted, and dispatched to the destination address without delay.

If it doesn’t, you now know what to do.

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