Worried about your parcels in Calais? You don’t need to be

Submitted photo Postal outlets in Calais, Maine, including the one at Johnson’s True Value Hardware, are letting Canadians know that they don’t have to worry about not being able to pick up their mail and items they have ordered online. In fact, they are telling people to continue ordering, and their packages will be waiting for them when they can once again cross the border.

Calais, Maine – Canadians who have ordered items and had them shipped to various locations in Calais do not have to worry about their parcels being sent back and having to re-order. Those who have post office boxes at the Calais Post Office were worried, because some of the boxes are very small and once they are filled there is no room for other items to be stored in them.

Postal Clerk Mark McKinnon said there is nothing for Canadian customers to worry about at this time. Regardless of the number of parcels on the way, or have already been delivered, they will be held until such time Canadians are able to cross the border and pick up their mail.

“We’ll hold everything here. We’re not sending anything back,” said McKinnon.

The United States Postal Service is not the only way Canadians can receive mail in Calais. There are various depots in Calais where people can pay a small fee to have mail sent to those locations to be picked up. There are hold times for items, but at the moment, this has been suspended. Canadians who have placed orders or who are expecting mail in any form do not have to worry that it is going to be returned to sender.

The mail department at Johnson’s True Value Hardware is busy, and items are being stored in the back room until customers are able to pick them up. Beatrice Cheney, who runs the postal department at the store, said nothing is going to be disposed of or returned to sender. She also said that customers may have others pick up their mail if they are unable to do so themselves.

“If they have someone coming through who can pick it up, that’s fine,” said Cheney. “If not, it will be here when they can get here to get it. Normally you have 60 days, or two months. If they want to order and have it come in and sit on the shelves, we have no problem with that.”

Cheney said she expects to see an influx of orders because of COVID-19. It is affecting businesses, and many business owners are reducing prices in order to be able to sell their stock.

“There are probably a lot of good buys they can catch right now. People will be pushing merchandise in order to keep their businesses going.”

When asked what will happen if they begin to run out of room for items that are being stored until they can be picked up, Cheney said if “push comes to shove, we’ll make the space”.

C&E Feeds in Calais is another delivery depot, and they are also making sure no one has to worry about their mail being returned or not being able to receive merchandise they have ordered online. They are also offering an additional option, although it is a rather costly option.

“We’re able to ship out via FedEx over the border,” said store manager Mike Lawson. “It’s a little expensive to do that. Most packages would cost $50 or more.”

Lawson said anyone who can’t afford to pay this additional shipping cost doesn’t have to worry about their merchandise being returned. They are still storing items customers have had delivered to the store, and they will continue to do so. He said people are still placing orders, and they are still receiving shipments at the store.

“It’s going to be like Christmas over here,” said Lawson. “People can still order and ship here, and we’re storing the packages until you guys are able to get back over the border.”

Lawson said people do not need to call to make sure their orders are still there, and if they are able to pick them up, the store is using temporary hours, open until 1 p.m. He added that if there is a large delivery of large items on pallets, they will wait around for that delivery. They are also practicing social distancing, and not allowing customers inside the store. All business transactions are being done at the door.

The Saint Croix Courier reached out to the Package Depot in Calais, but received no response.

sarigreen@stcroixcourier.ca