Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers saw postal and courier shipments rise “significantly” in the past year, as more Canadians turned to online shopping in the midst of the pandemic.
In a year-end review, CBSA reported 4,833,327 truck drivers entered Canada between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31, with border service officers processing 4,511,477 trucks. During the same months in 2020, they had processed 4,455,371 commercial trucks, compared to 4,599,225 during the 10-month period in 2019.
Since Covid-19 emerged, CBSA has cleared 4,738 vaccine shipments, representing more than 78.9 million doses. As of Nov. 30, 61,902,952 vaccine doses have been administered in Canada.
The volume of courier low-value shipments has also grown 117% over the past three years, and the numbers are expected to rise further with evolving e-commerce activity, the agency said.
Making a point of reporting that truck drivers were exempt from quarantine requirements during the pandemic, CBSA also noted that it is prepared for new border measures to be implemented in January.
Those will include vaccination requirements for truck drivers.
“The CBSA remains ready to adapt the measures as the situation evolves,” it said.
There was also plenty to stop in the past year. Border services officers completed 42,839 seizures including 47,787 goods that included 908 firearms as of Oct. 31. Another 1,016 penalties were issued for food, plant and animal import violations.
“CBSA employees have accomplished so much over the past year – they diligently kept our country and its citizens safe, while facilitating the flow of travellers and goods,” said CBSA president John Ossowski.
“As they were adapting to Covid-19 related changes, they have showed great leadership, resilience and adaptability. I am confident that CBSA employees will continue to anticipate and respond to evolving needs and priorities of our communities and our country.”