Monday, June 21, 2010

Domestic Surface Fourth Class Mail During the Centennial Period

This article provides an overview of domestic parcel post mail rates during the Centennial period. There were five parcel post rate periods:

1. To September 31, 1967
2. From October 1, 1967 to October 31, 1968
3. From November 1, 1968 to December 31, 1969
4. From January 1, 1970 to December 31, 1971
5. From January 1, 1972

1. To September 31, 1967

Parcel rates were calculated on the basis of weight (weight limit 25 lb.) and destination (parcels over 12 oz.). Special rates applied to parcels to and from the Northwest Territories.

This example of parcel rates is the chart for parcels mailed from Manitoba:

Although the table starts at 1 lb. and gives rates for additional even pound weights, additional instructions for calculating parcels weighing less than one pound and for parcels weighing over an even pound of weight were also provided:

a) Parcels up to and including 12 ounces

Postage for parcels up to and including 12 ounces was the same for all destinations. Parcels were subject to a minimum charge of 5 cents covering a weight of 4 ounces, plus 1 cent for each ounce in excess of 4 ounces.

b) Parcels over 12 0z. but not exceeding ! lb.

Parcels over 12 ounces but not exceeding one pound in weight were liable to the one pound rate to province of destination.

c) Parcels weighing over an even pound of weight:

Parcels were liable to 1 cent an ounce on excess weight over one pound until the next pound rate or group rate was reached

2. October 1, 1967 to October 1968

On October 1, 1967, the uniform parcel rates that applied to parcels up to 12 ounces was increased to parcels up to 1 lb. As well, "parcel rate zones" were introduced to calculate rates of parcels over 1 lb. :
  • Atlantic (N.S., N.B., P.E.I., Nfld.)
  • Quebec
  • Ontario
  • Man. and Sask,
  • Alta, B.C., Yukon
The Northwest Territories had been excluded from the zone structure and special rates for parcels to and from the NWT were in effect.

Parcel Post Rates:

Rates for parcels weighing less than one pound were incorporated into the chart.

The rate for a parcel weighing over 8 ounces to 1 lb. was 30 cents to all destinations. The rate zone table begins with weights over 1 lb.

The previous method of charging parcels in excess of even pound weights was changed. Charge categories were now within weight ranges, eg. over 1 lb. to 2 lb. The rate for a 1 lb. 1 oz. parcel was the same as that for a 2 lb. parcel.

Parcels exceeding size limits were subject to a surcharge of 50 cents.

Surface domestic Fourth Class matter (parcel) rates were calculated according to the weight of the object (over 1 lb.) and the number of rate zones to be crossed.

Canadians did not enjoy uniform parcel post rates for parcels over 1 lb. For example, a parcel from Ontario could be sent to any other rate zone in Canada by crossing a maximum of only 2 rate zones. On the other hand, parcels mailed from provinces such as British Columbia and Newfoundland to any other rate zone in Canada could cross as many as 4 zones.

The chart below provides examples for each zone.

As can be seen, Ontario mailers enjoyed the cheapest parcel rates because of the province's central location.

Parcel Sent Within British Columbia
Riondel, B.C., to Vancouver, October 28, 1967
$1.05 paying the over 8 lb. to 9 lb. parcel rate within the same zone

3. November 1, 1968 to December 31, 1969

The definition of "Domestic Fourth Class Matter" was amended on November 1, 1968 to read: "all mailable matter, weighing more than one pound and not requiring payment at the first class mail rate...

Despite the new definition, the Rate Table notes still provide rates for parcels up to and including 16 ounces. Postage was 5 cents for the first two ounces or fraction and 3 cents for each additional two ounces or fraction. The rate for an 10 ounce parcel was 17 cents:
1st two ounces...............................5c
next 8 ounces (3c/2oz.)...............12

A 10 ounce parcel in the previous rate period would have been charged 30 cents as it fell under the "over 8 oz. to 1 lb." category.

Rates for parcels over 1 1lb. were unchanged. The surcharge for oversize parcels increased from 50c to 75c.

Parcel sent within Ontario:

Milton to Toronto, undated roller cancellation
Package was sent in early 1968
80 cents = 5 lb. to 6lb. rate for parcel sent within the same zone.

Huntsville to Ingersoll, June 23 1969
Might be 60 cents = 3 lb. to 4 lb. rate for parcel sent within the same zone

4. January 1, 1970 to December 31, 1971

The parcel rates now started at 1 lb. with the elimination of all rates less than 1 lb. Also, the rates for each weight class and destination increased. The size surcharge remained at 75c.

Bolton to Hamilton, July 30, 1970
Might be 65 cents = 2lb. to 3lb. parcel sent within the same zone

Wiseton, Sask. to Winnipeg, May 3 1971
Might be 45 cents = 1 lb. to 2 lb. parcel sent within the same zone


The Insurance fees were:

10c................up to $10
30.................$50 to $100
50.................$100 to $200

Thunder Bay, Ontario to Beausejour, Manitoba, March 16 1971
Adjoining zone rate was applicable
$1.00 paying the parcel postage + insurance fee

5. From January 1, 1972

On January 1, 1972 the Northwest Territories was added as a 6th postal zone. A Northwest Territories "ALL-ZONE" rate was introduced, in which there was a single rate schedule for all parcels mailed within, to or from the NWT regardless of zone origin or destination.

All other rates were unchanged.

Returnable films sent from Montreal to Willowdale, Ontario had a two-sided address card which fit into a plastic sleeve.

Montreal, Quebec to Willowdale, November 16 1972
Adjoining parcel rate
Might be 70 cents = 2lb. to 3lb. adjoining parcel rate

The same parcel was returned to Montreal from Willowdale:

Undated roller cancellation
Might be 70 cents for 2 lb. to 3lb. adjoining parcel rate ( 2 cents convenience overpayment)