(Update May 29: Adds Loomis internal memo, adds CSAAA comments.)
TheGunBlog.ca — Canpar Express and Loomis Express/DHL Canada, two of Canada’s largest transport companies, suddenly stopped shipping guns and ammo yesterday, blindsiding the firearm industry and disrupting deliveries across the country.
Why It Matters
- Affected gun and ammo orders are delayed or stopped.
- Rural and remote regions will no longer get deliveries where Canpar was the only approved transporter.
- New orders may cost more and some small retailers may close, since Canpar was one of the cheapest carriers.
No Warning, No Reason
Canpar and Loomis told customers yesterday they are no longer transporting firearms and ammunition as of noon.
They didn’t provide a reason.
They didn’t guarantee that orders that had already been loaded onto trucks would be delivered.
J.R. Cox: ‘They’re Dead to Me’
“They did this with no warning. We’re not happy with this for the industry,” Cox said. “Is there political pressure? Is there economic pressure? What would make them do that? What’s the real reason?”
TFI International Inc., the Montreal-based owner of both Canpar and Loomis, didn’t respond to several requests for comment today from TheGunBlog.ca. Canpar also didn’t respond, and a salesman we reached in Calgary declined to comment.
TFI also owns UPS Freight, which is separate from the courier service.
Canpar-Loomis Message to Clients
MagDump.ca shared the following image on Twitter:
Loomis Internal Memo
A Loomis employee privately sent TheGunBlog.ca an internal company memo of two sentences:
“Firearms: Effective immediately no divisions of TFI will move any firearms, ammo or related products. This includes resellers, collectors and private citizens and business and military installations.”
Loomis Express, Internal Memo, 27 May 2021
Attacks and Obstacles
The canceled shipping is the latest in a series of political attacks and business obstacles against the millions of Canadian shootersand thousands of retailers selling guns and ammo.
- Canada’s governing Liberal Party began a new crackdown in May 2020 to criminalize gun owners and businesses as it works to suppress or eliminate personal firearm ownership.
- Ottawa-based Shopify Inc., a platform for online stores, kicked off firearm-related businesses in 2018.
- Banks, insurance companies and credit-card companies are increasingly refusing to work with the firearm industry.
Search for Alternates
Cox said his deliveries aren’t affected by the Canpar-Loomis stoppage, since he ships with Canada Post/Purolator, Federal Express and others. His store even joked on Facebook that it would use the food-delivery service Skip the Dishes to ship if needed.
Several of Canada’s largest gun retailers face delays and increased costs over the delivery halt.
- They’re scrambling to set up new shipping contracts with transporters on the RCMP’s list of approved carriers.
- Canadian law makes it a crime to transport any firearm without a licence.
‘Not Able to Ship Ammunition’
- “Please note: at this time, we are not able to ship ammunition,” London, Ontario-based Bullseye North, one of Canada’s largest independent gun shops, said in a temporary notice on its website.
- “Ammunition orders will be delayed until further notice,” Calgary Shooting Centre said on its website. It’s also a major independent firearm retailer.
Firearm Industry Perspectives
Following is more info and insight from executives in the firearm industry contacted by TheGunBlog.ca.
Alison de Groot, Canadian Sporting Arms and Ammunition Association (CSAAA)
We are trying to get in communication with Canpar.
We do not want to be part of the cancel culture.
We want to problem-solve this because it’s the best thing to do for our business and for our customers.
Losing Canpar is very significant. The one reason we don’t want to lose Canpar is that it’s very effective for our businesses, and second, why should we abandon part of our supply chain?
There is nothing wrong with serving our industry. We should have full access to all of the supply-chain sources that any other business in Canada has access to.
We don’t want to lose Canpar, the reason being there’s about 25% of the postal codes in Canada that UPS doesn’t deliver to.
If we lose Canpar, a lot of the city customers will be fine, but a large part of our customer base will lose. It would be extremely punitive to our customers.
Who lives in remote, rural northern areas? The people who most need our service.
We can get a firearm to anybody through Canada Post. Ammunition is different. Ammunition is critical if you are a sustenance hunter.
Canada Post does not carry ammunition.
Purolator [which is owned by Canada Post] will carry both firearms and ammunition, but there’s a surcharge on both, in addition to the shipping fee.
Alison de Groot, CSAAA, 29 May 2021
Payam Khoee, Marstar Canada
We did work with Canpar, but we also have a UPS account, the two worked together to provide our clients with at least one alternative option.
The biggest issue we’re facing right now on the shipping side is that there were several areas that only Canpar and Canada Post service, areas that UPS doesn’t go. Those clients are now unable to order ammunition online since there isn’t a carrier that services their area with the appropriate license to carry ammunition. I’d estimate that about 30% of our ammunition orders will be affected by this decision.
We’ve reached out to other carriers to try to fill the void. We don’t know why Canpar made this decision. It doesn’t matter if they decided to virtue signal, or if they were pressured or coerced into it by some Government Body. The end result of this kind of decision is the development of a parallel economy, such as what we’re seeing in the social-media space right now. Our industry will need to start forming our own infrastructure to stop relying on weak-willed companies that would be willing to cave in to pressure.
We’ve already reached out to several people we know that are well situated in this space, and who may be interested in entering the market now that the space has cleared a bit, or otherwise expanding operations to fulfill the deficiency.
Payam Khoee, Marstar Canada, 28 May 2021
Steve Kuang, Tenda Canada
1. Rates. Canpar has the best rates when it comes to shipping firearms, ammunition, and related products to Canadian consumers. No matter it’s small or big packages. Dealers like us may be facing potential raising shipping costs from other carriers because there’re not many options left over, and customers lost one shipping option and maybe paying higher shipping if the carriers raise the shipping cost.
2. Reputation. Canpar is one of the major carriers after they stop shipping firearms and related products, this may trigger other carriers to rethink their shipping rules about our industry.
3. Business Growth. After the pandemic happens, e-commerce becomes more important and it’s a critical rule for a small business like us to survive through the lockdown periods. Losing Canpar means we are losing logistic powers, and logistics is the key for E-commerce. This will slow down our business growth for both suppliers and retailers.
Steve Kuang, Tenda Canada, 28 May 2021
Spectre Ballistics International, Owner of MagDump.ca
1) We used Canpar as our primary shipper for ammunition, however we have alternate carriers available so there will be almost no impact for our customers.
2) For shipping ammo, Canpar was often the cheapest carrier and also is the only carrier that services certain remote and rural areas. So while we can use alternate services for nearly all shipments that would previously go by Canpar some areas simply aren’t going to have the option to order ammo online.
3) Canpar was our primary shipper for ammo, however we do have alternate options and have transitioned to them seamlessly. Our free shipping offer remains unchanged.
Spectre Ballistics International, 28 May 2021
On the Bright Side
“Will the end result of this end up being that people buy more from their local gun store instead of having things shipped across the country?” said Cox.