Incoming Mail Sorting and Distribution

Sorting and distribution quick links

Receiving mailDelivery conditionsNew, or moving departmentWeight restrictionsAddressingMail pick upMail to UBCOMail to RobsonMail to SFUUBC ResidentsQuestions?


Campus Mailing Services is responsible for receiving and distributing all mail delivered by Canada Post to the University. We receive thousands of pieces of mail every weekday (except holidays), sort it the same day it is received, and distribute it across campus the following business day. We also pick up inter-departmental mail from departments across campus, and distribute it to other departments across campus the following business day. Campus Mailing Services also provides mail delivery for numerous UBC residences, as well as off-campus Libraries and Hospitals.

When you will receive your mail

Your mail will be sorted the day it is received by us, and will be distributed and delivered the following business day in most cases. Mail will not be delivered on the same day it is received, so please allow for at least one business day prior to checking on the status of your mail. Mail is prioritized as to how it is sorted. First, we sort all registered and priority mail, then unregistered parcels, then regular letter mail, and finally advertisements, flyers, and other bulk mail. There may be some delay beyond one business day in receiving and sorting bulk mail and/or advertisements during peak periods with high mail volume (such as back-to-school, winter holidays, and days after long weekends and statutory holidays).

Mail delivery conditions

In order to ensure Campus Mailing Services can deliver your mail, we must have either access to the building where your mail room is located, or someone must be available to receive the mail from us. Even if CMS has access to your building, we will not deliver registered mail or any mail requiring a signature if someone is not present to accept and sign for it. Mail that is not signed for will be taken back to the mail room for delivery the following business day. After two attempts, mail will be held in the mail room until CMS can confirm someone will be present to sign at the drop off location.

CMS will only pick up from and deliver to each department once a day. While we strive to ensure a consitent delivery time each day for each department, the exact time cannot be guaranteed. We adjust our mail routes regularly due to changes in the campus layout, departments moving around, construction, vehicle availability, and many other factors. Most deliveries occur between 8AM and noon on weekdays, but this can change based on operational capacity. Should you wish to inquire about the general time you can expect a delivery, please call us at 604-822-9495. However, CMS cannot accommodate requests for specific delivery times from each department.

New department, or changing locations?

If you are a new department on campus, or if your department is changing locations, you must fill out and submit an Application for Mail Pick Up and Delivery Services and submit it to us as early as possible.

Please note that Campus Mailing Services can only deliver to one location per department. So, if your department is distributed over multiple buildings with many offices, we will deliver to only one of these buildings at one delivery point. As we sort departmental mail by department name, and not individual offices, it is impossible for us to arrange for several drop off points per department. Departments are responsible for sorting and distributing mail within their units.

All UBC departments, businesses, or residences requesting service must be approved by the President’s Office.

Weight restrictions

CMS will not pick up or deliver mail and/or parcels that exceed 30 kilograms (66 pounds) during our mail runs for safety reasons. If you require anything to be picked up that exceeds this, or you have something being delivered to CMS that may exceed this, please contact us at 604-822-9495 to discuss your options and give us advanced notice. We may be able to assist you. If items are too heavy for Campus Mailing Services staff to handle, the services of UBC  Building Operations’ moving crew may have to be used, and these will be billed on a cost-recovery basis.

Addressing mail – preventing mail from being returned to sender

Campus Mailing Services requires that mail is addressed properly in order for it to be delivered. Please see our Addressing Mail section for all of our requirements, and those of Canada Post. If mail is received by us and has incomplete or incorrect addressing information, it will be returned to sender for re-addressing. Campus Mailing Services will not research delivery locations based on recipient name information only. We require a complete and correct address to facilitate all deliveries.

Mail pick up and outgoing mail

Campus Mailing Services can also pick up inter-departmental mail and parcels, as well as mail and parcels that need to be delivered to external recipients, during its daily mail runs. Policies and processes for outgoing mail can be found on our Outgoing Mail Processing section. If you require mail or parcel pick up outside of your once-daily mail drop, you may also utilize the services of our On-Campus Courier. The courier service is not free of charge, and operates on a cost-recovery basis.

Mail going to UBC Okanagan

CMS also provides daily delivery to and from UBC Okanagan campus via a preferred carrier.  This service is not free of charge, but the University community enjoys a discounted group rate.

Mail going to UBC Robson Square

Incoming mail for UBC Robson Square is delivered by Canada Post daily. Inter-departmental is delivered to Robson Square Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by Campus Mailing Services. Outgoing mail is also picked up for metering Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Mail going to Simon Fraser University

Mail going to SFU is delivered to the UBC Library, and is then picked up by courier every Tuesday and Thursday. There is no cost to UBC departments for this service.

UBC Residents – mail redirects and parcels

We proudly serve the residents of UBC, including all student residences as well as facuty and staff rental residences in Wesbrook Place and Hawthorn Place. We aim to provide a consitent level of service to that expected of Canada Post. If you are leaving campus, or are moving to a different campus location, we can provide mail redirect services for you. Please call us at 604-822-9495 to arrange for this. The fee for mail redirect services charged by CMS is the same as that charged by Canada Post, and is subject to change. Please note that we are only able to redirect letter mail. Parcels will be returned to sender.

As most parcels will not fit in the mail boxes of the faculty/staff residences at UBC, and as we cannot visit each door of each residence to obtain signatures, parcels for UBC faculty and staff residents are held at Campus Mailing Services for pick up. When a parcel is received by us, we will fill out a delivery notification card and drop it off in your mail slot. After receiving this card, you may come to CMS during our operating hours and pick up your parcel. A piece of photo ID is required to pick up anything from us, and you will be required to sign for your parcel when you pick the item up.

Note: For residents of Village Gate Homes (Hawthorn Place and Wesbrook Place) there are mail service changes happening effective July 20th, 2015. Your postal codes are changing and service will transition over to Canada Post. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for full details.

Further questions?

If you have any questions about your mail services, please contact our mail room at 604-822-9495, Monday through Friday (except holidays) from 7AM to 4PM.