Central Stores Business Operations - Monday to Friday,  7:30 am to 4:00 pm


Mail Services Guidelines

Table of Contents
  1. Introduction
  2. Hours of Operation
  3. Mail Services Responsibilities
  4. Customer Responsibilities
  5. Restrictions, Junk Mail and Dangerous Goods
  6. Pick Up and Delivery Schedule
  7. Charges
  8. Basic Preparation
  9. Inter University Transit System (IUTS)
  10. Canada Post Special Services
  11. Courier (Shipping)
  12. Helpful Hints
1. Introduction

Central Stores is part of the University of Waterloo - Materials Resource group which plans and executes organizational strategies with controlled activities related to the flow of materials either arriving or leaving the university.  Specifically, Central Stores provides a variety of essential, logistical, and environmental services to faculty and staff at the University of Waterloo. Overall Central Stores acts as the main hub for the movement of most goods (except for food products) to, from and within the university community. 

The following guide has been prepared as a source of basic information to help you make the most efficient and economical use of University of Waterloo’s Mail Services. These guidelines should eliminate unnecessary returns, delays, or excessive postage charges on outgoing mail.

These guidelines include some Canada Post Regulations, and the University’s procedures for the smooth, effective operation of the mail system.

Your cooperation on following these guidelines will contribute to the operating efficiency of the mail system.

Please contact Central Stores Mail Services for additional information and questions regarding mailing services at csoutmail@uwaterloo.ca

2. Hours of Operation

Central Stores is in East Campus Hall (ECH), at 263 Phillip Street, Waterloo and serves the University Community from
7:30 A.M. to 4:00 P.M., Monday to Friday, with the exception of statutory holidays.

3. Mail Services Responsibilities

The following are the responsibilities of Central Stores Mail Services:

  • To provide a centralized cost effective and efficient distribution system for official University of Waterloo Mail.
  • To provide information, advice, and training to clients of Central Stores Mail Services.
  • To act as an intermediary service for university departments with the Ontario Universities Inter University Transit Systems (IUTS).
  • To ensure compliance with the laws, regulations, and rate structure of Canada Post.
4. Customer Responsibilities

The following are the responsibilities of the customer:

  • To ensure department staff are aware of and abide by the guidelines in this document.
  • To notify rmcmurren@uwaterloo.ca  of changes in location, office hours, and personnel, including the names of visiting professors, to ensure mail is delivered accurately.
  • To ensure each piece of outgoing mail has the department in the return address.
  • To facilitate mail, pick up, please notify receiving@uwaterloo.ca at least one day prior to pick up, if your volume of mail is unusually large.
5. Restrictions, Junk Mail and Dangerous Goods

The internal distribution of external commercial or business advertising matter, giveaways and/or promotional material are not allowed unless received directly from Canada Post, properly addressed to individuals and/or departments.

Should you receive unwanted, unsolicited mail, often referred to as junk mail, it is recommended you return it to the sender and demand to have your name removed from future mailings. Inter Department and outgoing mail will be processed and distributed only if it pertains to official University of Waterloo activities. Official mail may include promotional material distributed on behalf of University of Waterloo departments.

Central Stores Mail Services assumes the good faith and integrity of university personnel in that university mail will be used for matters on official business only. However, as a courtesy, Central Stores will pick-up and forward to Canada Post personal mail provided the appropriate postage is affixed.

The University mail system must not be used for chain letters, distributing unauthorized advertising, or non-official university documents.

Dangerous Goods

Items classified as dangerous goods cannot be mailed by Canada Post. For information please see our Dangerous goods and dry ice campus procedures.

  1. Information on TDG chemical shipping procedures.

6. Pick Up and Delivery Schedule

Mail is collected and delivered throughout the campus on a regular basis.
A list of all University of Waterloo Departments with their corresponding buildings, assigned mail route number, also with delivery times and forecasted move locations, can be  seen in the following University of Waterloo mailroom route sheet (pdf)

Departments wanting mail processed the same day and who have missed the mail pickup may bring their mail to the Central Stores (ECH) Mailroom before 1:30pm. This will ensure that the mail will reach Canada Post the same day.

7. Charges

As University departments exercise control over their mailing activities, the cost of postage and special services for outgoing mail is charged back to the customer (department) through Unit4.

Mail charges will be posted in Unit4. The billing cut-off date will be the last day of each month. Charges in Unit4 will include the postage costs plus the non-rebate portion of HST. All postal rates are subject to the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

The account number for postage is 60350.

8. Basic Preparation

To help Central Stores operate effectively and efficiently, mail must be properly prepared by the sending department.

Preparation includes:

  • All envelopes must have a University of Waterloo return address identifying the sending department.
  • Flaps on unsealed envelopes must be overlapped.
  • All mail must be pre-sorted into separate bundles as follows:
8.1 Inter Department Mail

Inter office envelopes are available from Central Stores inventory. These envelopes are designed to be used repeatedly.  Envelopes can be ordered from our on-line Central Stores catalogue.

Addressing information for inter department mail must include full department name, building, and a specific person’s name, if applicable.

These envelopes can only be used for Inter department mail and not for Inter University Transit System (IUTS) or Canada Post.

8.1.1.  Bulk Inter Department mail.

All inter department addressed bulk mailings, 50 or more similar pieces, must be pre-sorted by department and bundled by department.

8.2 External Mail

Departments sending University business mail to addresses off campus are responsible for the proper preparation of all letter mail and parcels.

University business means the business purpose of an expense must contribute to the pursuit of learning through scholarship, teaching, and research. If the expense in itself does not clearly demonstrate how it contributes to the pursuit of learning through scholarship, teaching, and research, or the administrative support thereof, a detailed explanation must be provided to ensure that an independent third-party (i.e. an auditor) could reasonably come to the conclusion that the expense did constitute an appropriate business expense based on the information attached as supporting documentation.

The following guidelines and appendices should eliminate unnecessary returns, delays, or excessive postage charges on outgoing mail.

8.2.1. External Addressing

Each piece of mail must clearly identify the name of the originating department in the top left-hand corner of the envelope, under the University of Waterloo logo. This will ensure that undeliverable mail can be returned to the sender.

All mail must be properly addressed. The recipient’s name, agency or company, street address or P.O. Box, city, province or state, postal code or zip code and country if outside of Canada is required. On Canadian mail, the postal code must always appear last on the envelope and must reflect the proper address. No other information should be placed below the postal code.

Do not abbreviate international addresses, except for the USA Use the complete spelling of a foreign city and country.

8.2.2. Enclosures

Mail must be enclosed in an appropriate envelope or parcel.

Items must be properly packed and safe to handle. Envelopes
  • List of our Standard and Non Standard envelopes.
  • Fill out the on-line Stores Requisition form to order.
  • Window envelopes must be matched with the insert to ensure the entire address will show through the window, even when the insert slides inside the envelope.
  • Mail Services will seal external mail envelopes. To facilitate this, the customers are asked to “fan” the flaps. “Fanning” is overlapping unsealed flaps.
  • Self-seal envelopes must already be sealed prior to us picking them up.
  • Mail must also be faced so that all pieces are readable within a bundle without turning the envelopes. Parcels

All parcels must be packed securely. The recipient’s addressing information must be clearly printed in the center of the parcel to the left (to make room for the Canada Post label) and the originating department in the top left-hand corner.

Items classified as dangerous goods cannot be mailed via Canada Post.

For all parcels going outside of Canada, a CN22 custom label must be applied. 

8.2.3. Letter mail Rates

POSTAL RATES – CANADA, UNITED STATES and INTERNATIONAL (OTHER COUNTRIES). Please note: these rates do not include HST which will be added and charged back as detailed in Section 7.0. Bulk Mail Rates

Departments mailing large volumes of the same mail matter qualify for volume discount rates. Material must be identical in weight and size. For more information please see our Personalized mail services page.  Contact csgenasys@uwaterloo.ca for any questions.

8.3 U.S.A. and International Mail

Mail pieces weighing over 500 grams, packages, or mail that requires tracking and signature going outside Canada falls under international rates and regulations which vary widely from country to country. In a lot of cases, courier will be a cheaper option.  Please email csoutmail@uwaterloo.ca with the address, weight, type of packaging, and contents of your mail piece for an estimated cost via Canada Post and courier.

Failure to comply with the regulations can result in additional expenses and delays.

8.3.1. Custom Requirements

Small Packets and Parcels going out of the country via Canada Post require appropriate Custom Documents completed by the sender. Exceptions are letters containing correspondence and Printed Papers that are known not to be dutiable.

8.4 Business Reply Mail

A department wishing to have mail returned, i.e. surveys, invitations, etc. in a postage paid envelope should use Business Reply Mail.

Business Reply mail is a contractual agreement with Canada Post and requires a permit number and business reply indicia issued by Canada Post. The permit is available for use by the department through our lettershop Services. Please email csgenasys@uwaterloo.ca for your Business Reply mail needs.

9. Inter University Transit System (IUTS)

Operating under the Ontario Council of Universities, the IUTS provides a secure and reliable daily distribution service among Ontario Universities and other agencies pertaining to library books, small packages, teaching, research material and official University mail with no postage required. Information on IUTS

10. Canada Post Special Services

Reference Websites:

Postal Code Look Up at: Canada Post
Zip Code Look Up at: USPS

Central Stores provides the following Canada Post services:

10.1 Registered Mail

Registered Mail is for documents going within Canada or Internationally and should be sent via courier by logging into 2ship and filling out the online form.  There is no longer a USA registered mail option.  This has been replaced by Expresspost.


EXPRESSPOST is a time sensitive parcel service with a built-in confirmation option which allows the customer to verify the delivery status of the item by keying in the tracking number. This service provides a guaranteed speed (1 business day local, 2-3 business days between Canadian urban center’s). Available for packages. Documents should be shipped via courier by logging into 2ship and filling out the online form.  EXPRESSPOST replaces USA registered mail.

10.4 Insurance Coverage

If a package is lost or damaged during the shipping process, the sender might be eligible to receive compensation for the insured value of the package and its postage value (after investigation and compliance with Canada Post commercial customers policies). Compensation for a package’s insured value will only be made if the item has insurance coverage. 

The compensation amount will be either the item's value, the amount of insurance purchased at the time of mailing, or the insurance coverage included with the shipping service used – whichever is lowest.  Insurance coverage by shipping service.

11. Courier (Shipping)

This is a guaranteed delivery service for urgent time sensitive items. In Canada items will be delivered to the address on the next business day. Across Canada service is generally next business day between most major center’s. See our shipping page for more information.

12. Helpful Hints
  • Keep your mailing lists up to date.
  • Non-standard envelopes cost a premium.
  • Letters should be folded in 3 or in half and put into a standard envelope to get the best first-class rate.
  • Departments wanting mail processed the same day may bring their mail to the mailroom before 1:30pm
  • It is strongly recommended that persons expecting a courier item provide the sender with their correct name and proper University address (building, department, and room number)
  • Undeliverable mail is returned to sender.
  • First class Canadian letter mail does not require air mail identifiers under 500 Grams (3/16” thick)
  • Separate bundles: Inter Department, Canada, USA, International, IUTS
  • Fan all envelopes to be sealed.
  • Self-seal envelopes must be sealed prior to pick up from Central Stores.
  • Email receiving@uwaterloo.ca if mail tubs are needed for large mailouts of 500 pieces or more.