Australia Post has revealed parcel volumes have almost doubled in the last four weeks, up by 90 per cent compared to last year, as more householders shop online as they self-isolate.
To manage parcel demand, Australia Post has repurposed and opened 15 new processing facilities and commenced recruitment for 600 casuals into the network and call centre.
Additional staffing implemented last weekend allowed the group to accept and process an unprecedented 3 million parcels into facilities from eCommerce customers.
Rod Barnes, Australia Post acting group COO said normal practice of delivery has been impacted.
“We are experiencing significant delivery delays due to limited flights, hygiene and social distancing requirements in our network to preserve the community’s safety, and an increase in parcel volumes as more people shop online,” he said.
“For the last four weeks, we have been operating our processing and delivery services seven days a week, with our dedicated staff working on rotation over the 24-hour period, each day.”
Rod said to assist in getting parcels to customers doors, the group have refocussed 700 workers from a mix of posties and drivers from its StarTrack business, to provide additional van deliveries across the country.
“We have chartered an additional eight freighter flights, increasing this to 17 dedicated air freighter flights per day,” he said.
“These flights provide some relief and has improved our Express Post priority service deliveries across major capital cities by the next business day,
“Unfortunately, they do not substitute reduced access to capacity on passenger planes, and we cannot ensure the speed of deliveries at the same level as prior to the pandemic.”
Underlining its commitment to processing parcel volumes, Australia Post received regulatory relief from the Federal Government last week.
As letter volumes continue to fall, it announced a change in the frequency of metropolitan letter deliveries to every second day, to help free up posties to be retrained and redeployed into delivery vans to help process parcels.
“This retraining of 2000 posties is all part of a broader Australia Post push to transform the business, while also managing significant disruption brought about by different lifestyles under COVID19 restrictions,” Rod said.
“We’re progressively making these changes and continue to look at ways to optimise our delivery network to meet the current demand of parcel volumes.”
Rod said the majority of parcels are still arriving on time, and Australia Post is working as hard as it can to get parcels distributed as quickly as possible.