Australia Post has repurposed and opened 15 new processing facilities and commenced recruitment for 600 casuals into the network and call centre to assist in managing the continued parcel delivery demand in the country.
The national carrier has been struggling to process the surge in parcel deliveries during the COVID-19 crisis, which has locked down retail locations and preventing consumers from visiting stores.
According to Australia Post parcel deliveries around the country have continued to average almost 2 million parcels per day since just before Easter.
These 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. At the same time, demand for other core products, including letters, have been volatile and many have halved.
“With our business adapting to the challenges the current pandemic presents, our normal practice of delivery has been impacted,” said Rod Barnes, Acting Group Chief Operating Officer.
As well as a surge in parcel volumes as more people shop online, limited flights and social distancing requirements are also contributing to delays in processing and delivering packages.
“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.
“The re-purpose and opening of 15 new facilities around the country, and the employment of more than 600 casuals, will assist in the network being able to sustain the current parcel delivery demands and reduce delays.”
The additional staff processed an unprecedented 3 million parcels into AusPost facilities over the last weeked and 700 staff, a mix of posties and drivers from the StarTrack business, have been retrained to provide additional van deliveries.
AusPost has also chartered an additional eight freighter flights, increasing this to 17 dedicated air freighter flights per day. However, they do not fully substitute reduced access to capacity on passenger planes which aren’t in the sky during the pandemic.
“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. The majority of parcels are still arriving on time, but we ask and thank our customers for their patience, as we work as hard as we can to get parcels to you as quickly as possible,” Barnes said.