Australia Post will open the largest parcel facility and delivery centre in the southern hemisphere in Redbank this October to cope with increasing demand driven by ecommerce, according to postal service.

The new facility will process up to 700,000 parcels per day at its peak – or over 35,000 parcels an hour – thanks to new automated parcel processing machines, already being used in Sydney and Melbourne.

The facility will house cutting-edge technology to significantly increase parcel processing capabilities, including robotic arms, automated guided vehicles and an automated parcel picker, the first of its kind in Australia.

Australia Post Group Chief Operating Officer, Bob Black, said the 50,000 square metre site will meet the growing demands of online shopping in Queensland.

“We know Australia’s love affair with online shopping isn’t slowing down. Last year Australians spent $27.5 billion nationally, an increase of 24 per cent on 2017,” Black said.

“Queensland’s love affair with online shopping also continues, and in 2018 it grew by 21 per cent from the previous year – ahead of the national average.”

According to Black, Queensland makes up 19 per cent of all online shopping across the nation. It also had three of the top 10 postcodes – Toowoomba, Mackay and Bundaberg – each with strong growth all above 20 per cent.

“Our new Redbank site will be operational in time for our busy pre-Christmas period. Last year we experienced our biggest peak period ever, delivering over 40 million parcels nationally in December alone, including a record three million parcels in a single day, and we know this year will be even bigger,” he said.

As parcel numbers grow, Black said it’s important to invest in new technology to help deliver increasing volumes, and help create new and safer workplaces. He said automation and the new parcel processing technology are important measures to reduce manual handling and create safer jobs. 500 employees will be stationed at the new facility.

“As a business we know how important it is to continue to invest in our workforce, especially where there are opportunities for us to retrain our people to transition from the declining letters business to our growing parcels business.”

The new facility is part of Australia Post’s three-year, $900 million investment in parcel processing nationally.

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