Every day we reach more Australians than any other company – through our 11.5 million delivery points.
Our combination of Australia Post and StarTrack creates a competitive advantage no one can match. Our unrivalled network is fundamental to the value we create for the Australian Government, businesses and communities.
We connect everyone, everywhere, everyday – including connecting people from Australia’s most remote communities and country towns to anywhere on the globe.
We deliver to 190 countries and our network incorporates our gateways into Asia through online marketplaces JD.com and Tmall Global, as well as access to retailers who only ship within the USA, via Shopmate. This year we expanded our partnership with Qantas, which means we can offer businesses, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and eCommerce companies access to the best air freight network in the country (see Our business performance for details).
However, it is our physical network of 15,357 street posting boxes and 4,392 Post Offices that most Australians traditionally associate with our services. We are committed to meeting our Community Service Obligations (CSOs) when providing our mail services, which includes providing a letter service that is reasonably accessible to all Australians wherever they reside.
Our corporate, licensed Post Offices (LPOs) and Community Postal Agencies (CPAs) are critical to our ability to maintain our strong rural and regional network.
As our customers increasingly move to accessing services and information via social, mobile and online platforms, we are providing the appropriate access to our network, across all platforms – physical and digital.
Investing in a sustainable network
During the year we officially opened 11 new Australia Post superstores and two more open-format stores in Greensborough and Forest Hill, Victoria, bringing our total number of superstores to 65. We currently have 16 superstores in regional locations, with the aim to increase this to 50 by 2020.
To help our employees and licensees provide premium service, we rolled out a new operating system to more than 8,300 counter terminals. This served to streamline customer transactions for more than 3,600 Post Offices, including LPOs.
In 2015/16, 28 franchised Post Offices transitioned to LPOs and we continued to actively support the LPO community by offering a range of payment increases including:
- An additional $51.4 million in payments over four years to support the LPO and Community Postal Agency (CPA) network, particularly in regional and remote Australia.
- New digital payments for LPOs, where the nominated licensee receives a payment for selected online transactions whenever a MyPost Deliveries customer selects an outlet as their “home” LPO.
We also rolled out a flexible point-of-sale system to 380 rural and remote LPOs to enable them to provide electronic services.
One of the problems faced by rural and remote businesses with low population density is the challenge in meeting minimum order requirements for retail merchandise. In 2015/16, we continued our LPO Buying Program that allows LPOs to buy merchandise from corporate Post Offices at discounted rates.
Using our unrivalled network to deliver customer solutions
Collectively, Australia Post and StarTrack have one of the most robust and flexible logistics and delivery networks in Australia. This provides us with extensive opportunities to leverage our network and reach to provide businesses with scaleable, timely and customer-focused solutions.
Late last year we ran a local trial with Booktopia, an online book retailer in Sydney, to provide their customers with a same-day delivery service.
Customer orders placed online before 11am were picked at the Booktopia warehouse and collected daily by our StarTrack fleet. These were then transported to our delivery facility in St Leonards where posties completed the final step of delivering the item to the customers’ door.
The trial demonstrated the power of our network and our ability to design tailored freight and delivery services to meet the specific needs of customers.
Improving the delivery experience
We completed the second phase of facility upgrades at the Melbourne and Sydney parcel facilities in 2015 – enabling these facilities to handle more than 1.3 million parcels per day and importantly, providing a safer workplace for our people.
This year, we started trialling a number of initiatives that are aimed at improving first-time delivery rates. These pilots include delivering in the hours before and after work, as well as a trial of second-attempt delivery. We also trialled personal parcel boxes at residential homes in Port Melbourne during May. We’re also working closely with a range of body corporates to encourage them to install communal parcel lockers in apartment complexes. We’re already seeing some good results with these trials, with the first-time delivery rate increasing across the board. We’ll continue to invest in trials that have the most significant impact on successful delivery.
With our 24/7 parcel lockers now installed at around 250 locations, we delivered more than 1.4 million parcels to a collection point in 2015/16. As we strive to continue improving our delivery service for the customer, we introduced the popular “Safe Drop” option on MyPost, where customers can register their preference for us to leave a parcel in a safe place when they’re not at home.
Making cyber safety a critical priority
During 2015/16, we held frequent and regular education and awareness campaigns to ensure that cyber security around our network remains top of mind for our people and our customers.
During the year we provided tips on virus protection, information security, privacy, data safety and guarding against cyber threats. As part of planning for the new year, in January 2016 we advised people to take stock of online accounts, connections, passwords and devices to reduce the potential for fraud and security weaknesses.
It is vital that confidential customer information does not end up in the wrong hands and we’re committed to protecting customer security and helping people stay safe online. We provide small businesses with updates on email scams, detailed information about online security and fraud and offer a free identity theft support service, iDcare. Available on 1300 432 273, iDcare is a partner of Australia Post and provides support for a range of identity theft issues.
New in-store options – from pop-ups to point-of-sale
We strongly believe in testing ideas in our ready-made marketplaces and, in 2015/16, we conducted in-store trials across a broad spectrum of customer-centric concepts.
In the lead-up to Christmas, six stores across Victoria and New South Wales ran pop-up stores promoting five of our leading online retail partners. Post-trial surveys showed an increase in brand awareness in all the retailers involved, opening up more shopping options for customers and greater opportunities for our partners. As part of the Mother’s Day online shopping campaign, we also trialled Bellabox pop-up shops in Melbourne and Brisbane.
To reduce queue times and optimise the customer experience, we tested a mobile point-of-sale process where a staff member used a handheld device to process simple transactions and payments as people waited. This was taken a step further at the Merimbula Post Office, which conducted a trial in partnership with the Department of Human Services (DHS), where customers were given access to a face-to-face information service and DHS self-help facilities.
Investing in advanced mail processing machines
A component of the reform of our letters service involved investing in advance automated processing technology. While letter volumes continue to decline, we still process around 3 billion letters a year. This investment was another key step to building a sustainable letters business.
Preparations for the installation of the first of the machines commenced at our four major mail processing facilities in Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. This included establishing local working groups at each site to help design and plan for local implementation.
In June we completed assembling the Flat Sorting machine and the Culler Facer Canceller Preparation machine in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. These machines will come online in September and October following a rigorous testing period.
Machines at our Brisbane and Perth facilities will come online in 2017.
The new machines are designed to exacting safety and ergonomic specifications, are more efficient and can process significantly more letters per hour than our current machines.
To support our new mail processing machinery, in June we commenced introducing 800,000 new large letter trays to the network.
Following a rigorous tender process, Australia Post enlisted one of Melbourne’s oldest family-owned manufacturers, Sneddon & Kingston Plastics (SKP), to design and make the recyclable plastic trays. Australia Post is proud to have supported a local small business.
“In an environment where companies are turning to foreign suppliers for goods, it’s great to have the support from one of Australia’s most trusted and recognised brands,” says Blair Sinsheimer, General Manager, SKP.
Building capacity in our delivery network
We’re always on the lookout to do things differently to provide better services for our customers and provide a sustainable future for our business.
Our goal is to create a delivery network that’s designed around the customer, so that our posties deliver on a vehicle that suits the terrain and can safely and securely carry a range of customer product, whether that’s letters or bulkier packages.
This year we trialled a trike at a number of our delivery facilities. The trike has a larger carrying capacity than our motorbikes and electric bikes, and features a large lockable compartment to secure letters and parcels on the rear and a carrier on the front.
We’re also looking abroad to see what other postal agencies, such as New Zealand Post, are using to give us ideas for what might be suitable for Australia’s large and diverse geography. We plan to trial a number of vehicles next financial year.
The modern postie
We currently have more than 7,000 posties who deliver mail all across Australia. As letter volumes continue to decline, we need to look for innovative ways to ensure the role of the postie is sustainable.
Over the past few years we’ve implemented a number of initiatives – for example, in 2013 we starting streaming small parcels (weighing under 2 kilograms) through the postie network for delivery to the customer.
This enabled our parcel delivery people to focus on the delivery of larger items. Earlier this year, in regional areas we added to the postie’s panniers StarTrack Premium small parcels. Our posties now deliver a significant proportion of our total parcel volumes.
In some regional areas, we’ve transferred street posting box clearances to posties, who complete this work when returning from their delivery rounds and their pannier bags are empty.
We’re continuing to explore other new opportunities to leverage our trusted brand and the community presence of our posties, who deliver to almost every address in Australia.
In May 2016, we completed a small trial, reading water meters at 5,500 residential and commercial addresses across a small number of suburbs in Sydney. The trial helped to measure the operational and commercial feasibility of offering this type of service on behalf of utility companies.
In September 2015, our Philatelic team launched a new collectables website providing a central resource and social platform for global collecting enthusiasts.
Our diverse 2015/16 stamp issue program included themes that continue to celebrate important cultural milestones and events. Included was A Century of Service: Animals in War, Centenary of WWI: 1916. Preparations were underway for the late 2016 release of the Rio Olympic Games Gold Medallists stamps and Seabirds of Norfolk Island, the first issue as postal authority for the external territory.
Our future outlook
With our post offices central to connecting communities across the nation, we will continue to redefine the role and service offering to meet the contemporary needs of all Australians.
Our aspiration is to help create new digital futures by connecting people, businesses, government and organisations to each other and the world.