COVID-19: Alert bar

A peak online shopping season unlike any other

With eCommerce activity booming – up 42% for the month of October compared to the same period last year – it's never been more important to help us deliver on your customer promise as we enter the busiest time of the year. These tips can help you ensure your deliveries arrive quickly.

Key points

  • A forecast of $4 billion in online spend is expected to make Christmas 2020 Australia’s largest online shopping event ever1
  • Separating parcels by delivery speed and size can help us deliver items quickly in the busy season
  • Use your 24/7 Business Support Portal to lodge any queries, and check last posting dates.

With the peak online holiday shopping season in full swing, Australia’s eCommerce industry is working round the clock to keep up with enormous demand. A record $4 billion is projected to be spent online this pre-Christmas period.1

“There’s been over 130 days this year, where more than 2 million parcels have entered our network" says Michelle Francis, Australia Post Head of Service, Business, Intermediaries & International. “The support of Australia’s online retailers, in terms of good parcel preparation and lodgement practices, is integral to helping us manage these enormous volumes.”

The heightened demand comes as no surprise to Australia’s online retailers. “This Christmas period is going to be the largest we've ever seen,” said Sarah Timmerman, CEO of online fashion retailer Beginning Boutique when we caught up with her back in September. “We've upscaled our warehouse and processes to be able to handle that.”

Following Vogue Online Shopping Night (October 6) parcel volumes were up 52% year on year, while a week later, after Amazon Prime Day (October 13-14), they grew 53% year on year.2 With Black Friday and Cyber Monday still to come, “we expect demand to grow significantly more yet,” says Francis.

Some categories have seen particularly strong eCommerce growth. For the month of October, department store online parcel volumes were up 131% year on year, and appliances, homewares and lighting was up 58% year on year. Beauty was also up 42% year on year.2

“Sales have gone through the roof, more so than we ever could have anticipated,” explains endota Spa’s Natascha Dazkiw, Head of Product Distribution. “Vogue Online Shopping Night was big for us, Christmas is always huge, and we believe this year is going to be exceptional.”

Help us to deliver the best experience possible for your customers

In peak periods, separating your parcels by delivery speed and size is more important than ever. This helps to relieve some of the pressure on our network, so we can provide the best possible delivery experience for your customers in a time of heightened demand.

Separate Express Post items

If you offer express postage, it’s important to separate Express Post items from Parcel Post items before collection. This will help your items enter our network more easily – for example, we need to be able to quickly stream interstate Express Post parcels onto a plane.

Separate small and large items – but don’t worry about the destination state

We used to ask customers to separate parcels by state, but we know this can take up space in your facilities. To make things a little easier, we no longer need you to separate by state. Instead, we’re asking you to separate smaller items from larger items.

“From a real estate perspective, this should give businesses a lot more space during this busy time,” says Francis.

Our posties can now carry smaller parcels on their bikes, along with mail. Separating your small and large items helps us to feed the smaller items into the postie network, freeing up more space in our vans and trucks for larger items.

Online access to support your business

Use our Business Support Portal

If you have a Business Charge Account, you have access to our Business Support Portal. Lodging enquiries through this portal helps us manage your queries quickly, and also reduces call volumes to our Customer Contact Centre – freeing up resources for consumer enquiries.

Through the portal you can:

  • Get the most recent tracking information and expected delivery date for your lodgements
  • Recall or redirect eligible lodged parcels3
  • Download a Proof of Delivery document or Safe Drop image
  • Raise general enquiries to investigate deliveries
  • View enquiry history and receive notifications when more information is required
  • Access live chat for further support4

For MyPost Business customers without a Business Charge Account, you can get help through the Support tab in the MyPost Business platform – including live chat.

Download our toolkit, Preparing for peaks in online shopping: A toolkit for business, for more suggestions and tips to help your business manage surges in online shopping demand.

‘Tis the season to be early

We’re working hard to deliver your letters and parcels as safely and quickly as possible, but delivery for Christmas will take longer this year as we manage the impacts of COVID-19 and more parcels than ever before.

Sending as early as you can – and by the following dates – gives your letters and parcels the best chance of arriving in time for Christmas. We’ll still deliver items sent after these dates as quickly as possible, but it may be difficult to get them to their destinations by Christmas Eve. Circumstances can change rapidly, so these dates may be subject to change.

Sending within Australia

  • Send Parcel Post items by 12 December
  • Send Express Post items by 19 December

Visit our Coronavirus: Domestic updates page for the latest advice on domestic deliveries.

Sending internationally

  • Send to USA, Canada, UK, and Europe by 16 November - although this date has passed, we’ll still deliver as quickly as possible
  • Send to most of Asia by 23 November
  • Send to New Zealand by 27 November

Note also that time in customs is not included in our delivery time estimate and is outside of Australia Post’s control. Visit our Coronavirus: International updates page for more information.

In this peak online shopping period, it’s never been more important to work together. By sorting and lodging your parcels correctly and efficiently, you can help us, help you deliver the best customer experience this festive season.

Download Australia Post’s toolkit Preparing for peaks in online shopping, for tips and checklists to help you keep your customers happy and reduce delivery delays this Christmas.

This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your business needs.

1 Digital sales boom for Christmas: Australia Post CEO Christine Holgate, Glenda Korporaal, October 21 2020, The Australian

2 Australia Post eCommerce and Merchant update for week ending Friday October 16th

Our recall or redirect services are only available for parcels in transit that have been lodged using the eParcel platform, and have been addressed to a street address. The return to sender charge outlined in your contract will apply to any redirection or recall services that we provide to you. If you choose to redirect your parcel this will add at least one extra business day to the delivery. While we will make all reasonable efforts to recall or redirect your parcel, it may not be possible in certain circumstances. Australia Post does not accept any responsibility for failing to redirect or recall the parcel.

4 Live chat is available during business hours 8am–6pm (AEST), Monday – Friday. Excludes National Public Holidays.