Six ways businesses can get their parcels moving quickly during COVID-19

With the online shopping boom during self-isolation came the massive volume of parcels through our network. As we continue improving our daily operations, here's how organisations can help us get their parcels moving quickly.

When Australia Post released its eCommerce update in February this year, it noted that online shopping had continued to boom throughout 2019 and had culminated in an “unprecedented” pre-Christmas spend. The report also predicted that the first half of 2020 would be “typically quieter” than the lead up to Christmas.

That was before self-isolation became a temporary way of life. As Australians hunkered down, online shopping ramped up and sales shot through the roof. With that, a massive volume of parcels began moving through Australia Post’s network.

Having to adapt to limited flights, new hygiene practices and social distancing rules disrupted the normal delivery process and caused significant delivery delays for business customers and their customers.

Since then, Australia Post has been rolling out various solutions to get parcels to customers’ doors as fast as possible. For starters, nearly all the Post Offices are open for businesses and customers to send or collect parcels respectively.

Australia Post Acting Group Chief Operating Officer, Rod Barnes, says, “Throughout April 2020, we’ve been operating our processing and delivery services 24/7 and have repurposed or opened 15 new temporary facilities across Australia.”

“We’re retraining 2,000 posties to start delivering our parcels in vans and have already reassigned 700 posties and StarTrack drivers to make these additional van deliveries. We’re also employing more than 600 casuals to help out in the network.”

This additional staffing helped Australia Post accept and process 3 million parcels into its facilities over the first weekend in May.

The business has also chartered an additional eight freighter flights, increasing this to 17 dedicated air freighter flights per day. Rod adds that these flights have provided relief and improved the Express Post priority service deliveries across major capital cities.

“But it can’t make up for the reduced access to capacity on passenger planes. This means we can’t deliver at the same speed that we did before the pandemic.”

Rod says that Australia Post is progressively making these changes and will continue looking at ways to optimise its delivery network to meet the current demand of parcel volumes.

“We know that delays are frustrating and we thank our customers for their patience. We’re working hard to get customers’ parcels to them as safely and as quickly as possible.”

Here are six ways your business can help get parcels moving quickly:

  1. Remind your customers to update their address details if they’re working from home.
  2. Use packaging that fits as closely as possible to the shape of your item which can help us get more parcels onto the already limited flights. Odd shaped parcels also have to be sorted manually and may take longer to get to your customer.
  3. Ensure ULDs and pallets have labels that are clearly marked with weight and lodgement information. This helps us process them faster.
  4. Make sure your parcel’s barcode is visible so it’s easier to scan. Remove old barcodes and addresses, and any smudges. Also make sure there’s no sticky tape over the barcode and that the address is clearly visible.
  5. Express Post is still our fastest delivery option although we can’t guarantee next business day delivery right now.
  6. Lodge your prepaid satchels at a Post Office if you can rather than popping it a street post box. Lodgement at a Post Office means you’ll get an acceptance scan that will let you track your parcel.
This article is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to be specific advice for your business needs.

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