Australia Post has announced a temporary pause on parcel collections from retailers in NSW, Victoria and the ACT as it struggles to meet demand.
The halt on Parcel Post collections from eCommerce retailers comes as the business faces record parcel volumes with millions of Australians in all three jurisdictions under strict extended lockdowns.
It will run from 7am September 4 until 7am September 7.
Collections will continue in all other states and territories.
“This temporary measure will allow us to responsibly clear record parcel volumes in parts of our network impacted by COVID-19,” Australia Post said in a service update on Wednesday.
“The safety of our people is our highest priority, and this will help ensure volumes are kept to a safe and manageable level. Our team will continue with processing across the weekend in these areas.”
Last week, Australia Post said extended COVID lockdowns had contributed to parcel volumes hitting heights not seen since Christmas 2020. It has opened pop-up sites to help with processing and launched a drive to recruit more than 4000 staff across the country to try to meet demand.
“Our posties and drivers have been out there since March last year often delivering on most days like it’s Christmas, and we know that Australians are relying on us more than ever and will continue to in the coming months, which is why we’re putting some key measures in place to be ready for our biggest Christmas ever,” community and consumer executive general manager Nicole Sheffield said.
Australia Post says more than nine million Australians shopped online in the past financial year, with its eCommerce up almost 32 per cent year-on-year. Parcel volumes contributed strongly to the company’s full-year $8.27 billion revenue – up 10.3 per cent – reported this week.
Australia Post said on Wednesday its Express Post, Premium and Startrack Express services, and collections from post offices, would not be affected by the parcel pause.
Deliveries will also continue as usual (including on weekends) and post offices will remain open.
CORRECTION, September 1, 2021: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that all parcels in NSW, Victoria and the ACT had been paused. Australia Post has only paused Parcel Post collections from retailers.