A helping hand in a time of need
In many communities impacted by the 2019 – 2020 bushfires, the Post Office became the only place to withdraw cash as EFTPOS and credit card systems were down. With some retailers in those communities only able to accept cash, the value of Bank@Post services became critical – simply enabling people to buy essential supplies.6
Australia Post also helped keep communities connected to technology during the crisis, providing mobile phones and SIM cards as well as personal radios and batteries to help people to stay informed. We also offered up to 12-months free Mail Redirection and Mail Hold services for anyone who had lost their homes.7
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia Post was quick to secure its role as an essential service, ensuring 99% of its 4,300 Post Offices could remain open throughout lockdown restrictions. This also provided a financial lifeline for some communities: 400 bank branches and thousands of ATMs were temporarily closed, and 500 branches reduced their trading hours.7
“In some communities, the Post Office was the only place still open,” Marshall notes.
However, it’s not just remote and regional areas where Australia Post lends a hand. When the pandemic disrupted healthcare in Victoria, Australia Post was able to flex our logistics network to work with major public health services.8
“These efforts included bringing medicine to patients who would normally visit a cancer centre, blood pressure monitors to pregnant women with gestational diabetes, and delivering other vital medication and equipment around the state,” says Marshall.
Over the three months leading up to May 2020 Australia Post also helped facilitate an extra 26 million online transactions9 that may not otherwise have occurred in store due to lockdowns. This surge in eCommerce volume created enormous demand on our parcel delivery network. Eight million households have shopped online since March – including 1 million for the first time.10 The peak holiday shopping season is set to grow those numbers, with expectations of a further 25% lift in online shopping this Christmas.11
“We continued to deliver through setbacks like reduced flights,” says Marshall. “I have seen some amazing selfless acts by our teams across the business, just going that extra mile. In times of crisis our people really rise and go above and beyond.”
Flexing our network to serve Australia
We’ve taken steps to ensure we continue to deliver as this challenging year draws to a close. This includes adding 3,000 road vehicles (a 20% increase),11 18 air freighters with up to 66 flights per day for deliveries,12 and 5,000 additional staff to help with parcel delivery, Customer Contact Centre support and Post Office services.11
Plus, to reduce the pressure on our parcel delivery drivers and ensure we can still deliver, we have also retrained 2,000 posties to deliver small parcels.12
In the lead up to Christmas, delivery may take a little longer as we manage the impacts of COVID-19 and deliver more parcels than ever before. If you’re sending letters and parcels, please send as early as you can and by the following dates.
- Send Parcel Post items within Australia by 12 December
- Send Express Post items within Australia by 19 December
- See our website for letter delivery timeframes. Our Consumer Priority Letter service is temporarily suspended with Business Bulk priority still available.
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. And as 2020 has taught us, circumstances can change rapidly so these dates may be subject to change. For the latest info on delivery times and delays, please see our service updates.
Please also note, Post Offices are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.13
Building greater resilience in the ‘new normal’
Australia Post has identified disaster response, recovery and preparedness as one of three key community issues it will champion over the next three years. And we will continue to invest in and leverage our vast network to support communities and enable government and businesses to keep delivering services.
Whether that involves delivering medicine to the vulnerable, essential supplies to those in need, or eCommerce parcels during the peak holiday shopping season – or pitching in during times of crisis – Australia Post is here for every Australian.