Up to 2,000 Australia Post’s motorbike postmen retrained to help deliver high volumes of parcels

Australia Post

Australia Post announced that it will retrain 2,000 motorbike postmen to deliver and process parcels to help manage the unprecedented parcel volumes being sent across the country under COVID-19 restrictions.

Australia Post has been facing several challenges, including the impact of significantly reduced air freight availability due to the reductions of passenger planes and the need to prioritise transport of medical supplies. Although Australia Post has secured more capacity from Qantas and have welcomed recent announcements from the Federal Government to support more domestic flights, these cannot ensure the speed of deliveries at the same level as prior to the crisis.

According to the company, parcel volumes have almost doubled in the last four weeks, up 80% year-on-year, as more and more householders shop online. At the same time, demand for other core products, including letters, have been volatile and many have halved.

An additional challenge is that the majority of the 1.8m parcels being sent on a daily basis are too large to be delivered by a traditional postman as people purchase items to allow them to stay at home.

By retraining up to 2,000 motorbike postmen to process or deliver parcels in vans, Australia Post aims to relieve some of the pressure from its parcel delivery drivers, who have been overwhelmed by huge volumes. The move will also enable parcels to be delivered every operational day across the country.

Furthermore, regulatory relief requested by Australia Post and agreed by the Federal Government include:

  • Removing the Priority Mail letter product. According to the company, this is manually intensive for processing and delivery speed cannot currently be guaranteed. Priority letters lodged by consumers each year is significantly less than 1% of all letters and 12% of total letter volumes.
  • Adjusting the existing service standards on other letters, to enable Australia Post to deliver letters in metropolitan areas every second day. Australia Post said it will maintain existing delivery standards in rural and remote locations, since it is often the only operator in these areas.
  • Extending the required delivery time for regular intrastate letters to five days after the day of posting.

The company added that Post Offices will continue to remain open, in line with health and safety guidelines.

Source: Australia Post