Australia Post is eyeing expansion in Asia

Photo: Getty/ Ryan Pierse

Australia Post is eyeing up a possible foray into the Asian market despite posting its first full year loss of $222 million in more than three decades.

The postal service has suffered a huge downturn in the past year with the number of letters posted falling by 7.3% as Australians continue to make the switch to electronic communication.

While the company’s thriving parcel business grew by 3.6% to $3.21 billion — making up over half of the total revenue — it was not enough to compensate for the financial losses stemming from the failing letters business which had grown to $381 million.

But according to the Herald Sun, CEO Ahmed Fahour has flagged a potential foray into the lucrative parcel market of Japan and Singapore following the recent loss, saying there were significant opportunities offshore.

“We are focused on growing our e-commerce business to everyone … we will not just focus on the domestic market but also particularly the Asian opportunities in front of us,” Fahour said.

It is not the first time Australia Post has leveraged Asian networks to increase its business-to-consumer traffic.

Earlier last year, Australia Post teamed up with Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba, to attract more Australian retailers to one of China’s largest online marketplaces, Tmall.com.

The venture was described by Farhour as being “fundamental” to the boosting the parcels services and the business-to-consumer trade by connecting Australian consumers with Chinese manufacturers and increasing the Chinese consumption of Australian products such as Cullen Wines, Swisse Vitamins and Dimattina Coffee.

“In many ways, Australian goods for global consumers are 40 per cent cheaper today than only a couple of years ago. The last time this happened, we saw our export volume double.

“Interestingly, in the last 12 months, parcels, specifically into Asia, have doubled.”

Australia Post is currently in the process of a restructure which includes axing almost 2000 jobs and increasing service fees with a proposal to charge a basic postage rate of $1 for letters.

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