Australia Post is hiring 600 additional casual workers as demand for parcel delivery rises

Australia Post

Australia Post is hiring more workers as parcel delivery soars during the coronavirus pandemic.

The postal service repurposed and reopened 15 new processing centres and started hiring 600 casual workers across its network and call centres to address Australia’s parcel delivery demand.

Deliveries have averaged nearly 2 million parcels a day since just before Easter. They have also doubled in the last four weeks – up 90% from 2019 – as Aussies shop online while self-isolating.

Australia Post Acting Group Chief Operating Officer Rod Barnes said in a statement the company is working to manage delays that have been affecting deliveries.

“With our business adapting to the challenges the current pandemic presents, our normal practice of delivery has been impacted,” he said. “We are experiencing significant delivery delays due to limited flights, hygiene and social distancing requirements in our network to preserve the community’s safety, and an increase in parcel volumes as more people shop online.”

Barnes said the company has been operating its processing and delivery services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the new facilities and casual workers designed to help with this demand.

“In the last weekend alone this additional staffing allowed us to accept and process an unprecedented 3 million parcels into facilities from eCommerce customers,” he said.

Australia Post has also rolled out other measures to handle deliveries. It has shifted 700 workers – both posties and drivers – to its StarTrack transport business so they can help with van deliveries. It also chartered an extra eight freight flights, taking the total to 17 air freight flights a day.

Barnes added that these flights don’t substitute the space available on passenger planes – which have been slashed because of the coronavirus – so Australia Post can’t ensure its deliveries will happen as fast as they did before the pandemic.

“We appreciate that delays can be frustrating and want to reassure that our people are working hard to get customer’s parcels to them safely and as quickly as possible,” Barnes said.

Last week, Australia Post announced it would retrain 2000 posties to deliver parcels by van. It came after the federal government approved relief measures for Australia Post, which allowed it to ditch the ‘priority mail’ service for letters, and deliver letters every second day in metro areas.