My nan is upset.
Australia Post took away the post box at the end of the street, and now she has to get in the car and drive to the local shops to post her letters.
When she told me I couldn’t help but laugh.
As someone who can’t remember the last time they posted anything, except for the odd Iconic return, the idea that someone would even notice a missing post box was a little amusing.
But not for my nan, apparently.
It did get me thinking though. As more and more people stop posting letters, what happens to those little red metal boxes that speckle our suburbs?
First, here are the numbers.
Australia Post is transitioning from predominantly a letters business to now managing millions of parcels each year.
In 2008, Australian letter volumes reached an all-time peak. Since then, the number of addressed letters has fallen by 50.6% per letterbox, according the company’s annual report.
Last year, the number of letters delivered by Australia Post fell by 11.8% to 2.6 billion.
The number of parcels delivered domestically grew 5.6%, with more than two million parcels delivered in a single day during Christmas 2016.
In response, Australia Post continually assessed the need for Street Posting Boxes (SPB).
And despite the declining letters business, the number of SPB hasn’t changed – much.
“Throughout the last decade Street Posting Box (SPB) numbers have consistently exceeded 15,000, currently sitting at 15,217,” an Australia Post spokesperson told Business Insider.
“Over that period the number of SPBs across our network has changed by only 4%.”
Here’s a breakdown on those numbers over the past five years.
In 2012, there were 15,995 SPBs.
“We constantly monitor the needs of communities as part of our commitment to providing a reliable mail service to all Australians,” the spokesman said. “We know the community values our SPBs and they are an important part of our network.
“Our Customer Service Obligations indicate that to be commercially viable, an SPB needs to receive an average of 25 articles per day.
“Closing an SPB is a last resort, prior to relocating or removing an SPB we consult with the local community over a 30 day period.”
And there you have it. Nan’s letterbox was receiving less than 25 letters a day, and so it was considered redundant.
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