Postal services overloaded

May 25, 2020

Local mail contractors estimate that the number of parcels being delivered locally has increased by 300% to 400% over the last couple of months.

Al Austin Warialda Post Office manager.

Travel and social distancing restrictions due to the COVID19 pandemic has meant that people aren’t able to travel as freely to other towns to purchase some of the items that they may not be able to get locally.

So many are turning to internet shopping and their ‘add to cart’ purchases has meant that our postal and courier system is working overtime, with increased volume and longer hours.

“This time last year we barely got any parcels,” Warialda Post office manager Al Austin said. “Since the COVID restrictions came in, things have gone ballistic,” he added.

“It’s starting to ease off now at the end of the week, but there could be more again next week as the parcels get processed through Tamworth.”

Post Office Licensee Ted Moffatt has returned to work doing the rural deliveries and he explained that there is a delay in processing in the sorting centre in Tamworth.

He said that COVID restrictions and social distancing has meant that the number of people working at the sorting centre has had to be decreased, and the volume that they can get through in a day has also decreased. This is contributing to the delay in mail and parcels to the mailbox.

He added that the sorting centre at Tamworth is ‘chocablock’ with parcels, which is taking a while to process.

Australia Post have said that the challenges presented by the pandemic mean there are delays as they adopt additional safety measures to protect their staff and customers. Other factors contributing to delays include fewer domestic flights, international delays and increased volumes as more people start shopping online.

They have said that with the spike in online shopping, they’re processing  and delivering up to two million parcels a day across Australia.

Warialda Post Office Manager Fiona Bayliss has encouraged people to continue to shop local. “Obviously there are many items that can’t be bought locally, but where possible, we’d really encourage people to try and source products from our stores around the Shire.”