Australia Post has announced it will temporarily pause all parcel collections from online retailers in New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, and Victoria to enable the organisation to clear out its backlog of parcel deliveries.
The pause will occur from 7am, 4 September 2021 to 7am, 7 September 2021.
"This temporary measure will allow us to responsibly clear record parcel volumes in parts of our network impacted by COVID-19," the company said in a service update.
"The safety of our people is our highest priority, and this will help ensure volumes are kept to a safe and manageable level. Our team will continue with processing across the weekend in these areas."
The company blames the backlog on a culmination of current COVID-19 restrictions, shortage of staff, and increasing volumes of online orders.
"Australia Post currently has 500 people in necessary self-isolation, placing increased pressure on our network, while we also manage flight restrictions, temporary facility closures, and parcel volumes as high as Christmas peak period," Australia Post said.
Collections from all other states and territories, as well as Express Post, Premium, and Startrack Express services, and collections from post offices and street posting boxes will continue, however, Australia Post said.
The organisation also took the opportunity to reconfirm its commitment to shipping perishable goods, such as food and medicine, across the country.
"Australia Post will continue to work closely with its customers to meet their respective needs and deliver sustainable solutions on the most appropriate way of transporting their products through our ambient network," it said.
Australia Post added during the temporary pick-up pause, deliveries would continue as usual, including on weekends, and its post offices would remain open.
During its FY21 results, the group reported a 10% boost in revenue to AU$8.27 billion. Parcels and Services revenue grew nearly 18% to AU$6.48 billion, on the back of a 27% increase in Australia Post branded parcels, and StarTrack volumes up 12%.
"The strength of ecommerce -- up 31.8% as Australians took to online shopping in record numbers – has supported the result, as did the temporary regulatory changes which allowed us to meet the significant parcel demand and ongoing mail delivery," Australia Post acting group CEO Rodney Boys said.
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