After the massive growth of online shopping throughout 2020, Australia Post saw December become its biggest month ever, delivering more than 52 million parcels.
The month saw 20 per cent more parcels delivered than the year prior – a December that was ravaged by the 2019 summer bushfires. According to Australia Post, food and liquor, fashion and home and garden product deliveries were up 50 per cent, 37 per cent and 36 per cent respectively.
“There is no denying that online shopping grew strongly through 2020, and this reached a new level in December as millions of people chose to buy their Christmas gifts online,” said acting chief executive officer Rodney Boys.
“We prepared extensively, opening 60 new or repurposed facilities, adding 3000 vehicles and putting on additional dedicated planes, all to keep delivering for our customers.”
The postal business said in April it would retrain up to 2000 of its posties to deliver parcels in vans instead of on motorbikes in an effort to keep up with the surging demand for online delivery during lockdown.
During December, over 21 million customers were served at Australia Post’s physical locations.
“These results were only made possible through the absolute commitment and dedication of our incredible team and our licensed post office and delivery contractor partners across the country that worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances for their communities to deliver a truly phenomenal Christmas,” Boys said.
In September the business landed itself in hot water for asking staff to work unpaid overtime and deliver packages in their personal vehicles to keep up with demand, instead offering time-in-lieu and expenses for petrol – something an Australia Post spokesperson said it puts to staff every year in the lead up to the holidays.
And, in November, former CEO Christina Holgate said she would resign with immediate effect over a controversial decision to gift a number of senior management $20,000 worth of Cartier watches. Holgate insists the decision was approved by the chair, but didn’t pass the “pub test” for many.