The new equipment will be part of a $300 million national investment over the next 18 months, and will process over 10,000 parcels an hour – substantially increasing parcel processing ahead of the busy holiday period.
“It’s no secret that online shopping in Australia is growing,” said Bob Black, Australia Post Group chief operating officer, referencing the $21.3 billion spent by Australians online last year; up 18.7 per cent on 2016.
“Consumers are buying more and more online internationally and domestically, and as a result we’re processing and delivering more parcels than ever before.”
Black notes that last year’s holiday period was the company’s biggest peak period, delivering over 37 million parcels nationally in December alone; with a record 2.5 million parcels in a single day.
The automation also “reduces manual handling and risk of injury”, according to the company; providing a safer working environment.
“The new automated machinery is great news for residents of New South Wales, where our research shows online shopping grew 21.1 per cent last year,” said Black.
The investment comes after the company’s Inside Australian Online Shopping Report found the e-commerce sector as a whole grew 18.7 per cent in 2017, while marketplaces on average grew 74.8 per cent.
“Australians really appreciate the convenience of being able to access goods from a variety of sellers in the one location,” said Ben Franzi, general manager for parcels and express services at Australia Post, calling 2017 the “year of the marketplace”.
Franzi expects e-commerce spending to reach $25 billion in 2018, which would account for around 8 per cent of overall retail sales. By 2020/21, one in every 10 sales could transpire online.
Despite this, Franzi believes it is “debatable” whether Australia will ever catch up to the online saturation found in markets such as the US and UK, where the share of sales occurring online is already firmly in the double digits.
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