Small businesses are concerned Australia Post’s temporary pause on e-commerce parcel collections will lead to an unmanageable surge in deliveries when collections resume from next Tuesday.
Australia Post announced yesterday that it will temporarily pause all parcel collections from e-commerce retailers in NSW, the ACT and Victoria from 7am Saturday, September 4 until 7am Tuesday, September 7.
Sean Prendergast, owner and director of Bilpin Cider in NSW, says he’s not surprised Australia Post has decided to pause parcel collections, after he noticed an increase in delays over the past few weeks.
“The non-collection period will hopefully give [Australia Post] breathing room in the short term, but it’s not going to stop the number of people ordering,” Prendergast tells SmartCompany.
“Next week is going to be a nightmare.”
Between Saturday and Tuesday, Australia Post will continue to deliver the backlog of parcels already collected in NSW, the ACT and Victoria.
Collections across all other states and territories will not be affected by the disruption to services.
Prendergast, who runs the craft cider business in the Blue Mountains region of NSW, will run a promotion over the weekend to boost sales during Australia Post’s non-collection period.
“We’ll pack those orders and have them ready for collection on Tuesday,” Prendergast says.
He imagines many businesses will also do the same, which will lead to a “massive delay” from Tuesday.
In a statement, Australia Post said its temporary pause on collections will allow it to “responsibly clear record parcel volumes in parts of our network impacted by COVID-19”.
“The safety of our people is our highest priority, and this will help ensure volumes are kept to a safe and manageable level,” Australia Post stated.
But it’s only standard parcel delivery services that will be affected by the disruption.
Express Post, Premium and Startrack Express services, and collections from Post Offices and SPB’s are not included in Australia Post’s temporary pause in e-commerce parcel collections.
Deliveries for those premium services will continue as usual, including on weekends, and post offices will remain open.
Australia Post apologised for the inconvenience the disruption will cause to businesses and individuals, particularly over the Father’s Day weekend.
The pause on e-commerce parcel collections comes amid an increasing delay in shipping times as the postal service buckles under a surge in delivery volumes due to lockdowns in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.