Australian consumers are being urged to get their Christmas shopping done early this year if they plan to send gifts via the post, with Australia Post this week setting out key Christmas delivery dates.
The post carrier is preparing its network to face sustained high demand from unprecedented e-commerce sales at the busiest time on the retail calendar — including by hiring thousands of short-term casuals — and says Christmas deliveries will take longer this year.
For consumers and businesses using parcel post from anywhere in Australia, Australia Post recommends sending the item by Saturday, December 12, to arrive by Christmas Day.
If the parcel is being sent by express post, the Christmas delivery deadline is Saturday, December 19.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
“We’ll still deliver items sent after these dates as quickly as possible, but it will be difficult to get them to their destinations by Christmas,” said Australia Post.
For international deliveries, Australia Post has set out a table with the key dates for key international zones.
If using courier post services to send to any of the zones, items must be sent by December 9, while the dates vary for parcels sent via express and standard post.
International delivery dates are subject to change, however, with Australia Post saying “circumstances can change rapidly in this highly volatile environment”.
The Christmas delivery deadlines may be useful for smaller retailers as they also prepare for higher than usual e-commerce sales this festive season.
A large proportion of these sales are likely to continue to come from Victoria, which led online shopping volumes to new highs in August.
In data shared last month, Australia Post said August was the “biggest month in Australian online shopping history”.
Online purchases were up by 8.9% compared to the Christmas peak, and 5.8% higher than in April 2020, which was the previous largest period.
During this time, online spending by Victorians increased by 170%, while spending across the rest of the country rose by 85%.