Delivery delays intensify as FedEx workers strike across Victoria and Tasmania

FedEx

Source: Unsplash/Ismael Paramo

Small businesses shipping goods with FedEx face significant disruptions to shipping in the lead up to Christmas, as industrial action across the international delivery service’s Victorian and Tasmanian depots intensifies.

FedEx workers started a work stoppage this morning, protesting against the international delivery service’s move to lock out hundreds of workers who participated in a strike that began on Monday, the Transport Workers Union said in a statement. Today’s protests follow a seven-month long dispute between the company and its workers over pay and conditions.

The Transport Workers Union, which represents workers across the logistics, road transport and aviation industries, is planning additional stoppages in Queensland and South Australia on Wednesday.

Steve Orenstein, founder of Zoom2u, says the disruptions at FedEx come at a time when many small businesses are already struggling with supply chain issues and slow parcel delivery times.

The founder of the online delivery platform, which connects retailers directly to couriers, says businesses should consider having multiple delivery options that they or their customers can choose from.

“Businesses should make sure they have a number of different carriers set up, so they’re not just using one of the larger carriers,” Orenstein says.

Industrial action at FedEx follows months of parcel delivery chaos, as a record number of Australians took to online shopping throughout the pandemic.

Australia Post paused pickups in Melbourne for e-commerce retailers in October, and halted pick-ups across NSW, the ACT and Victoria in early September to help cope with surging parcel volumes.

Orenstein has seen a trend over the past year, noticing more small businesses build their own delivery fleets to gain more control over shipping.

“I’ve noticed businesses using a combination of services, they might build their own fleet, then also use a marketplace, and use Australia Post for outside regional areas,” Orenstein says.

It’s a trend that Zoom2u welcomes because in addition to its online platform that connects businesses to couriers, the startup offers business owners tech they can use, if they want to manage their deliveries in-house.

The technology helps drivers figure out the most efficient route to do deliveries and gives customers and businesses a tracking experience.

“Delivery is such an important part of e-commerce, making sure that your customers receive their parcel in a timely fashion is very important,” Orenstein says.

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