Australia Post will cut back on letter deliveries to focus on parcels in a move that’s hoped will help the organisation’s flailing financial viability.
The Albanese Government has moved to change AusPost’s performance standards to see regular letters and unaddressed mail delivered every second day.
Posties will instead focus on parcels, express and priority mail which will continue to be delivered every day.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said that changing consumer needs, including the rise of e-commerce and online shopping, means that AusPost “needs to adapt”.
“These new processes will mean Australia Post continues to deliver the high-quality letter service many Australians rely on, while also growing its booming parcel business for the benefit of consumers, small businesses and its hard-working staff,” she said.
“Australia Post belongs to all Australians. Modernising Australia Post will put it on a surer footing so it can deliver the essential community services Australians need – including those in rural, regional and remote areas”.
Trials of the new delivery method have allowed postal workers to carry up to 20 per cent more parcels and increase delivery points by more than 10 per cent.
It’s hoped the changes can boost the financial stability of the publicly-owned institution, with AusPost recording a $200 million loss in the last financial year.
“In an environment where customers are sending fewer letters and more parcels, it is important that the business structure of Australia Post reflects the needs of the modern Australian consumer,” Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said.
“The fiscal sustainability of Australia Post is vital to the government’s ongoing commitment to provide high quality postal services to Australians”.
Letter delivery volumes have fallen by two-thirds since they peaked in 2008, while more than half a billion parcels were delivered in the last 12 months.
The average Australian receives two just addressed letters per week.
It’s not the only change being considered at the organisation, with the consumer watchdog currently analysing an AusPost proposal to increase postage rates.
AusPost is seeking to increase the basic postage rate from $1.20 to $1.50 in early 2024 while keeping prices for Christmas stamps at $0.65.