Australia Post is facing one of its toughest periods as widespread delays have left thousands of customers across the nation disgruntled.
The government-owned corporation continues to battle through Covid complications including drastically-reduced freight services, staff shortages and a surge in online shopping, which has left recipients waiting weeks for deliveries.
And among the wave of complaints is the bizarre scenario where a parcel travels interstate before returning to the same state to be delivered.
On Thursday, Australia Post executive general manager Gary Starr moved to clarify why this has been happening.
Facing questions on ABC News Breakfast, he reassured customers this was a rare occurrence.
"That typically wouldn't be the case... but from time to time [it happens]," he said.
He explained it was a system first used during Melbourne's daunting second wave in 2020.
"We were routing parcels to Sydney because we could process them down to a postie level, or to a postcode, get them back to Melbourne and then out," Mr Starr said.
"And it was actually quicker doing that when Melbourne was so under pressure with those Stage 4 restrictions."
He said a new facility in South Australia that can process 170,000 parcels a day was likely to be utilised to ease delays.
"We will certainly take advantage, where it makes sense, to process parcels in different facilities," Mr Starr said.
"We will use the firepower across the country and make a decision around what will be the fastest way to process and get the parcel to its final destination."
Despite Mr Starr stressing using the tactic was an "exception to the rule", customers on a daily basis continue to question why their parcels are moving around the country.
The deadline for sending Christmas parcels
On Thursday Australia Post revealed the dates customers must send their parcels by to expect delivery by Christmas.
Those using Parcel Post must ship no later than December 13 while the cut off for those using Express Post is December 20.
It urged those sending to or from Perth, Darwin or regional areas to try to send earlier where possible to avoid any disappointment.
Australia Post expects more than 52 million parcels to be sent over Christmas, which would beat the record set last year.
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