Little-known Australia Post rule explains confusing delivery decisions

Nadine Carroll
·4-min read

Australia Post deliveries can be inconsistent at the best of times. Sometimes parcels arrive, while other customers are left frustrated when they’re home waiting for a delivery only to find a ‘sorry we missed you’ card in the letterbox.

It often feels like there is no rhyme or reason to why some parcels are delivered directly to a customer’s front door, and other times the recipient is left to collect parcels themselves from the local post office.

But according to Australia Post – there is an explanation.

One woman found out the reason why when she asked Australia Post a question on Facebook about her mother receiving inconsistent deliveries.

An Australi Post Postie
Your postie will deliver parcels or cards with collection details based on the zone you live in. Source: Getty

“Every other parcel she orders is delivered to door but once every three months one parcel never is,” the customer explained.

The customer shared that she had called Australia Post and it was explained that her mother’s driveway was considered “too long” for a delivery to be made to the front door.

“I would like to know exactly what length a driveway is considered ‘too long’ for delivery?” the woman asked. However the driveway wasn’t the only reason she was having difficulty receiving parcels.

Australia Post delivery – roadside or street

Australia Post responded to the question on Facebook and clarified the reason.

“It’s more or less about the length of the driveway, but about what the address is listed as within our database,” an Australia Post spokesperson wrote.

“Some addresses are noted as roadside delivery, which means drivers will attempt delivery to the letterbox, but if it does not fit here, they are not obligated to deliver it to the door.”

A card requiring mail collection (left) and a parcel left by a front door (right)
Australia Post has revealed why some parcels are delivered and some are not. Source: Getty

Which delivery type does your address fall under?

It turns out there are two types of zones Australia Post lists addresses under - Roadside Delivery or Street Delivery.

Roadside delivery is usually found in ‘medium to low population density areas’ according to the Australia Post website.

Posties who deliver parcels and letters to addresses in these areas are not required to deliver to your front door, it’s left up to the individual so this could explain why sometimes you receive a knock on your door and other times you find a card with collection details from Australia Post in your letterbox.

“Delivery to these locations depends on various factors, such as the distance from the delivery centre, unsafe roads and lack of available contractors in the area,” the website explains.

A worker sorting parcels in the mail room
Whether your parcel is delivered to your door or required for collection depends on your address. Source: AAP

Australia Post assures customers in the area that letters and parcels will usually be delivered to your letterbox, but recommends having a large letter box that is secure and protects mail from the weather to make it easier for the postie to deliver your mail.

However, if you are expecting a letter or parcel that requires ‘signature on delivery’ you may still find yourself with a collection card in your letter box instead of a knock on the door if you live in a Roadside Delivery zone.

Most parcels considered street delivery

Australia Post explains most addresses are Street Delivery, which means they are located on a residential or business property at the street boundary.

“Addresses zoned as Street Delivery should be getting delivery attempts to the door for items requiring a signature, assuming there are no access issues,” the website reads.

If you are unhappy with your dedicated zone, Australia Post told Yahoo News Australia residents can apply in writing to considering having their zone changed.

“Customers who would like to update their delivery arrangement may submit a written request to their local delivery manager who will determine if a change is viable,” an Australia Post spokesperson said.

There are several requirements that identify which address is suitable for which zone.

“Mail delivery arrangements vary depending on the size and needs of each community, and Australia Post may be limited in our ability to deliver to a property due to safety concerns, actual location and the cost of providing the service,” an Australia Post spokesperson explained.

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