Australia Post exec predicts Christmas rush, suggests customers plan ahead

Australia Post's Chief Executive Paul Graham says online shoppers should "start thinking" about their Christmas orders now ahead of a busy holiday period for the postal service.

Mr Graham made the comments at an Australian British Chamber of Commerce event in Melbourne, according to The Age.

Left: Woman's hands using credit card for shopping online on her smartphone. Right: Stack of packages on front porch after mail delivery from Australia Post
It may be time to consider online shopping for Christmas, according to Australia Post's Chief Executive Paul Graham. Source: Getty Images

Sales surge may bring challenges

Mr Graham reportedly told attendees at the event that the annual festive surge in parcel volumes is expected to amplify supply chain bottlenecks and worker shortages, putting the network under pressure and potentially causing delays in items arriving.

However, Mr Graham appeared to be optimistic about delivery schedules compared to previous years when the Covid pandemic was at its peak.

"The merchants are in much better shape than they have been the past couple of years. But if we get a similar sales surge (to last year) there will be some challenges," he said.

Parcels on a production line at an Australia Post delivery centre
Australia Post expects increased pressure on its network as the busy Christmas period approaches. Source: AAP

Cost-of-living crisis may reduce delivery loads

Mr Graham also noted Australian household budgets may be tighter this year following consecutive months of interest rate rises, which could potentially lessen the load on posties and delivery drivers.

"If people keep their money in their pocket because of interest rates, then I think we are going to be in good shape."

Christmas preparation underway

However Mr Graham, who previously led the supply chain for Woolworths supermarkets, added that consumer spending has so far shown no signs of slowing and the retail industry is preparing for the usual Christmas rush.

Last year, Australia Post handled a staggering 526 million parcels and the carrier expects that figure to double to a billion in the next decade.

Australia Post typically delivers right up until Christmas, last year advising that parcels sent up until early to mid-December would arrive in time for the holiday.

This year's deadlines for sending Christmas mail domestically and internationally are yet to be released.

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