The reliance on having goods provided through the letterbox has placed huge strain on the national postal service with nearly two million parcels delivered each day since Easter, 90 per cent more than the same time last year.
Australia Post has also repurposed and opened 15 new processing facilities as it cops heavy criticism from consumers for slow deliveries, acting chief operating officer Rod Barnes said.
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“With our business adapting to the challenges the current pandemic presents, our normal practice of delivery has been impacted,” he said in a statement today.
“We are experiencing significant delivery delays due to limited flights, hygiene and social distancing requirements in our network to preserve the community’s safety, and an increase in parcel volumes as more people shop online.
“For the last four weeks, we have been operating our processing and delivery services seven days a week, with our dedicated staff working on rotation over the 24-hour period, each day.”
On top of the hiring push, the postal service company has “refocused” 700 posties and StarTrack drivers to increase the number of vans on the road.
“We have chartered an additional eight freighter flights, increasing this to 17 dedicated air freighter flights per day,” Mr Barnes said.
“These flights provide some relief and have improved our Express Post priority service deliveries across major capital cities by the next business day.”
‘HEIGHT OF LAZINESS’
The announcement comes after Australia Post was slammed by consumers on social media after it forced customers to collect their parcels from post offices despite being home to collect packages.
The organisation’s Facebook page has been littered with complaints that posties are failing to wait a reasonable amount of time after knocking or buzzing with a delivery.
Many claim that by the time they answer the door, the courier has vanished, leaving behind a card with details for the package to be collected in person at an Australia Post branch.
The frustration is amplified due to the from-home workforce needing to go to the post office and possibly being exposed to the virus.
“Absolutely disgraceful Australia Post. Your driver rang the doorbell and immediately left today. The height of laziness. Not good enough, I want action taken,” one Facebook user wrote, while another added: “Exactly what I’m experiencing again and again. I’m literally sat next to the buzzer too.”
“Same here they don’t even come up the drive” another posted, while another questioned: “So why was I carded when I was home all day? Now I have to make a non-essential trip to pick up a package from the post office. Deliverless, not contactless!”
“I received a delivery notice to pick a parcel up from the post office as no one was home. I’m not sure if your couriers realise, Australia Post, but all of Australia is home!!! I know all six of us are! No knock or doorbell was heard. Is this just laziness???” another claimed, while many others complained of long delays on deliveries.