Australia Post has reported its 2017 performance and the results are largely positive, even as letter volumes continue to slide. But parcel volumes must continue to grow at a healthy rate if the they are to maintain their service and network of branches. Notably, the Australia Post report also stresses its community importance and dominant position powering Australian ecommerce.
As Australia’s most trusted delivery partner, facilitating 82 per cent of the nation’s ecommerce, we are uniquely placed to take advantage of a number of growth opportunities. This includes serving our business & government customers better, rejuvenating the role of the post office in the community, focussing on the significant international opportunities, and creating and simplifying our products that people value and trust. To build world-class experience we are investing in capacity and efficiency in major processing parcel facilities and across our delivery network, with over $300 million of investment in FY18 and $500 million forecast in FY19.
– Christine Holgate, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Australia Post
They maintained branch community access to the network with a total network of 4,356 post offices, beating a target of 4,000. It also delivered 98.5% of letters on time or early (the target was 94%). But they warned that they need to bring in $2 of parcel revenue to mitigate the impact of every $1 decline in letters. Around 91% of Australians have visited a post office in the last six months, on an average of 10 times, with 85% of Australians saying it was very important their local post office remains.
The report also stresses the community value they bring to Australia and local communities. Australia Post contributed over $6 billion to the Australian economy and for every role employed, they say they create at least one other job related to the network.
Australia Post has said there will be greater pressure on profitability in the 2018/19 financial year due to the continued decline in letters and caution around domestic and cross-border retail conditions. But maybe Amazon’s arrival will open up new opportunities for Australia Post?