Why is My Parcel Delayed? How Australia Post Delivery Delays Affect Customers

Have you recently ordered a parcel that seems to be taking longer than usual to arrive? You’re not alone. Delivery delays have become increasingly common with Australia Post over the past couple of years. In this article, we’ll examine the key reasons your parcel may be delayed and what you can do about it as a customer.

What’s Causing the Recent Spike in Australia Post Delivery Delays?

There are several factors that have led to more parcel and mail delivery delays across Australia Post’s network.

Surging Demand for Postal Services

Over the past decade, ecommerce and online shopping have skyrocketed in Australia. This has driven huge increases in parcel volumes flowing through Australia Post’s network.

For example, in 2020 Australia Post delivered over 500 million parcels – 60% higher than just two years prior. This surge in demand has stretched delivery capacity.

Ongoing Impacts of the Holiday Peak Period

Every year, November and December bring a massive uptick in parcel volumes leading up to Christmas. In 2020, Australia Post delivered almost 3 million parcels every day in December.

This peak period strains infrastructure and causes backlogs. The impacts on delivery times often flow through to January or even February.

How Long Are Australia Post Delivery Delays?

The extent of postal delays can vary substantially depending on factors like your location, the delivery service purchased and more. However, the following delivery delays have commonly been reported:

  • Express post: Next business day delivery is not guaranteed. Delays of 2-7 days are common.
  • Regular parcel deliveries: End-to-end transit times of up to 2 weeks are common. Many parcels are taking 2-3 times longer than average.
  • Letters: While delays are less severe for letters, delivery may still exceed the standard 2-7 business day timeframe.

Delays have been particularly pronounced in Victoria and Sydney. However, all states have been impacted by stretches of delivery delays.

Why Has My Specific Parcel Been Delayed?

If you’re wondering what exactly has gone wrong with your specific parcel, here are some of the reasons it may be delayed:

  • Processing and transport delays: Your parcel may have been held up in a backlog at an Australia Post facility. It can take some time to clear record parcel volumes through sorting and transit.
  • Incorrect address details: Incorrect recipient details on your parcel can cause major routing issues and delays. Make sure you enter the full delivery address when purchasing postage.
  • Heavy demand on delivery routes: With huge volumes flowing through the network, your delivery driver simply may not have capacity to reach your address as quickly as normal.
  • Severe weather disruptions: Events like bushfires, floods or cyclones occasionally force the closure of delivery routes or entire facilities. Your parcel will face delays until operations can safely resume.
  • Delays at international airports and customs: For parcels coming from overseas, congestion at Australian air freight terminals can slow processing. Detailed customs inspections can also hold items up.

If your parcel has taken more than 10 working days to arrive, you may want to request tracking updates from Australia Post to determine what has gone wrong.

How Can I Track My Delayed Parcel with Australia Post?

To get enhanced visibility on your delayed parcel and determine its current status, you have several tracking options:

  • Submit an online enquiry with your tracking number via Australia Post’s website
  • Call Australia Post on 13 76 78 and speak to a customer service representative
  • For Express Post deliveries, you can call 13 13 18 for priority assistance
  • If you purchased postage through a retailer, check directly with them on the status of your parcel
  • For international parcels, track via the international courier service that shipped your item

Tracking your delayed parcel is the best way to get answers on expected delivery and potentially have your service concerns escalated.

What Compensation or Support is Available for Delayed Parcels?

If your delayed parcel was sent through an Australia Post service like Express Post that included delivery time guarantees, you may be entitled to reasonable compensation or support such as:

  • A refund of your postage costs
  • A discount on future postage
  • Extension of the included tracking period

You’ll need to contact Australia Post customer service and provide your delayed parcel’s tracking number. Compensation is assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately general parcel deliveries do not come with guaranteed delivery timeframes. So standard items that are running late due to current delays are not entitled to formal compensation.

Top Tips for Sending Packages During Australia Post Delays

Here are some handy tips to help ensure your parcels and mail arrive safely despite the current delivery challenges:

  • Avoid peak periods: Avoid November-December if possible – seasonal demand severely slows deliveries.
  • Provide accurate addresses: Double check recipient details – incorrect addresses can add days or weeks of delays.
  • Use tracking services: Pay extra for tracking and signature services where available – they add security and visibility.
  • Check size and weight restrictions: Oversize or overweight parcels may require extra handling, slowing deliveries.
  • Buy supplies at your post office: Get satchels and boxes directly from Australia Post to remove addressing guesses.
  • Consider express services: Upgrading to Express Post provides priority handling and may avoid delays.
  • Keep recipients informed: Let recipients know your parcel is coming but may be slower than normal.

By following these tips, you can minimise frustration and give your parcels the best chance of arriving in reasonable – albeit extended – timeframes while Australia Post works through this challenging period.

In Summary: Understanding and Managing Australia Post Delivery Delays

  • Surging parcel volumes coupled with COVID-19 impacts have led to widespread delivery delays.
  • Track your parcels frequently to get updates and have concerns escalated if needed.
  • Check if you’re entitled to refunds or compensation for late deliveries.
  • Follow our tips to avoid headaches and prepare for delays when sending your own parcels.

We hope this overview has provided useful context and advice to help you navigate Australia Post’s delivery delays. While the current postal delays are inconvenient, being informed on the situation and leveraging tracking services will give you the confidence your parcels are in safe hands despite the extended transit times.

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