NZ Post overtaken by Auckland’s ongoing lockdown
Auckland’s 11-week lockdown and its growing demand for parcel deliveries have NZ Post on the brink, with hundreds of additional workers needed and no more vans to hire in the city.
It comes as Aucklanders have spent more than $ 700 million online in the past three months, up $ 122 million from the same quarter last year.
Stacks of packages are processed and sorted using scanners before landing into piles ready to ship from its Auckland operating facility to Highbrook.
Brian Dobson, director of clientele for NZ Post, said it was the busiest they’ve ever been.
“Our busiest week of the year tends to be around Black Friday, our projections show that the last five weeks of online sales in Auckland will have all been bigger than Black Friday last year.”
They have hired 400 more vans and 800 workers in Auckland, but they still need 300 more workers and there are no more vans for hire in the city.
As the holiday season approaches, Dobson told Checkpoint that won’t be enough.
“There is only so much you can increase… we have already exceeded our targets for deliveries to Auckland.
“We have a little bit of potential from where we are, but there are physical limitations and there is not a lot of capacity to deliver beyond the level that we are reaching at the moment.”
Currently, two million packages are processed and delivered nationwide, 750,000 are in Auckland, or about four packages per second.
The opening hours have also been extended. And for workers like She Te Maari who manages the floor during the day, she works six days a week to keep pace.
“Previously we only processed about 2,000 3,000 [parcels] in addition to the local advance and the same day advance, but because the Auckland area has been very busy, we can now probably reach around 10,000 on average. “
She said it had been a team effort.
“We get help from the business people who come on Saturday to give us a hand and they’re actually looking at the frontline work that has been done. So for everyone to come together, it’s pretty awesome yes. “
There is currently around a week delay for parcel delivery to Auckland and this is only expected to get longer over the next three months.
To online shoppers, Dobson advised, “Plan ahead, write a list, if you’re ready you can make a big order and rather than order a lot of individual items. If you order something every week or so. every month – you know we get pets every month, you might want to consolidate a few orders and save on shipping cost again.
“A lot of retailers still offer click and collect, so if it’s available there is a way to avoid these delivery delays at this time.”
Deadlines could be even earlier, so be sure to keep an eye out.
In the meantime, staff are working around the clock to clear the backlog of packages.
NZ Post is also warning that the pandemic has led to a reduction in air cargo capacity around the world and that stricter lockdowns in some countries are also causing delays.
Delivery times for sending packages overseas in time for Christmas are packages to anywhere other than Australia that will need to be mailed by mid-November.