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HomeAus & NZParcels arriving late twice as often as before Covid-19

Parcels arriving late twice as often as before Covid-19

'Quick read' news summary

The number of late deliveries from New Zealand Post has doubled in the last three years, but the postal service is doing much more with much less.

A comparison between the January to September periods of 2019 and 2022 reveals a service struggling to keep up with unprecedented demand whilst recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to comprehensive data given to RNZ, 7 million domestic and international parcels were delivered late from the start of 2022 to the end of September, compared to just 3m during that same period in 2019.

The total volume of deliveries also increased, but at a much slower pace – up just 24 percent, from 48m to 60m.

In other words, almost 12 percent of tracked packages were late in 2022, compared to 6.3 percent in 2019.

NZ Post chief operating officer Brendon Main attributes the delays to pressures caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020/21.

“New Zealanders couldn’t go out to shop in-store and this created enormous demand for online shopping and parcel delivery,” he said.

“This surge of parcels created a backlog as we worked hard to scale up to try and meet demand. Unfortunately, this did mean that many customers experienced delays.

“We apologised to the public for those delays at the time, and learnt from the first lockdown to redesign our network and operations for the next ones.”

These difficulties, Main said, were exacerbated by Kiwis’ growing interest in online shopping, which has “grown significantly over the last decade”.

“Five years ago NZ Post delivered about 60 million parcels a year, compared to about 105 million parcels in 2021.”

All of this as NZ Post’s workforce shrank – 926 delivery staff were working across the country at the end of 2019, but by September of 2022 that had dropped to just 713.

This was offset somewhat by a significant decline in letters. From

The number of late deliveries from New Zealand Post has doubled in the last three years, but the postal service is doing much more with much less. The total volume of deliveries also increased, but at a much slower pace - up just 24 percent, from 48m to 60m. "Five years ago NZ Post delivered about 60 million parcels a year, compared to about 105 million parcels in 2021."

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