australia post opens largest mail facility in southern hemisphere

Doors have opened and parcels are being processed at the Brisbane Parcel Facility, Australia Post’s newest and largest facility, ahead of what will be the organisation’s busiest peak Christmas period in history.

The size of eight football fields and with over 500 of our people employed on site, and loaded with technology like Automated Guided Vehicles, robotic arms and parcel pickers, the facility will be able to process 700,000 parcels per day at full capacity.

Australia Post Group Chief Operating Officer, Bob Black, said he was thrilled to mark an early start to the Christmas peak period by opening the 50,000 square metre facility on a 130,000 square metre site.

“Australians love online shopping, spending $27.5 billion nationally online last year and this facility will be able to process those parcels more efficiently right across the network – getting it from merchant to customer quicker,” he said.

“Queenslanders are big online shoppers, with three of the top 10 postcodes – Toowoomba, Mackay, Bundaberg – each experiencing strong growth all above 20 per cent in 2018.”

“What we’re also finding is that shoppers are jumping online earlier to snap up deals in annual online sales events, which means we’re getting bigger volumes, earlier in the peak period,” Mr Black said.

Last year Australia Post delivered over 40 million parcels in December, and on two occasions delivered more than 3 million parcels in a day. This year, volumes are already greater than they were at the same time last year – with the period around Mother’s Day already the biggest since Christmas.

Over the coming peak Australia Post expects to deliver up to 3.5 million parcels on its busiest day, facilitated by a national $900 million, three-year investment in infrastructure and automation.

The $240 million investment in the flagship facility comes complete with two Beumer high-speed sorters capable of processing over 50,000 parcels per hour, four robotic arms that can together clear 320 cages per hour, a parcel picker that can move 2,500 parcels per hour, and 23 automated guided vehicles that can lift and move objects weighing up to 1.4 tonnes each then place them down to an accuracy of ~5mm.

With 3,244 solar panels that generate enough energy to power 280 homes per year – the facility is another important milestone in Australia Post’s transformation from a letter business to a growing ecommerce delivery and services organisation.

“The new automation means we can process more parcels, faster, more safely and more securely than ever before,” he said.

“As we approach Christmas, we’ll have more planes in the air, more vehicles on the road, more people in our facilities and on the phones, and our Post Offices will be open longer so we can deliver our customers the best festive season yet,” said Mr Black.

The opening of the facility at Goodman’s Redbank Motorway Estate comes on the back of the announcement of Australia Post’s largest Christmas recruitment drive to date, and a series of new sites and upgrades all going live ahead of the peak Christmas rush.