Sending a letter or parcel will soon cost you more, after Australia Post announced it will soon lift its prices. And it’s blaming the price hike on a combination of growing costs and an unstoppable decline in revenue.
From 3 July, the cost of sending domestic and international parcels will go up, as will the price of sending international or business/bulk letters.
The cost of sending a small parcel within Australia will go up to $10.60 and extra-large parcels will increase to $21.95.
The maximum amount you’ll now pay to send a small letter overseas jumps to $4 and large letters will be $15.
The national postal service says that like many businesses, the inflationary environment is to blame for the price increases.
“As a self-funded business enterprise, these changes are necessary to help meet growing costs, which outweigh the current price of our products and services,” the company said in a statement.
Australia Post says there will also be increases to its unaddressed mail, mail hold and redirection and photo ID services.
Two items that have been spared a price increase are concession priced stamps, which will remain at $0.60, and season greetings stamps at $0.65.
Services also get the axe
At the same time Australia Post is lifting prices on some services, it’s cutting others entirely. From now on, Saturday delivery will no longer be available, and neither will the Express Post Platinum service.
International Economy Air will no longer be an option in the MyPost Business service and will only be available at Post Offices.
Why is this decline happening?
Although the explosion of online shopping has led to a resurgence in parcel deliveries, Australia Post has faced fierce competition in that space from private courier companies.
These companies are often more competitive than Australia Post in terms of delivery times, reach, quality of service and price.
Making matters worse, the letter delivery side of the business has been in freefall for some time.
According to Australia Post’s figures, Australians received an average of 2.4 letters each week in the 2021-22 financial year, down from a peak of 8.5 letters in the 2008 financial year.
By the end of this decade, we’re expected to receive less than one letter per week. As a result of this ongoing decline, Australia Post is expected to run at a loss this financial year for the first time since 2015.
Post offices conducted 192 million transactions overall in the 2022 financial year, which is 22 million fewer than 2019.
Can anything be done?
The decline of Australia Post is concerning, considering there are more than 4300 post offices scattered throughout the country, with more than 2500 of these in rural, regional and remote areas.
Australia Post directly employs more than 36,000 people and more than 60,000 indirectly.
In March, the federal government put out a call for community consultation on ‘postal service modernisation‘, asking the public what it thinks Australia Post’s role should be going forward.
Michelle Rowland, minister for communications, said in a statement that the government wanted to help Australia Post adapt to changes in technology, commerce and consumer expectations.
“The consultation announced … will ensure Australia Post maintains the long-term financial stability it needs to continue supporting small businesses and providing essential community services, particularly in our rural, regional and remote communities,” she said in a statement.
“I encourage all Australians to have their say, especially small businesses. Your opinion will help us as we consider options to shape postal services, and sustain Australia Post now and into the future.”
Do you think these price changes are reasonable? What do you think can be done to help modernise Australia Post? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?