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E-tailing could be the postmasters best friend

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Australia Post has punctured the myth that Internet imports are killing Australian business, telling a conference that most 'net purchases in this country are from local e-tailers.

CEO Ahmed Fahour told the Committee for Economic Development (CEDA) event that around 70 percent of Post's once-waning parcel business now comes from e-tailing deliveries. Fahour said that parcel volumes were up 10.9 per cent in the past 12 months.

“There is no question that the boom in our parcel business is being driven by the internet and online shopping,” he said.

He forecast that annual growth in that division would be at 12.5 per cent annual for the next five years.

To support the online shopping cause, the postmaster launched measures last month to extend opening hours at 300 outlets across the country on week days, while 2,400 outlets are now open on Saturdays.

"The reality is that the majority of e-commerce in Australia, despite the popular press view, emanates from domestic Australian retailers. Not necessarily the big retail names, but it's all the SMEs that are starting up online and providing terrific services. They're the new big retailers. Names that are not familiar to us. They are making huge inroads," he said.

Australia Post launched a smartphone application last December which boasts 500,000 downloads. The app allows customers to track parcels, pay bills and calculate shipping costs.

This week, PayPal, eBay and Australia Post say will be the biggest for online shopping in Australia's history, eBay.com.au's busiest online shopping day on Sunday 11 December. eBay expects over 1.6 million consumers will visit its site on that one day alone.

Australia Post predicts it will deliver an extra 3 million parcels in December this year. ®

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