Australia Post has announced it will open its new Redbank facility – the largest parcel facility and delivery center in the southern hemisphere – this October.
The new facility will process up to 700,000 parcels per day at its peak – or over 35,000 parcels an hour – thanks to new automated parcel processing machines, already being used in Sydney and Melbourne.
The facility will house cutting-edge technology to significantly increase parcel processing capabilities, including robotic arms, automated guided vehicles and an automated parcel picker, the first of its kind in Australia.
According to Australia Post group chief operating officer Bob Black, the 50,000m² (538,000ft²) site will meet the growing demands of online shopping in Queensland.
“We know Australia’s love affair with online shopping isn’t slowing down. Last year Australians spent A$27.5bn [US$19bn] nationally, an increase of 24% on 2017,” Black said.
“Queensland’s love affair with online shopping also continues, and in 2018 it grew by 21% from the previous year – ahead of the national average. Making up 19% of all online shopping across the nation, Queensland also had three of the top 10 postcodes – Toowoomba, Mackay and Bundaberg – each with strong growth all above 20%.
“Our new Redbank site will be operational in time for our busy pre-Christmas period. Last year we experienced our biggest peak period ever, delivering over 40 million parcels nationally in December alone, including a record three million parcels in a single day, and we know this year will be even bigger.
“We’ll have 500 employees stationed at the new facility, a demonstration of our commitment to Queensland jobs and to remaining Australia’s preferred and most trusted delivery provider.”
As parcel numbers grow, Black believes it is important to invest in new technology to help deliver increasing volumes and help create new and safer workplaces: “Automation and our new parcel processing technology are important measures to reduce manual handling and create safer jobs for our people.
“As a business we know how important it is to continue to invest in our workforce, especially where there are opportunities for us to retrain our people to transition from the declining letters business to our growing parcels business.”
The new facility is part of Australia Post’s three-year, A$900m (US$626m) investment in parcel processing nationally.