Changes announced to Australia Post system

From today (4th January), Australia Post has instituted a number of changes to their system for the public, that has been only been available to business customers over the last year.

There will now be three tiers to the postal system. Everyone will be able to buy a stamp for AUD $1 and the letter will go through the Regular service for the Basic Postal Rate (BPR). This is an increase of 30 cents a letter and has been met with some disdain in the national media.

If a customer wishes to send their post by Priority service they must buy a Priority label from a local Post Office or print off a label from the Australia Post online shop for 50 cents. This will get the letter delivered within 1-4 business days.

Nearly 6 million Australians are still eligible to use he concession stamp for 60 cents a letter, and this concession is remaining in force. Seasonal greetings cards can also be sent for 65 cents. Over half of all letters that go through the Australia Post network are used by concession holders.

As postal volumes decline, it has become necessary for postal operators to raise the cost of delivering mail in order to pay for decreasingly busy postal operations. This is counter intuitive as in order to improve business it is generally thought that one should lower one’s rates, though online business has increasingly taken over that of snail mail and is generally seen as a service that may disappear altogether in the coming years. Australia Post’s concessionary postal rate has kept a steady stream of letters flowing, showing that a frozen price point can keep the flow of mail going. This however is loss making, which is again counter intuitive om a business point of view.

A statement from Australia Post said, “the increase to the BPR is only the fifth in 23 years”, adding that “at $1, the BPR will remain one of the lowest in the developed world”.