ORGANISATIONS that need to send parcels or packages are predicted to face challenges coming into Christmas, with “massive volumes of deliveries expected” across Australia.

Pitney Bowes head of shipping for Australia and New Zealand, Ben Seal, said carriers had been operating at typical Christmas levels since the COVID-19 restrictions started earlier this year.

It’s likely that it will get worse, not better, for deliveries coming into Christmas,” Mr Seal said.

According to the latest Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, Australians shipped 934m parcels in 2019, an increase of 8% year over year with an average of 37 parcels shipped per person.

Furthermore, e-commerce retail sales grew by 4% YoY to reach US$15.7bn in 2019, making Australia the tenth largest ecommerce market.

“Engaging multiple carriers for deliveries will be critical for businesses this Christmas, as they work to fulfill customer orders and manage their expectations,” Mr Seal said.

“Working with more than just one carrier will help minimise challenges in delivering to some destinations and ensure the best opportunity for parcels to arrive as close to on-time as possible without depending on one carrier.”

Mr Seal said online retailers should also ensure they had full visibility of their inventory and knew where new stock came from.

“Being open and transparent will improve the customer experience as well as reporting on stock availability,” he said.

“Customers may be accepting of pandemic-related delays in the current environment, though they might be less accepting if shipping delays are downplayed or companies over-promise and under-deliver on delivery time.

“Being upfront about any delivery challenges will help to ensure a great customer experience and brand loyalty beyond the Christmas season.”