Australia Post has announced a number of service changes to help manage its current financial challenges.
The first will be adjusting the delivery days for its parcel and Express Post services to include Saturday. Traditionally, AusPost delivers on the weekend during the Christmas period -- this year that will become permanent change after the 2014 Christmas period ends.
This is good news for the growing number of Aussies shopping online, with Saturday deliveries likely to prove a welcome option for people working full-time.
Secondly, AusPost will offer different delivery options for standard letters. In June last year, businesses were given two tiers of letter delivery speeds, regular or priority, and this will move over to standard consumers from next year onwards.
AusPost has been remarkably candid about its struggles in the wake of the rapid decline in letter services. Australia Post Managing Director and CEO Ahmed Fahour said that the losses around letter delivery could rise to as much as AU$1 billion annually.
At the start of the year, AusPost used its annual survey to ask customers if they would prefer standard letter deliveries to drop to three days or week, or pay an AU$30 annual fee for daily delivery. At the time, welfare and business groups expressed concern over the possibility.
While such a shift wasn't part of today's announcements, it's clear that this will not be the end of the changes to Australia's postal service.
"It is clear to us that Australians trust our brand and want it to remain sustainable and relevant in the digital era," said Fahour. "While we build and create a sustainable postal service for the digital world, we are taking important initiatives to look after our important stakeholders."