Penrith’s mail delivery demand in April grew by a whopping 94 per cent in comparison to last year, as Coronavirus influenced mass online spending.
With more people at home and the closing of retail stores, the strain on the postal industry was inevitable, as huge sales across the board led to residents grabbing for their wallets.
The year-on-year increase for variety store purchases alone rose by 140 per cent. Liquor items saw the largest growth of 186 per cent.
Staff at Australia Post Nepean Business Centre have been working around the clock to try and keep up with demand in the region.
Delivery driver Donna Bamblett said it’s at least three times their usual Christmas season load.
“I’ve worked with the company for 14 years and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said.
“The volume of work has tripled you could say, it’s been very challenging for all of us with long and hard days, we’re all feeling it but we’re out there doing our best to keep up with it.
“A lot of people probably think it’s safer to buy at home than go out in public and then there are the government grants, there’s so many different reasons for it happening.”
Ms Bamblett said the staff have been required to work weekends, which normally only occurs in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
“Extra staff have been put on to help cope with it, ideally we’re still not covering everything but pushing ourselves to do the best we possibly can,” she said.
At the end of April Australia Post hired 600 additional casual staff nation-wide in a bid to keep up with demand.
A further 15 additional processing facilities were also opened.
Still, staff are working long hours to get people’s purchases to their doorsteps.
“We are working around the clock, doing the best we can do to get as many packages out as possible,” Ms Bamblett said.
“Every driver has their van chockablock full, you can’t get another thing in, others are working 12 hour days just to try and get through this.”
Ms Bamblett thanked the community for their patience and understanding as delays are experienced.
A graduate of Western Sydney University, Nicola Barton is a news journalist with the Western Weekender, primarily covering crime and politics.