Online shoppers vent frustrations as shipping delays increase

There's a growing level of frustration from online shoppers waiting longer than usual for their parcels to arrive.

Major courier companies say they're busier than ever due to COVID-19, and they're urging customers to be patient.

Mum-of-four Louise Henderson Lewis is still waiting on an outfit she ordered online for her newborn.

She bought it online on Tuesday and it's being delivered by the courier company Aramex, formerly Fastway Couriers, while she spends every day in the neonatal intensive care unit in Tauranga.

But she's still waiting.

"I'm going to cry," she tells Newshub. "I know it seems silly to some people but it was special to me."

She's not the only customer still waiting. Hundreds of frustrated shoppers have taken to Aramex's Facebook page.

One told Newshub they've waited three weeks and counting.

Aramex's chief executive Scott Jenyns said in an emailed statement that the demand it's experiencing is "the equivalent of four Christmas delivery periods".

He says: "We're not operating in a 'business as usual' situation" and "our team is working hard, like never before".

The state-owned courier New Zealand Post agrees this is the busiest it's ever been.

"We received 1 million parcels in the first three days after lockdown. In the very first day alone we received three days worth of parcels in one day," NZ Post chief operating officer Mark Stewart tells Newshub.

All of its pallets are completely full. The floor is now overflowing with plastic-wrapped mountains of parcels.

New Zealand Post has had to enlist fresh help. They've even brought in some taxi shuttle drivers to act as delivery drivers, and even some of their head office staff have jumped on the floor to help with this massive surge in online shopping.

Competing courier company DHL told Newshub it has no backlog of orders but the average delivery delay at NZ Post is about five days.

"We do apologise to New Zealanders for any inconvenience this is causing people," Stewart tells Newshub.