NZ Post asks Aucklanders to shop differently for Christmas to stop parcel delays getting longer

It comes as online shopping in Auckland has increased by 90 percent since the start of lockdown.
It comes as online shopping in Auckland has increased by 90 percent since the start of lockdown. Photo credit: Supplied

NZ Post is asking Aucklanders to get ready for the holiday season by shopping online differently this year.

With lockdown restrictions in place, demand for online shopping in the City of Sails has increased by 90 percent, from 440,000 parcels per week to over 740,000.

That has forced the organisation to recruit 800 extra people, with 300 more still being sought. Operating hours have also been extended and processing is occurring 24/7. 

While outside Auckland things are pretty much operating as normal, that increased demand means those in Aotearoa's biggest city are facing delays of up to about five additional working days, NZ Post chief customer officer Bryan Dobson said.

With retail in Auckland still effectively closed, there is a chance those delays could get even longer in the run-up to the holidays, Dobson said, so shopping a little differently could mean less disappointed people.

"We still have eight weeks to Christmas but I think people should be using the time now to plan ahead," he told The AM Show.

"Perhaps instead of getting lots of individual deliveries you can get one big bulk order that means less deliveries for us and you get to save on shipping costs. If you order something every week or every month you might want to lump a few of those items together."

There are other ways to avoid waiting too, Dobson said.

"A lot of the online stores in Auckland are still offering 'click and collect' so they can be an option to avoid the delivery delays."

Despite some abuse aimed at staff over the delays, the organisation is "incredibly grateful" with how most are accepting of the delays.

"The vast majority of people are very patient and understanding and can see what we're dealing with and that our people are working incredibly hard," Dobson told Newshub.

"They've been working now for nearly 11 weeks in difficult circumstances with lots of parcels. We're just asking that people remain patient and realise that things may take a little bit longer to get to you."

Meanwhile NZ Post’s latest eCommerce report shows that Kiwis have spent $1.7 billion online over the last three months, an increase of 22 percent on the same period last year.

Auckland has had the biggest quarter for online shopping ever, with Aucklanders spending over $700 million online over the last three months, $122 million more than the same quarter last year.

The report shows Aucklanders have made 6.3 million transactions online in the last three months, with all indications showing those trends are going to continue in the lead up to Christmas.