Sendle joins eBay

Australian courier service Sendle has partnered with eBay. Sellers can now link their eBay accounts directly with Sendle to create shipping labels and receive access to flat-rate pricing throughout Australia, with door-to-door service that includes pick-up at prices that are said to be significantly cheaper than the post office.
eBay sellers also have access to Sendle Premium, which provides an extra $1 off standard pricing and allows merchants to ship 500g satchels for only $6.95. A 2kg parcel from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast costs $9.95 with Sendle.
The partnership is targeted at small and medium-sized businesses and to launch the partnership, Sendle is giving away 25,000 free deliveries to the eBay seller community.
Director of small business & shipping at eBay Australia & New Zealand Amrita Blickstead said: “We hear from our sellers that shipping can be one of the biggest pain points in running a business. The integration with Sendle is designed to remove some of this friction, and will allow our 40,000 small-to-medium sellers to be more efficient and sell instantly without being locked into a contract or a minimum commitment.”
Co-founder and CEO of Sendle James Chin Moody said: “‘Sendle for eBay’ is levelling the playing field for small and medium-sized eBay sellers, giving them a new shipping option that is simple, reliable and affordable. With a deep understanding of eBay seller needs and working together with eBay, we are focusssed on eliminating frustrating pain points for both buyers and sellers, making the delivery process seamless.”

AusPost announces price hike

On 2 October, Australia Post will change the price of some products by an average of 2.8 per cent.
“These pricing changes will ensure we can continue to invest in our large and trusted delivery network, covering more than 4,000 post offices and 11.6 million delivery points each day,” the company said in a statement. “This will also allow us to manage increasing costs across the delivery network.”
The company added that it had strived to keep prices unchanged on a number of popular products, including parcel post satchels.
“In the last 12 months, we have made substantial investments in our delivery network including launching six dedicated Qantas freighter aircraft and announcing 500 additional free Parcel Locker locations at Woolworths sites,” the company added.

AusPost reports $126.1 million FY17 profit

Australia Post has announced a full-year profit before tax of $126.1 million, up from $41 million in FY16, a leap it attributes to continued strong growth in the parcels business allowed for reinvestment in customer service initiatives.
Parcels profit before tax increased by 4.8 per cent to $299.7 million, thought addressed letter volumes, down 11.8 per cent, contributed to a $180 million loss before tax in the postal business.
Australia Post Acting Managing Director and Group CEO Christine Corbett said the result demonstrates Australia Post’s shift to becoming a major e-commerce player is paying dividends.
“Our parcels business has experienced a strong year with 4.8 per cent revenue growth and an increase in volume delivered across the domestic and international network,” she said. “Last Christmas, we had our largest ever parcel delivery day, with more than two million parcels delivered in a single day, and we’ve continued to experience strong growth throughout what is traditionally a quieter second half.
“With new entrants to the market contributing to overall growth in e-commerce volumes, we expect our parcels business to continue to grow, allowing for reinvestment in customer initiatives like MyPost, parcel lockers and digital trusted services.
“The letters business still presents a significant challenge, with our largest ever 12-month volume decline experienced this year. We need to continue to ensure this business is sustainable, while managing the declining foot traffic in post offices, and we are speaking with the community on how they may use the letters service in the future.”
Australia Post advised that the strong parcels growth is expected to continue, however the structural decline in letters will put pressure on the profit outlook for FY18.

AusPost launches commerce hub

Australia Post has entered into a joint venture with a global fintech company AlphaPaymentsCloud, PowerRetail reports. The two will create an integrated commerce platform, AlphaCommerceHub, which will ease online trading for Australian retailers, a one-stop shop for e-commerce services including payment processing, identity, fraud detection and shipping.
“Businesses will no longer need to invest in multiple platforms, integrations and expensive ongoing investment to stay current,” said Andrew Walduck, Executive General Manager of Trusted e-Commerce Services and Group Chief Digital Officer, Australia Post.
“AlphaCommerceHub offers contemporary point of sale and online checkout options.
“It’s an absolute game changer in Australia’s fintech evolution so we’re incredibly excited about the potential this joint venture brings to both our banking partners and our customers.”
PowerRetail shared that Oliver Rajic, CEO, of AlphaPaymentsCloud noted that the platform will provide customisable commerce services and streamlined payments.
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Australia Post to realize our shared vision to become Australia’s vendor solution switch,” said Rajic.
“Everyone’s talking about fintech, but Australia Post is truly embracing this transformation. It’s amazing to consider the potential for our joint solution to create the infrastructure underpinning Australia’s fintech future.”

Online shopping surging

Australians are shopping online more than ever and mainly from local retailers, with sales surging more than 11 per cent in the past year, according to new research from Australia Post.
Australia Post has released its second annual Inside Australian Online Shopping Report – an overview of eCommerce in Australia, identifying who is buying what and where online.
The report, which draws on all of Australia Post and StarTrack’s customer and delivery data, showed online shopping sales rose 11.5 per cent in 2016 compared with 2015, and domestic retailers accounted for 79 per cent of the total online spending.
Australia Post’s general manager of e-commerce & international Ben Franzi said Australians’ love of fashion and department/variety store items continued, with the two categories accounting for more than half of all online sales.
“Price, range and convenience are the three main reasons why consumers shop online, and why growth rates remain strong,” Mr Franzi said.
“Online shopping empowers people to shop at a time that suits them.”
“Almost one third of all online purchases were made from 7pm-10pm, while 18 per cent were made from 2pm-5pm. Australians are increasingly using their smart phones to shop online, with purchases made from a mobile device growing 52 per cent.”
Other popular items included personalised goods, which grew 28.2 per cent. Mr Franzi said more online retailers were offering shoppers the ability to co-design and add their own personal brand to products such as watches, handbags and other accessories.
Point Cook in Victoria was the No.1 buying location for the second consecutive year, reporting 13.2 per cent growth, followed by Toowoomba in Queensland (7.6 per cent growth) and Liverpool in NSW (15 per cent growth).
Together, Australia Post and StarTrack deliver more than four billion items to 11.6 million addresses across the country annually. Mr Franzi said the data provided critical information for businesses looking to get ahead in a tough retail market.
“Here in Australia retail as we know it won’t ever look the same,” Mr Franzi said.
“The Inside Australian Online Shopping Report is a powerful tool to help businesses understand their existing and potential customers better, so they can create targeted offers and grow their sales by giving consumers what they want based on facts and data.”

Ombudsman pushes AusPost to give SMEs a fair go

Small business operators have raised concerns with the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell, noting that Australia Post appears to be providing volume discounts to big customers sending large amounts of parcel mail.
Carnell is currently considering options to level the playing field for small businesses.
“Concerns have been raised with me by small business operators regarding their capacity to compete with big business when it comes to online sales,” she said.
“One of the biggest barriers that small businesses face online is the cost of sending parcels.”
In one example given, a music shop in regional South Australia was quoted $75 to send a small guitar to a post office in North Queensland, while a larger competitor was able to offer free postage.
“I am examining options to level the playing field for small business to compete fairly with big business when it comes to sending goods within Australia,” Carnell added. “One option may be to establish a buying collective.
“In many cases, the online presence of a small business enables a physical store to remain open in suburbs and regional towns where it might otherwise not be viable.
“A physical store contributes to council rates, vibrancy and economic activity, which are all vital to the sustainability of local communities.”

New AusPost chief comments on the challenge ahead

Christine Holgate, announced last week as the new Managing Director and Group CEO of Australia Post, succeeding Ahmed Fahour, has spoken to the Seven Network’s Sunrise team about the task ahead for the postal service.
Asked about the biggest trial she anticipates Australia Post will face, Holgate noted that utilisation of the company’s workforce as letter sending declines will be difficult going forward.
“Clearly, one of the biggest challenges is you’ve got this army of these fantastic trusted people going out to our homes every day, but the letters they’re delivering are declining,” she said, adding that she is keen to keep the nation’s post workers relevant in the community and in their jobs.
When questioned about her salary expectations when entering the position, after the disclosure of her predecessor Fahour’s excessive pay packet resulted in his departure from the company, Holgate noted that remuneration wasn’t a consideration.
“I know this might sound peculiar to people, but I never asked what the salary was,” she said. “It wasn’t actually a factor in me deciding to do the job, I always said to John [Stanhope, Chairman (non-executive) of Australia Post’s board of directors], ‘you’ll pay me what you think is fair’, and to me, taking the job had nothing to do with pay.”
See the interview below.

Ahmed Fahour welcomes incoming AusPost MD and CEO

Current Managing Director and Group CEO of Australia Post, Ahmed Fahour, has welcomed his successor, Christine Holgate in a press release.
Fahour congratulates Holgate on her appointment to the position, noting that her
skillset and international experience make her an ideal fit given Australia Post’s shift to eCommerce and its “ongoing commitment to serving the community.”
He adds that he and Holgate share similar views about the importance of supporting workforces and equipping people to succeed. “As we have transformed Australia Post into a pre-eminent eCommerce company, we have invested heavily in our people and the culture of our organisation,” he said. “I know Christine will maintain that approach.”
Fahour adds that he is pleased that Group Chief Customer Officer Christine Corbett will act as MD and Group CEO until Christine Holgate arrives at Australia Post in mid-to-late October, ensuring continuity and momentum are maintained,
“As an advocate for diversity I leave Australia Post proud that five of the most senior roles in the business are now filled by women,” he said. “They include the new Managing Director and Group CEO Christine Holgate, acting Deputy Chair Holly Kramer, Chair of the Board Audit Committee Jan West, the acting Managing Director and Group Chief Customer Officer Christine Corbett and the Group Chief Financial Officer Janelle Hopkins.”

AusPost names new MD and Group CEO

The Board of Australia Post has announced that Christine Holgate will be the corporation’s next Managing Director and Group CEO, succeeding Ahmed Fahour who will step down next month.
Holgate will officially start in the position mid-to-late October 2017. She joins Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable & Wireless.
Chairman John Stanhope said Australia Post undertook a thorough global search before choosing Holgate to lead the business.
“Over the past seven years, we have transformed Australia Post into Australia’s leading Parcels and eCommerce company and introduced critical reforms to the letters service. With Post now entering a new stage in our transformation, it’s the perfect time for Christine to take the helm,” said Stanhope.
“Christine has a demonstrated track-record of delivering results in large, complex organisations, both here in Australia and internationally.
“The Board was impressed by her experience of working very successfully in a range of different industries that are highly regulated. And, on top of that, she has a proven ability to implement strategy – and successfully grow a business in Asia.
“Her knowledge of global eCommerce will be invaluable as we pursue our ‘Asian strategy’, which is all about offering logistics support to Australian businesses that are either selling in Asia, or sourcing their products there.
“Christine’s business philosophy is also a perfect fit for Australia Post. She is a firm believer that businesses must perform commercially, but also serve the community. And that’s entirely consistent with our objectives as a community-based business that has both commercial objectives and community service standards to uphold.”
Holgate said she felt privileged to be appointed as CEO of such an iconic Australian corporation and she looked forward to building on the achievements of her predecessors.
“Australia Post has proven itself to be one of the most resilient and successful postal businesses anywhere in the world. I feel fortunate to be joining at a time when we can really strengthen Post’s leading position in the eCommerce market – both here, in Australia, and in Asia,” she said.
“I’m a passionate advocate for Australian business seizing the opportunity that’s on our doorstep in Asia and that creates opportunities for everyone – our workforce, our shareholder, the community, as well as businesses across Australia.
“I’m really looking forward to joining the team. And I’m especially looking forward to getting out and meeting the posties, the drivers, post office staff, licensees and other partners who deliver services in communities across Australia, every day.”
Holgate’s remuneration has been set at $1.375 million fixed annual total remuneration, with the possibility to earn incentive payments of up to $1.375 million, in accordance with the parameters set by the Commonwealth Remuneration Tribunal.
The Australia Post Board also announced that its Group Chief Customer Officer, Christine Corbett, will lead the business through the CEO transition period – between Fahour’s departure on 28 July and Holgate’s arrival in October.
Corbett joined Australia Post in 1990 and has held key leadership roles across retail, mail network, major change, strategy, marketing and communications.

AusPost launches e-vehicle trial in Brisbane

A three-wheel electric delivery vehicle trial has begun in Brisbane, servicing Coorparoo, Woolloongabba and East Brisbane over an eight-week period. The e-vehicle has three times the parcel carrying capacity of the motorbikes currently used by Australia Post for deliveries – it can hold up to 100 small parcels and 1,200 letters at a time.
Angela Creedon, Queensland State Manager, Australia Post, said Brisbane is a perfect city for the next phase of the electric delivery vehicle rollout with locals increasingly embracing online shopping, and more small parcels being delivered than ever before.
“We know that residents in Brisbane love online shopping. In fact the yearly growth rate in the area is over eight per cent,” Creedon said.
“Our parcels business generates over 70 per cent of our total revenue. Ten years ago parcels contributed less than 25 per cent of our revenue.
“As our business transforms so too are the jobs that our workforce are doing. A few years ago, we equipped our posties so they can deliver small parcels and this latest initiative will allow them to deliver even more – helping to ensure their roles remain meaningful well into the future.
“While letter volumes have nearly halved, this is another example of how Australia Post is looking at ways to keep our posties delivering for Australians.”
The pilot comes after Australia Post announced a $197 million before-tax half-year profit, driven largely by a 5.7 per cent volume growth in the parcels business and postal losses reduced to breakeven.
The e-vehicles are already successfully used in Germany and Switzerland, offering carrying capacity, improved rider safety and lower vehicle emissions.

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