Australia Post has opened a new $75m state-of-the-art parcel facility that will help the company meet the country’s surging e-commerce demand.
The 14,000sq m processing hub, located next to Avalon airport, north of Geelong, boasts a capacity to sort through 40,000 parcels a day with an option to expand to 60,000 parcels in the future.
Australia Post chief executive Paul Graham said the mega-facility would keep the iconic government-owned brand fit for purpose as more Australians go online to shop.
“This modern facility is another key milestone for Australia Post and an important investment in our future as growth in eCommerce continues,” he said.
“Being close to Avalon airport and having access to key transport links will ensure we can deliver efficiently through our network.”
Major retailer Cotton On, which has a presence at the nearby Avalon industrial park, has signed a new two-year agreement with Australia Post to deliver eCommerce orders to its customers across the country.
Cotton On general manager for group distribution Andy Sanderson said the Avalon centre would speed up deliveries so customers could get “what they want, when and where they want it”.
The new centre has a tier-two large parcel sorter, parking for up to 14 semi-trailers and 92 indoor van bays.
It has automated sorting machines that can process more than 5000 large parcels every hour.
Along with eCommerce, the centre will cater to growth in the Greater Geelong area, one of the two fastest-growing areas in regional Australia.
Defence Minister Richard Marles’ electorate of Corio encompasses Avalon and he cut the ribbon to formally launch the facility on Thursday.
“This is an exciting day for Geelong because this facility supports more than 100 jobs right here in Avalon,” he said.
Australia Post will also undertake mail processing, including letters and small parcels, for the City of Greater Geelong, Bellarine Peninsula and outlying areas, with an average of 30,000 letters and 7000 small parcels delivered within the catchment each week.
The future-facing centre comes during a difficult period for the company as it navigates changes in consumer needs.
Australia Post reported a $200m loss for the 2022-23 financial year, its second recorded loss since 1989.