Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Post in the new age


Australia Post is being squeezed in the age of instant communication via email and social networking. Postal services are going through the biggest upheaval since the introduction of the Penny Black in London in 1840. A standard letter costs 60c to post in Australia. However, fewer and fewer of them are being posted. Society's requirements are changing.


Although email and social networking and the omnipresent mobile phone have cut a swathe through communication by letter, the advent of the internet and online shopping has increased the demand for parcel post. I have recently survived a mania for buying old Matchbox cars and children's books from the 40s and 50s on eBay. More often than not, the price of the postage was more than the price of the item.

So, Australia Post is introducing an eBay low-cost satchel and box priced at a low flat rate anywhere in Australia. There are to be 24-hour-access electronic parcel lockers trialled in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, in addition to 100 extended hours locations. They will introduce self service machines for domestic parcels. With 70% of its parcel business generated by a mouse-click, improving customer service is to be encouraged.


How the years have changed. This Little Golden Book was first printed in 1952 under the auspices of Simon & Shuster, now Random House. The text was jointly written by Margaret Wise Brown ('Goodnight Moon') and Edith Thatcher Hurd, with the illustrations created by Tibor Gergely.

9 comments:

Virginia said...

WEll that little Golden Book took me back....very far back. I still have a Santa's Workshop that I remember from my childhood. The illos were so dear.
V

Joan Elizabeth said...

It is fascinating to see the transformation of the postal service. I am glad it is happening. Mind you we still get quite a lot of snail mail but not personal letters. My mum used to write every week before long distance phone calls got cheap.

Kate said...

I worry about the loss of jobs for the postal workers.

J Bar said...

Australia Post seems to be one of the few postal service in the world that hasn't been so affected by the losses in snail mail because they've made structural changes to take advantage of the popularity of online shopping and parcel deliveries.

Julie said...

Kate - yes, I suspect there will be major job losses in postal services, but people nowadays are adept at changing jobs, even industries. They are less wedded to one-job-for-life than we were. It is essential that they be like this, too. No good crying over a job that no longer serves a function. Best to 'migrate' to areas of the economy that are creating new types of jobs.

Peter said...

Love the book please show the rest! Copyright infringement pending.

Thérèse said...

Hard to tell how the postal service will survive! New ways are in the making...
I love these Golden books classics.

Ali - Scituate Daily Photo said...

The United States Postal Service is going through similar troubles, so it was interesting to hear you tell of Australia's attempts to address the changing times. The idea of the electronic parcel lockers and self-service machines is intriguing!

Julie said...

I figured ALL postal services were in dire troubles, but had read some of those re the USA. I had also assumed that some of our solutions were modelled on solutions implemented elsewhere - especially the massive increase in small parcel delivery. So many many many of our post offices are now just shops run for profit by little family groups. A bit like a convenience store. Even in my local area, some are much better than others, eg Edgecliff offers far superior service than does Paddington.