Testing Australian postal delivery times during the 2020 pandemic

Terrigal post office — A letter was sent to Adelaide from here for the Postal Challenge
  • its required delivery time for regular intrastate letters will be extended to five days after the day of posting;
  • it will be permitted to adjust its delivery frequency, in metropolitan areas only, from every business day to every second business day;
  • it will have greater freedom in managing post offices while there is a pandemic, but will take all reasonable steps to keep outlets open.
The 2020 Postal Challenge

Day 0

Six letters sent from the mail box located outside the post office in Brooklyn.

Day 1

No letters arrived.

Day 2

The first letter arrived at my personal post office box located at a suburban post office near Parramatta. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic changes this letter would have arrived overnight. This letter was sent on a Monday, and arrived on a Wednesday.

Day 4

The second letter arrived at a home address in Bathurst. Four days to travel from Brooklyn to Bathurst. Pre-COVID-19 changes this letter would normally have taken three days to arrive.

Day 5

Five days after being posted at Brooklyn on ‘Day Zero’, a letter arrived at my home address near Parramatta. In normal times, a letter that had to travel across Sydney would arrive the next day — this letter arrived five days after being posted. Complicating the delivery was the new arrangement allowing posties to deliver mail every second day in capital city areas.

Day 6

This is a Saturday — There are no mail deliveries on this day of the week.

Day 7

This is a Sunday — There are no mail deliveries on this day of the week.

Day 8

A letter arrives in Adelaide after being sent from the Sydney suburb of Brooklyn. Letters sent from Sydney to Adelaide would normally take 3–4 days to be delivered. Thank you to ‘Radelaide’ friend Mikey Nicholson for allowing me to use his personal letter box for the ‘Postal Challenge.’

Day 9

A letter arrives in Brisbane. Two letters have yet to arrive at houses in Melbourne and Sydney’s east.

Day 10

Thursday 5th November 2020. A letter arrived in Melbourne. Sent from the Sydney suburb of Brooklyn. During normal times, this letter would have arrived three days after being sent. Thank you to my friend CrouchGJ for participating in the 2020 Postal Challenge.

Day 11

The final letter arrived at my brother’s house — located not far from Sydney’s CBD. Before Australia Post had implemented their coronavirus pandemic workflow, a letter sent from one Sydney suburb to another would normally have arrived the next day. Instead, this letter, which was sent from Brooklyn on Monday 26th October, arrived on Friday 6th November! 11 days to travel about 50kms.

A letter, featuring a Magda Szubanski AO stamp, took 9 days to travel from Sydney to Perth

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