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COVID-19 rules and quarantine could disrupt the online distribution industry


As cases of COVID-19 continue to reach new heights, there are concerns that major Australian retailers will not be able to deliver online orders and groceries to the front door.

Sunday 9am to Tuesday Australia Post does not collect regular postal parcels from New South Wales, Victoria, and ACT e-commerce retailers...

The temporary suspension occurs after 500 post office employees have been ordered to self-quarantine by local health authorities.

Harriet McCready operates a Blue Mountain brewery in New South Wales.

Men and women standing in front of metal beer barrels.
Harriet McCready (right) is worried that COVID restrictions will affect her business. (((



Locals and tourists often stop by to get the latest products, but COVID-19 restrictions have made her a pure online delivery business.

“We make beer because we own a craft brewery. We usually sell it from Katoomba pubs without COVID, but now we sell everything and people all over Australia. You can email to “She talked to ABC.

She relies on Australian mail to distribute beer to thirsty customers, which isn’t an option this weekend and is already hitting sales.

“This weekend will be very tricky for us,” McLady said.

“The number of parcels has increased significantly and we are releasing beer on Thursdays, which means that we usually serve beer on weekends.

“So I’m not entirely sure what to do this weekend.

“I’ve already seen orders start to decline in the last two weeks. This week was probably the worst week online in the last two months.

“So I think [customers] I think, “Sit this down and try again next week.” ”

McCready states that delivery delays have already reached revenue.

Her products also have a relatively short shelf life, so extended delays can have a combined effect.

“For a company like us, the shelf life of our products is especially difficult.

“Therefore, we are also considering potentially losing that inventory.”

According to Australia Post, August was the busiest month on record.

According to the Statistics Bureau, total online demand is higher than ever. It accounts for 12% of total retail sales in July, or $ 3.7 billion.

Graph showing online purchases in Australia.
Total and seasonally adjusted numbers for Australian online orders from January 2015 to July 2021.(((

Australian Bureau of Statistics


Paul Zara, CEO of the Retailers Association, said huge online demand, along with supply chain shocks, is creating the worst of online delivery as more workers are needed for self-quarantine. I did.

“Of course, due to the blockades in the two largest cities of New South Wales and Victoria, the overall demand for shopping is high,” he said.

“In addition, the location of the distribution center has an impact.

“But that comes down to the fact that we want to ensure that we deliver our products safely to people.”

But next week we will present another challenge.

Starting Monday, concerned Greater Sydney LGA-licensed workers who have not been vaccinated at least once and have not been medically exempted will not be able to work outside the LGA in which they live. is not.

SDA is a union representing retail, fast food and warehousing workers.

Secretary of State Bernie Smith of New South Wales said about 5,000 delivery drivers and warehouse workers are self-sufficient every day across the country.

He warned that up to one-third of the “partial workforce” could be kicked out by Monday’s deadline.

“some people [have] The vaccine was only available for a very short period of time, so it’s not that I didn’t try it. “

“I know many appointments are available, but some people [trouble accessing] Reservation system. “

So are we facing a parcel and grocery delivery crisis?

Woolworths, a major supermarket, said hundreds of team members were isolated after a small exposure to COVID-19 at a distribution center in western Sydney.

“The delta outbreak has put a lot of additional pressure on New South Wales’ food supply chain over the past few weeks,” a Woolworths spokeswoman said.

“We are working hard to meet the growing demand for home delivery in the affected communities and continue to prioritize vulnerable community members through our priority support services.”

Coles Chief Operating Officer Matt Swindels said the resolution of the problem caused by COVID-19 incorporates all of the Group’s experience and expertise.

He warned in the worst-case scenario that grocery deliveries could take up to five days to arrive, but the company prioritizes delivery of mandatory items.

“Of course, we will always prioritize the products that people want most, and diapers will be one of those lines,” said Swindels.

“I myself have three children and the youngest is only three months old. I know it very well.

“I know what a sleepless night looks like, and I know you don’t want to run out of diapers 24 hours a day.

“So we give priority to that stock.”

The Retailer’s Association acknowledges that the industry as a whole is under heavy burden, and if you need to deliver parcels or groceries online, you should implement Plan B.

“There will always be risks,” Zara said.

“What we want people to do is ensure that if they need to visit on their behalf, they will lean on their neighbors, etc. to help them through it.

“I know most communities [in LGA hotspots] We have united so that everyone cannot miss it. “

And what about taking it home that Friday or Saturday night?

One of the largest courier gig economy operators is Uber.

He said there was no service interruption, but he did not answer questions about possible future delivery interruptions.

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