As Australian authorities attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19, transportation availability into the country has significantly fallen. As a result, Australia has blocked all parcels from USPS on top of the block on First Class Package International shipments the country enacted the first week of September (New Zealand has also blocked all USPS parcels except Priority Mail Express International). If you have customers in Australia, it may make sense to refrain from sending any additional USPS packages down under for the time being, until the transportation shutdowns subside. In the time being, you could also use another carrier like UPS or Asendia to get packages into Australian borders.
Until Australia Lifts Block on USPS International Parcels, Packages Might Sit in Airports…or Get Sent Back to You
At the beginning of September, Australia only blocked First Class Package International shipments. Since lightweight packages make up most of the country’s import volume, Australia specifically decided to curb these parcels from entering. Australian authorities assumed this decision would alleviate a lot of pressure on the country’s shipping networks. However, as the country continues facing rising COVID-19 cases, Australia soon blocked other international packages from USPS.
In the meantime, there are other available options to get packages to Australia. Some such options are Simple Export Rate on Pirate Ship, or any international service from a private carrier like UPS, FedEx, or Asendia. These private carriers have built out their own networks throughout the world; they don’t rely on the same commercial flights, Universal Postal Union rates, or customs and import rules that USPS does. Therefore, postal closures don’t affect these private carrier companies the same way they affect USPS.
Do You HAVE to Ship It?
Until these COVID-related transportation restrictions lift, a good question to ask yourself is whether or not you absolutely have to ship your package to Australia right now. If the answer is no, then maybe you shouldn’t! For the time being, it may make sense to hold onto your packages yourself. Then, you can send them to Australia once the country is “back to normal,” in terms of transportation availability. That way, you’ll at least know where they are, instead of wondering how long they’re sitting in an airport or a package hub all the way across the world.
If you do decide your shipments need to get there, then you should only use a private carrier for the time being, like UPS, FedEx, DHL, or Asendia.
No matter what you choose, you should still contact your Australian customers and set realistic expectations. They should know what’s going on, but ample communication never hurt any eCommerce business. Transparency always wins out at the end of the day!