5 Dec 2022

Christmas post ramping up as packages flood NZ Post depots

From Checkpoint, 5:35 pm on 5 December 2022
NZ Post

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Christmas chaos is well underway for NZ Post.

If you are waiting on a parcel, it is probably at the Auckland Depot in Highbrook. 

It is the busiest things have been all year. There were 2.2 million items processed last week and that was expected to rise to 15 million over the Christmas period. 

Regional manager for North Auckland Patrick Pope said the company had ramped up staffing and resources to keep up with this year's soaring demand. 

"We love our Christmas season. We prep all year and we bring on extra resources in our processing areas, delivery drivers ... in terms of numbers we bring on temporary resources or fixed term people, so those could be in the hundreds depending on the region." 

The cut off for sending Christmas parcels is inching closer, with express post now the only option for international packages.

For New Zealand addresses there is just two weeks to go.  

Courier drivers are delivering up to 300 parcels a day at the moment, most end up at the Highbrook depot, before they are sent to locations all over the country. 

"So it comes into the facility by the plane or road network, gets inducted into the site and we've got this big conveyor belt then it goes on and it goes through the automation of being scanned as to what shoot that goes into and ultimately it goes into a cage for the courier to be delivered to the customers home." 

But it is getting them delivered safely that is becoming an issue for drivers.

"There's obviously lots of opportunists out there that are just looking to steal what they can," Constable Amy Johnston-Rusbatch from the Tactical Crime Unit said. 

There are some things people can do to avoid this happening. 

"Make sure you clearly mark the package that you want it delivered in a safe, secure location and that it's hidden and concealed and it's not visible from the road and in plain sight. 

"So if you're getting your package delivered to your home address, make sure that someone is at home to sign for it, or alternatively, you can get it sent to your work address." 

Scam delivery text messages are also doing the rounds but NZ post does not send text updates - these are sent via email. 

CJohnston-Rusbatch said the best thing to do was track shipping progress online if you were expecting something. 

Once the package had been stolen it became a matter for police, with the stolen goods often popping up for sale online, she said. 

"Some people hold onto it, some people get rid of it straight away, so if you are on Trade me or Facebook or see any bulk sort of items, then definitely report that to 105." 

RNZ went out with Pope for some deliveries, when he said it could be very tricky for drivers to make sure things get to the right place. 

"The more information, the better for us, especially units, the number, how to get there, anything that's helpful, especially in Christmas time. We have a lot of extra resources on the road and it might be their first time in the area." 

Pope said it was best to find an alternative spot at your house to leave things. 

"Say, 'hey there's a bin over there and put it behind the bin' and then you know it's going to be safe." 

If that is not possible, play it safe and get it sent to another location to avoid a grinch ruining your Christmas.