'The robots are coming': Australia first for Ipswich

AUTOMATION is key to Australia Post's new Redbank facility, which is the largest parcel and delivery centre in the southern hemisphere.

The whopping site, set to open in October - just in time for the Chrissie shopping rush - will process up to 700,000 parcels per day at its peak.

That's more than 35,000 parcels an hour, all thanks to their new automated parcel processing machines.

Australia Post Transport general manager James Dixon and Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire talk about a new safety partnership at the Redbank Australia Post facility.
Australia Post Transport general manager James Dixon and Australian Trucking Association CEO Ben Maguire talk about a new safety partnership at the Redbank Australia Post facility. Cordell Richardson

The facility will house cutting-edge technology to significantly increase parcel processing capabilities, including robotic arms, automated guided vehicles and an automated parcel picker, the first of its kind in Australia.

Australia Post's chief operating officer Bob Black said the 50,000 square metre site will meet the growing demands of online shopping in Queensland.

"We know Australia's love affair with online shopping isn't slowing down. Last year Australians spent $27.5 billion nationally, an increase of 24 per cent on 2017," he said.

"Queensland's love affair with online shopping also continues, and in 2018 it grew by 21 per cent from the previous year - ahead of the national average.

"Making up 19 per cent of all online shopping across the nation, Queensland also had three of the top 10 postcodes - Toowoomba, Mackay and Bundaberg - each with strong growth all above 20 per cent.

"Our new Redbank site will be operational in time for our busy pre-Christmas period. Last year we experienced our biggest peak period ever, delivering over 40 million parcels nationally in December alone, including a record three million parcels in a single day, and we know this year will be even bigger.

"We'll have 500 employees stationed at the new facility, a demonstration of our commitment to Queensland jobs and to remaining Australia's preferred and most trusted delivery provider."

As parcel numbers grow, Mr Black said it's important to invest in new technology to help deliver increasing volumes, and help create new and safer workplaces.

"Automation and our new parcel processing technology are important measures to reduce manual handling and create safer jobs for our people.

"As a business we know how important it is to continue to invest in our workforce, especially where there are opportunities for us to retrain our people to transition from the declining letters business to our growing parcels business."

The new facility is part of Australia Post's three-year, $900 million investment in parcel processing nationally.



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