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Australia Post primes itself for disruption

April 8, 2013

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It’s only been about a year since Australia Post announced it was going to spend an additional $2 billion to get its parcel delivery network up to scratch with the ecommerce economy. This was widely greeted positively by online retailers and consumers alike. Making it easier for consumers and businesses to connect was a common sense approach for the national postal service to follow.

Unfortunately, today’s 30%  price increases on parcel delivery kind of negate much of that goodwill. In fact, according to Sarah Whyte from the SMH, the cost of collecting a signature on delivery will triple, from $1 to $2.95, cutting into the margins of online retailers.

Not that I have a problem with Australia Post trying to recoup their $2B investment, but perhaps what they’ve failed to realise here is that they just made it easier for someone to disrupt their business model. I mean, seriously. They already attributed a $148 million loss last year due to the decline of regular mail volumes. Was this not a leading indicator enough that a behemoth with outright market power is ripe for disruption? Have they really demonstrated any innovation other than being the first in Australia to copy Amazon’s model of putting lockers into convenience stores?

By hiking up parcel delivery prices by 30%, Australia Post have unwittingly created the most lucrative of startup opportunities: consumer and retailer side demand for an alternative.

Enter the entrepreneur.

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