Australia Post has announced a price-hike for post office boxes and locked bags beginning next month (1 February). The new prices apply to all PO box sizes, plus common boxes, private bags, mail bags and corporate boxes. There is also mounting speculation that AP might start charging for deliveries and increase the cost of stamps as well.
Photo: Australia Post
From 1 February, the cost of post office boxes and locked bags will rise by an average of 7 per cent across the country. A medium post office, for example, will now cost $163; a rise of $12. (Customers who pay on time will receive a smaller fee increase of around 3 per cent.)
AP is blaming the price-hike on mounting costs relating to raw materials, delivery, transport and energy.
"Like many businesses, we are operating in a challenging economic environment," Australia Post explained in a statement. "We understand price increases are never easy for our customers, and the decision to implement this change has been arrived at after serious consideration."
The new standard service rates are listed in the table below:
The struggling government-owned corporation is looking for various ways to return its traditional mail business to profitability in the wake of falling letter volumes and higher operational costs.
In a recent survey, Australia Post asked customers if they would prefer to have their post delivered three times a week, or pay an annual $30 fee for daily delivery. This led to criticism from businesses and welfare groups, although AP has since denied that it plans to introduce any such fee.
Whatever AP is planning, it's safe to say that the PO box price revision is unlikely to make much difference to the corporation's bottom line. Don't be surprised is more services get price-hikes in the near future.
You can find out more about the price hikes by paying a visit to the Australia Post website.