Wednesday 17 August 2011

A visit to Australia Post Sorting Facility

About 12 years ago my Dad had the priviledge of going to a post sorting facility and told us all about it, because of his interresting storries it is something I have been wanting to do ever since.  Whilest in New Zealand we tried to organise a trip but could not get permission for our group to go on a tour. Two months ago I saw the trip advertised on a homeschool email letter I jumped right at it and reserved a spot for Sir N and myself. 

Unfortunately we could not take photographs on tour but I did manage to take a few outside and of the models of the facility.

Some of what we learned:

  • Post that is unusually shaped is still hand sorted today.
  • Hand sorters sort mail at a minimum rate of 25 letters a minute.
  • Post has a 24 hour turn around in Melbourne.
  • There is a substance embedded in stamps that the machine can read and know if the correct amount of postage is attached to a letter.
  • The facility works mainly at night.
  • They process on average 6 000 000 items per night.
  • This rate climbs to 11 000 000 items per night during the Christmas season.
  • The facility operates six nights a week.
  • The facility operates Sunday night till Friday night.
  • Parcel post as a bussiness is growing by 15 % a year.
  • Standard personal mail is dropping by approximately 4 % a year.
  • Unclaimed mail is kept for a year. 
  • After a year unclaimed post is sent to auction and the proceeds are donated to charity.
  • Last year this auction collected AU $ 3 000 000 for charity.
  • The strangest item posted and delivered was a banana.
  • Redirection orders are handeled by the postie on your round.
  • Around 20 USB keys are destroyed in each sorting machine each night due to being to thick and posted in a standard envelope.
Here are our photos:

Painting in the reception area

Olde post box at reception door.

We had to wear visitor safety vests.

Facility Model

Australia Post trucks at the depo.

What was Sir N's favourite part ?
  • When we saw the letters shooting past on one of the machines.
  • Looking at the model of the facility.
  • Seeing the man polishing the sensors on the post carrier up near the roof.
  • Being allowed to play with the rollers on the table
  • I liked seeing the outside where the trucks come to fetch the post.
  • I liked the lift which took the boxes of letters up to the roof to go on the conveyer.
  • I liked looking at the conveyer up near the roof.
  • I liked that they still hand sort today.



  1. ohhhh that sounds ace - would love to of gone!!!! what a fab idea!

  2. Dear Anon if you get an opportunity go for it. It was very interresting :-)


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