As Townsville shoppers turn to online sites during the COVID-19 lockdown, a courier business owner says he’s been busier than in the lead-up to Christmas.
Aramex Townsville owner Darren Woolage has run his business of nearly 20 employees with his wife since 2008 and said he had had to use five to six external delivery drivers daily to keep up with the influx.
“Certainly for us we’ve been impacted in a positive way. We noticed an increase in our deliveries and pick-ups of 20 to 30 per cent,” he said.
“I would say since early March it became really busy and it is still going strong. I think it will stay busy now.
“We’re doing volumes that are higher now than in the lead-up to Christmas.
“Couriers are the real heroes here, (they) have been working hard and doing a great job and getting our deliveries done on time.”
Mr Woolage said a variety of businesses had signed up for delivery services, including some that wouldn’t need a courier company.
“We have been delivering clothes, sanitary items ... we did see an increase in toilet paper through the depot for a while,” he said.
“Local customers have signed up for fruit and veg, local produce … we’ve also seen people buying pet food online, and wine.”
Like most business owners, Mr Woolage was initially uncertain about how he and his staff would be impacted as tough restrictions were enforced.
“We didn’t know what was going to happen,” he said.
“We were worried, like most business I guess, but as an essential service we stayed open.
“It increased buying online.
“Maybe it was people who were working from home and it might have been because they weren’t going out as much and had more disposable income and were spending it online.”
Online retail accounted for 11.1 per cent of all retail turnover in April, up from more than 7 per cent in March, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Mr Woolage said his company “supported local businesses” through its services and could be booked at aramex.com.au/townsville.