Whether you’re making a personal shipment, or running a retail or ecommerce business and looking for cheaper options to ship high volumes of parcels, you’ll want to familiarise yourself with Australia Post’s postage options.
In this article, we provide a breakdown of Australia Post’s satchel packaging options, as well as alternatives to consider.
About Australia Post
Founded in 1809, Australia Post is a government-run postal services provider in Australia. It has a retail network of over 4,300 post offices, focuses on carbon-neutral shipping, and delivers to 115 countries across the world.
It also had a wide range of packaging options, including many different types of satchels. Individuals and businesses alike can choose which type of satchel fits their needs best, and use it to ship their goods.
Australia Post satchel prices and sizes
Satchels are an easy, straightforward way to send your shipments. Here are some of the packaging options Australia Post offers, and how each differs from the other in postage costs, size, dimensions, and weight limit.
Parcel Post (2+ business day delivery)
Parcel Post is a type of prepaid satchel that is part of Australia Post’s “If It Packs, It Posts” packaging range of products. Using Parcel Post prepaid satchels, senders can ship items weighing less than 5 kg at a flat rate within Australia. This flat rate postage is based on the size of the satchel, not its weight.
Ranging from small satchels to extra large satchels, these satchels cost between AUD $9.95 and $20.50 per unit (with postage labels). This makes it one of the more cost-effective options (you can even save between 2.5% and 5% when you purchase them in bulk) — and with standard delivery issued in 2 business days, one of the speediest.
Express Post satchels are more expensive than Parcel Post satchels, but ensure speedier delivery options within Australia. In these flat rate satchels, shipments under 5 kg are delivered the next day, making this the fastest Australia Post packaging option.
Note: Due to supply chain delays, Australia Post cannot currently guarantee next-business-day delivery.
Express Post prepaid satchels also come in sizes ranging from small to extra large, and cost between AUD $12.95 to $27.50 per unit. If you buy in bulk, the costs of individual units drop significantly.
When shipping non-urgent parcels of up to 20 kgs internationally, International Standard satchels are a great option. Australia Post offers small satchels, medium satchels, and large satchels, each of which are trackable in transit and usually arrive at their destinations in 6+ business days.
International Standard satchels start at AUD $17.90, and costs will vary depending on the satchel’s destination.
While International Standard comes with up to $100 of coverage in the case of loss or damage, you may also purchase an extra cover to safeguard your business up to AUD $5,000.
If you need to ship something internationally and ship it quickly, International Express satchels are the way to go. International Express satchels come in small, medium, and large sizes, and enable you to ship up to 20 kg internationally to be delivered within 2-4 business days.
These satchels come with SMS and email notifications to keep you apprised of shipment progress, and also require signatures on delivery to make sure it’s received by the correct person or entity.
Like International Standard satchels, International Express satchels flat rates will vary depending on where you’re shipping it to, with the cheapest satchels starting at AUD $32.90. You can also purchase extra cover in case of parcel loss or damage.
For eBay sellers, Australia Post offers eBay-specific packaging options. eBay satchels provide a flat rate for domestic, carbon-neutral parcels that weigh less than 5 kg.
Apart from a promise of delivery within 2+ business days, this service lets you pay for postage and print labels from your eBay account.
eBay satchels come in standard small to extra large sizes, and cost between AUD $9.70 and $20.05 with postage.
Recycled Padded Bags
Businesses looking to run more environmentally-friendly operations should consider Recycled Padded Bags. This packaging is made from recycled newspaper, and offers good cushioning and rigidity for protecting your items during transit.
Recycled Padded Bags come in sizes ranging from small to large and cost between AUD $99 and $199 for a pack of 100 bags.
Tough Bags is a sturdy, cost-effective packaging option that has an outer layer made of Kraft paper. These satchels are best for shipping non-fragile SKUs and are fully recyclable.
Tough Bags come in sizes small to extra large, and packs of 100 or 120 costs between AUD $79 and $142.80.
Get your posters, plans, or photo enlargements safely delivered to customers with mailing tubes of rigid fibreboard and plastic caps that seal both ends.
Mailing tubes come in sizes small to large, with prices varying depending on the size of the tube and how many tubes come in a pack.
Rigid mailers come with a heavy-duty and recyclable card construction, which makes it a great option for those who need to ship important documents safely and with low carbon emissions.
They come in A3, A4, and A5 sizes, and vary in cost depending on size and the amount of mailers that come in a pack.
Though not as environmentally friendly as recycled padded bags and rigid mailers, the Enviro Satchels are made of 80% post-consumer waste. Enviro Bags are strong and durable satchels with peel-and-seal closures.
They come in sizes 1 (the smallest) through 6 (the largest), and vary in cost depending on size and the amount of mailers that come in a pack.
Australia post alternatives
If Australia Post doesn’t have the packaging and satchels that your brand needs, there are other local and international courier companies with similar offerings.
Here are some other courier companies, what they are known for, and why they might be a good alternative for your business to ship through.
Aramex has 29 regional franchises and over 900 franchise partners across the country. Their satchels range from sizes A2 to A5, and enable you to ship up to 5 kg.
Its eBay packages are also a great option if your business dispatches 10 or more parcels every week. It also has an environment-friendly eco satchel option, where the packets are fashioned from 80% recycled material (also known as Enviro 80).
Sendle is Australia’s first 100% carbon neutral shipping service. It has three tiers of parcel services —standard, premium, and pro — with prices starting at $3.95. Features like free pick up, tracking, and cover are included in this price.
CouriersPlease offers prepaid satchels that range from A2 (5 kg at AUD $10.85) to A5 (500 grams at AUD $6.50) sizes. These packages also come with complimentary insurance, free redelivery, and online track-and-trace capabilities.
You can send your parcels out in envelopes, tubes, or boxes for items up to 25 kg via FedEx. They also offer direct integration into your web shop or application, so more of your shipping management can be automated.
FedEx and TNT work together to deliver your goods to any location within Australia.
DHL has three distinct options for shipping goods: Express (up to 70 kg, arriving by the next business day), Parcel (up to 20 kg, arriving in 3-14 days), and International Mail (up to 2 kg, arriving in 3-14 days). Only Express allows for domestic and single shipments.
Looking for ecommerce fulfilment in Australia?
ShipBob fulfils orders in Australia (and across the world) and works with Australia Post to ship packages using our standard boxes and satchels, as well as allowing brands to use their own custom branded packaging.
ShipBob customers can strategically distribute their inventory between both the Sydney and Melbourne fulfilment centres, and automatically fulfil customer orders from the location nearest to the order’s destination to achieve fast and cost-effective domestic delivery, as well as international shipping.
This distribution network serves the country’s two most populated metro areas that make up over 40% of the country’s entire population and easily ship packages across the entire country.
Brands like The Betoota Advocate, SubSubmarine, Karst, Sharkbanz, Black Claw, The Adventure Challenge, and Postal.io partner with ShipBob for Australia-wide fulfilment.
“The biggest logistical problem that our organisation has had in recent years is one faced by hundreds of businesses around Australia. The tyranny of distance. With ShipBob, we’ve been able to remove that. With hubs in Sydney and Melbourne, which are two of our largest markets, we’ve been able to put our products closer to those who want them.
We’ve been able to cut our freight and postage spend while removing labour costs. For Betoota Outfitters, working with ShipBob has been easy and affordable. It’s been the perfect growth partner for our organisation and we look forward to working with them for years to come.”
Errol Parker, Editor-at-Large, The Betoota Advocate
Want to learn more about how ShipBob can help you fulfil and ship your Australian orders? Click the button below to speak to a fulfilment expert.
Australia Post satchels FAQs
Below are answers to the most common questions about Australia Post satchels.
What are Australia Post satchels made of?
Australia Post has a few environmentally-friendly satchels made using recycled newspaper or 80% post-consumer waste. It also sells tough bags made of recyclable Kraft paper and mailing tubes made of rigid fibreboard with plastic caps at both ends.
What is the weight limit of an Express Post Satchel?
You may send items of up to 5 kg in each Express Post satchel, for express delivery.
Can you use old Australia Post satchels?
Yes, you can use old Australia Post weight-based satchels, even if you purchased them before the “If It Packs, It Posts” program took effect.
The old 500g satchel will be considered “small,” the 1 kg satchel will be considered “medium,” the 3 kg satchel will be considered “large,” and the 5 kg satchel will be considered “extra large.”
How can ShipBob help with Australian shipping?
When shipping to or from Australia, you will find that ShipBob offers outsourced, affordable, and fast ecommerce shipping solutions that integrate with your online store.