Are you waiting on a parcel from overseas? There is both good news and bad news, depending on where it is coming from.

Australia’s international borders will open in less than two weeks, which is positive news for a lot of people waiting for a parcel from overseas.

However, depending on where that parcel is coming from, you could still wait months for it to arrive.

A lot of postal services rely on passenger flights to carry mail from one country to another, which hasn’t been great for the timely delivery of parcels during the pandemic.

“It depends on the plane but generally as a rough rule of thumb every passenger plane provides somewhere between 12 and 15 tonnes of residual capacity after bags and so on,” explained freight industry expert Frederic Horst, who is managing director of Cargo Facts Consulting.

Looking at the first 11 months of 2021, Mr Horst said inbound mail volumes to Australia were less than half of what they were before the pandemic in 2019.

He predicts things will start flowing again with more flights between the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

However, there are not such high hopes for mail from Asia, particularly countries with harsh Covid restrictions like China and Hong Kong, as less people travelling to and from there means less flights.

“Airfreight capacity is very tight so I would expect things to get better in the next few months in terms of receiving packages but a lot of our cross-border online shopping is from China and the capacity situation between China and Australia is not really going to change in the short and medium term I think,” Mr Horst said.

The International Air Transport Association predicted in mid-2020 global passenger traffic would not be at pre-pandemic levels until 2024, and in mid-2021 it changed this prediction to 2023.

In a recent statement, IATA said Omicron travel restrictions slowed the recovery in international demand by about two weeks in December but overall air travel demand strengthened last year.

“The challenge for 2022 is to reinforce that confidence (in the desire to travel) by normalising travel,” IATA director general Willie Walsh said on January 25.

“While international travel remains far from normal in many parts of the world, there is momentum in the right direction.

“Last week, France and Switzerland announced significant easing of measures. And yesterday the UK removed all testing requirements for vaccinated travellers.

“We hope others will follow their important lead, particularly in Asia where several key markets remain in virtual isolation.”

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