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#AceNewsRoom With ‘Kindness & Wisdom’ Oct.03, 2022 @acenewsservices
#AceNewsDesk – Mystery of missing fruitcake solved after package makes 7,000km trip across Australia – ABC News
It was meant to take a little over a week in the post, but three-year-old Beau’s fruitcake ended up going on a one month, 7,000-kilometre tour of eastern Australia thanks to a recycled box.
Beau’s grandmother Tricia Agar said the cake, baked at Wyandra in western Queensland, had been destined for her parents who lived in Oakey, 150 kilometres west of Brisbane, when it was sent in August.
But the parcel, instead of travelling down the Warrego Highway, got bounced between Charleville, Toowoomba, Brisbane and Melbourne.
“After days and days, they couldn’t find Oakey in Victoria, so they sent it back to Brisbane and then it sat there for a jolly long time.”
Ms Agar said it got sent back to Wyandra before being sent back to Brisbane again and then again to Charleville.
“It’s bounced around everywhere; I think it’s done well over 7,000 kilometres.”
Local intervention solves puzzle
Despite asking for help from Australia Post, the reason behind the fruit cake’s grand tour remained a mystery until an intervention from Ms Agar’s local postmaster, Carol.
Ms Agar said Carol noticed an old barcode on the side of the recycled box.
“We’re always encouraged to reuse boxes and in my great haste to give it to our mailman at our back door, I hadn’t erased the tracking label,” Ms Agar said.
“And today, everything being so mechanised as it is, they’re not really looking at the labels, the handwritten ones, because that’s how I do mine — it just picked up the barcode.”
Australia Post said people should remove any old barcodes or address labels when reusing packaging to avoid parcels from being incorrectly scanned.
People should also avoid applying stickers, glitter or clear tape over barcodes as it could be difficult for scanners to pick up.Australia Post says people should ensure old barcodes are removed from parcels.(ABC News: Mark Leonardi)none
Delivering services is no cakewalk
Australia Post is currently digitising its services, which will allow it to track down every item in its system.
But University of Sydney Professor of Decision Sciences Ben Fahimnia said with the service making more than 2 million deliveries per day, the odd lost fruit cake was inevitable.
He noted the pressure on the postal service was a lot less than compared to 2021, when orders surged due to COVID lockdowns.
“We expect Australia Post to perform much better this year,” he said.
“It’s all about the use of artificial intelligence and advanced planning systems; it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of time.”
But for Ms Agar, it took the intervention of a real person to get her grandson’s fruit cake to Oakey, which finally arrived this week.
“We did cook it thinking it might have to do the tours … it should still be okay.”
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