The top suburbs & States forecasted to drive online shopping by year-end

New data reveals that five suburbs in Melbourne will be among the biggest drivers of online shopping through this year to December. Melbourne CBD, Pakenham, Berwick, Point Cook and Sunbury are on the list of the top eight suburbs where online shoppers are expected to reign supreme. Even so, NSW is predicted to be the number one State for online shopping volumes.


The findings come from CouriersPlease, which often examines historical data on parcel volumes to forecast the top suburbs for online shopping in Australia and each State. As Australia’s fastest-growing franchised courier and parcel delivery service, CouriersPlease has 1200 couriers Australia-wide, and is the trusted courier partner for Australia’s leading retailers. It recently won the NORA (National Online Retailers Association) Solution Partners Best Carrier Award in 2023.


Top States for online shopping

Based on its parcel deliveries, CouriersPlease compiled its ranking of parcel deliveries by State for 2024. NSW claimed the State crown for most deliveries last year – receiving 21 per cent more deliveries than Victoria – and CouriersPlease predicts NSW will keep its top ranking this year, even though Victoria’s population is expected to grow 1.5 per cent compared with 1 per cent for NSW[1]


Top suburbs Australia-wide and by State

Drawing on the same data, CouriersPlease is forecasting that Melbourne suburbs are predicted to claim this year’s online shopping crown after the capital’s CBD and outer suburbs topped a national suburb list for most packages delivered last year, with five out of the top eight spots dominated by the southern city. 


Melbourne is tipped as the parcel delivery favourite, with Melbourne CBD receiving almost double the amount of deliveries than Australia’s third-ranked suburb, Sydney CBD. Melbourne’s Berwick, Point Cook and Sunbury made the top eight, with the three pockets all located more than 20km from the Melbourne CBD. Berwick, which sits 41km from the city, added almost 3000 residents according to ABS census data for 2016 and 2021[2][3] and doesn’t have its own major shopping centre – a fact that may have fuelled rising online retail appetite. Point Cook added a whopping 16,852 people to its population according to the latest census[4] data, which now sits at 66,781. The suburb, which lies 22km from the CBD, is also sans major shopping centres. Adelaide was the fifth city for parcel deliveries while Sydney’s Epping came in eighth. 


CouriersPlease’s analysis further revealed the top suburbs in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia that are likely to shop the most this year. It expects Melbourne CBD, Sydney CBD and Adelaide CBD to be the top suburbs in their states, pointing to an upswing of workers in city offices last year. Figures from last year[5] showed the nation’s CBD occupancy rate rose to 71 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, compared with 54 per cent in 2022. Sydney’s rose to 75 per cent, Melbourne’s to 56 per cent and Adelaide’s to 85 per cent.


CEO Richard Thame says: “A returning workforce to the capital city CBDs had likely fuelled the 2023 figures, as employees choose to receive parcels at work, where permitted. Figures from 2023[6] showed Victoria, NSW and South Australia recorded some of the highest number of office days compared with remote-working days last year. We expect parcel delivery volumes to CBDs to grow further this year as employers continue to increase the proportion of office-based days for hybrid workers.


In NSW, Sydney’s Hills district (its north-west) is expected to continue dominating the ranking of parcel deliveries by suburb. Epping, Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill and Blacktown will take out top spots this year. Sydney’s north-west is the city’s fastest-growing region[7].


Coffs Harbour, which saw a whopping 9.2 per cent growth from 2016-2021[8], according to the most recent census data, could again this year be the only non-Sydney suburb making the NSW ranking.


In Queensland, northern Brisbane suburb Caboolture topped the rankings for parcel deliveries, followed by the Gold Coast’s Southport and Moreton Bay’s Morayfield. Both suburbs collected substantial population growth in recent years[9][10], with Richard predicting they’ll again top the package delivery list for 2024. 


Richard adds: “What’s interesting is Melbourne’s Pakenham climbed to the second spot in our ranking of package deliveries, overtaking Sydney CBD for the first time. The population there climbed to just over 54,000 in 2021[11], compared with 46,400 in 2016[12], and it was named as one of the fastest growing regions in Australia[13].


The CouriersPlease data showed that Adelaide CBD collected almost as many deliveries as Sydney last year, and is likely to do so this year. Adelaide clocked some of the biggest property price growth among the Australian capitals last year, suggesting strong interstate migration boosting the population.[14]


Richard says credit card spend isn’t the only barometer of online spending. Parcel delivery volumes are also directly related to online shopping volumes and the nation’s burgeoning population growth areas. “We can already see how housing affordability is driving growth in areas such as Caboolture and Pakenham. In South Australia, Adelaide topped the list, but Mount Barker was second and this suburb is one of the city’s fastest growing areas[15].”