Australia Post has today announced the installation of a new parcel processing machine at its Strathfield facility to help meet the growing demands of online shopping.

The new automation equipment – part of a $300 million national investment over the next 18 months – will process 10,500 parcels an hour, significantly increasing parcel processing numbers for New South Wales residents ahead of another busy Christmas period this year.

Australia Post Group Chief Operating Officer, Bob Black, said the investment is part of the company's ongoing efforts to meet continuing parcel growth, with Australians spending $21.3 billion on goods online last year, up 18.7 per cent on 2016.

"It's no secret that online shopping in Australia is growing. Consumers are buying more and more online internationally and domestically, and as a result we're processing and delivering more parcels than ever before," Mr Black said.

"Last year we experienced our biggest Christmas peak period ever, delivering over 37 million parcels nationally in December alone, including a record 2.5 million parcels in a single day, and we know this year will be even bigger.

"This new automated machinery is great news for residents in New South Wales, where our research shows online shopping grew 21.1 per cent last year. It also means we're providing a safer working environment for everyone, with automation reducing manual handling and the risk of injury."

According to Australia Post's latest Inside Australian Online Shopping Report, New South Wales residents are big buyers of fashion, with online purchases in the category rising 28 per cent last year. This exceeds the national growth rate for online fashion purchases, which was 27.2 per cent.

The new sorter at Strathfield is one of many infrastructure upgrades planned over the next 18 months, including an automated, parcel delivery centre scheduled to be operating in Chullora in time for the Christmas rush.

New satchel and small packet sorters will also be installed in Brisbane and Melbourne, which combined with Strathfield, will be capable of processing more than 40,000 parcels an hour, significantly increasing Australia Post's processing capacity and improving service standards.