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Santa in transit: Aussies concerned about delayed gift deliveries


Shipping delays in the lead-up to Christmas could leave thousands of disappointed Aussies without a present under the tree, according to new research from Finder.

A nationally representative survey of 1,013 respondents found 65% of Aussies have done Christmas shopping online this year, banking on the hope their orders will arrive in time.

The research revealed 1 in 10 (9%) – equivalent to 1.7 million Aussies – admitted Christmas would be ruined if their gift deliveries didn't arrive in time.

A further 1 in 5 (20%) would buy a last-minute gift in-store to avoid turning up empty-handed at Christmas.

More than a quarter (28%) would simply wait until January to give their loved ones a belated present when it arrived in the post, while 5% would regift something instead.

Finder expert Kate Browne says gift shopping is a major source of stress for Aussies heading into the holidays, made worse by the global supply chain crisis.

"The surge in global delivery demand, combined with major supply chain disruptions and rigorous customs procedures, has left Aussies waiting months for their deliveries to arrive.

"Many international shipping routes are currently suspended, and isolation requirements are leaving large numbers of logistics staff off work for days or weeks at a time."

According to the World Bank, even prior to the pandemic Melbourne and Sydney container ports ranked in the bottom 15% and 10% of global ports for efficiency.

"It's cutting it very fine for online shoppers – anxious about whether their gifts will arrive in time for Saturday."

The ACCC revealed in a recent report freight rates on international shipping routes are now 7 times higher than they were just over a year ago.

The average time a ship spends idle at Port Botany – one of Australia's largest ports – has nearly doubled from 11.9 hours pre-pandemic to 21.2 hours in 2020-21.

"There's no worse feeling than waking up the day before Christmas and realising all your presents haven't arrived.

"It may be too late to place an order in time for Christmas, but that doesn't mean you need to show up with nothing on the day.

"Gift cards, books and booze all make for great and affordable last-minute gift ideas, and you can even buy them at supermarkets and newsagents – meaning you won't need to face a crowded shopping centre.

"Make sure you check store availability before you go as some stores will be low on stock in the final days before Christmas. Write a list of things you need to save yourself time and stress.

"If you don't have time to hit the shops, homemade gifts, like a fresh batch of rum balls or a photo album, are a thoughtful way to show your appreciation for loved ones," Browne said.

Finder has compiled a list of the top last-minute Christmas gifts when you need a present in a hurry.

Almost all gen Z Aussies (90%) have ordered presents online this year, and are the most likely to say Christmas will be ruined without their online gift deliveries (19%).

If your online gift orders didn't arrive in time for Christmas, what would be the outcome?
I haven't bought any Christmas gifts online35%
I would give them the gift in January28%
I would buy a last-minute gift in-store20%
Christmas would be ruined9%
I would re-gift something else for them5%
Source: Finder survey of 1,013 respondents, December 2021

In need of a last-minute gift? Finder has compiled a list of the top last-minute Christmas gifts.

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