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Epic Australian freight rant...

Firstly, apologies if this is the wrong thread to post in. It's related to a recent LEGO purchase but it's not really about LEGO, or shopping, but it didn't really seem appropriate anywhere else.

Secondly, it's just a rant, therefore it's not really intended to achieve anything or provide any useful information to anybody. If you've got better things to do, I'd suggest doing them. This is just for a laugh...

Thirdly, I'll preface the bad stuff with the good stuff: Last Friday night I was perusing some of my favourite LEGO blogs which led me to discover an awesome little online LEGO retail specialist operating out of Melbourne called Build & Play. They appear to have a physical shop as well but they only open on Fridays and Saturdays for a few hours. Bit odd. Not really kid-orientated. Definite AFOL vibe. One thing led to another and I found myself ordering about a dozen older sealed CMF's I'd been hankering for for a while. It was about 11pm. Admittedly, alcohol may have been involved.

Imagine my surprise the next morning at 9am when I received an email to let me know that my order had been processed, packed and already picked up by Australia Post and was on its way to me. Unbelievable. By and large Australians are a pretty lazy bunch (let it be noted that I am including myself in this assessment). Yet here was a mob seemingly working late on a Friday night or very early on a Saturday morning to appease the whims of Aussie AFOLs all across the land. This kind of service is just unheard of in Oz. I will be frequenting this shop.

Sadly this was where the good times ended. My little 500g package of CMF's only arrived this afternoon. 5 days. FIVE DAYS! Now, I don't know the inner workings of our national post service. They do have a Saturday pickup service for small businesses. I'm assuming not much happens on Sundays. That's fair. I don't do much on Sundays either. But what were they doing for the three weekdays after?

Of course, Australia is a country of vast distances between cities of relatively small population. It's somewhat of a logistical challenge to say the least. But this is the 21st century, and this week our national population just nudged past 25 million. It's not THAT bad. Melbourne and Sydney are the top two most populous cities in the country, and it's not exactly a dirt track inbetween them. You can't seriously expect people to still accept the old 1950's excuse that you have to wait around for days for enough post to fill a van to justify a trip.

And other freight companies are no better. This has nothing to do with vast distances. This has nothing to do with small populations. This state of affairs has come about because over the decades Australians have been conditioned to accept that packages take days and days, sometimes even weeks, to travel across the country. I call BS. Sadly it appears that there is now just a culture of laziness amongst freight companies in Australia. I had an old work colleague tell me a story once about how he ordered a spare part for an amplifier from a company in the USA. He was able to track it's progress via an American freight company from Seattle to San Francisco to Sydney over the course of 48 hours. It then passed into the hands of Australia Post and took another 10 days to travel 35kms from the airport to the outer Sydney suburb of Turramurra. There's lazy and then there's Aussie freight lazy. It's a joke.


  • BooTheMightyHamsterBooTheMightyHamster Member Posts: 1,528
    Any entrepreneurs out there?  Looks like there's a gap in the market for a half-decent Australian courier company!
  • blokey9blokey9 Member Posts: 242
    Melbourne to Sydney is overnight delivery and there is more than enough cargo travelling between the 2 cities for trucks to be doing the route multiple times a day. Australia Post are just being difficult.
  • Baby_YodaBaby_Yoda Member Posts: 1,295
    That's pretty pathetic of Australia Post. Stuff generally takes around that time from Melbourne for me, except I live in the middle of nowhere in Tassie, so that's normal.
  • AleyditaAleydita Member Posts: 950
    Wouldn't customs explain the delay? I thought Australia was very strict on imports of goods, even for personal use (checking for plant material, animals, etc.)?
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Member Posts: 5,440
    ^ “Why is my bloody order of rabbits, African bees, and fire ants taking so damn long?!”
  • alldarkeralldarker Member Posts: 224
    Aleydita said:
    Wouldn't customs explain the delay? I thought Australia was very strict on imports of goods, even for personal use (checking for plant material, animals, etc.)?
    I think this regards a transaction within one and the same (rather big) country. I don’t think Austalian cities have their own domestic customs services!
  • AleyditaAleydita Member Posts: 950
    I got stuck on the Seattle to Sydney one :)
    What date was the package postmarked? I'm far more more likely to believe it was posted Monday than received and processed by Australia Post on Saturday. Two weeks ago I ordered a phone case from Melbourne on a Monday afternoon, Sent by Australian Post snail mail and delivered to my BEDSIDE in a country QLD Hospital by an Australia Post employee on Wednesday morning.  
    Ive got no family here so my current postal address is a bed numbe, for nearly two months my only connection to the real world has been by AUstalia Post and I think they're legendary!  This is one of those cases obviously where The internet saying YMMV applies!

    Glad to hear your minis arrrived though ;)
  • PolyphemusPolyphemus Member Posts: 95
    @Aleydita - Yeah, I suspect some of the 10 days are probably attributable to customs, but 10 days for electronic components seems excessive!

    @MAGNINOMINISUMBRA - There was an email from the store at 7:30am and then a second email at 9am from AusPost confirming they had the package. To be fair, I wasn't expecting the items to leave until after the weekend. I think more than anything I was taken aback by the speed of the retailer and the stark contrast between them and the postal service. Had I not received any emails at all I probably wouldn't have been all that bothered. 11pm on a Friday night? I thought for sure it wouldn't leave until Monday/Tuesday. Maybe it didn’t and it's some sort of screw up with their electronic booking system? Maybe it registers the consignment info and prematurely sends an email to the customer? Who knows... it's possible I'm being a little harsh... :)

    Bias also plays its part, I used to work for a music instrument retailer and we had all sorts of problems with couriers. Hard to let some of the bad vibes go sometimes!
  • PolyphemusPolyphemus Member Posts: 95
    edited August 2018
    ^ “Why is my bloody order of rabbits, African bees, and fire ants taking so damn long?!”
    Funny story about Aussie customs...

    About five years ago I'd been mountain biking in New Zealand and was coming back through customs at Sydney airport. One of the officers asked if I had anything to declare and I told him that I'd spent 4 days getting muddy and filthy on trails all over the South Island. I'd done my best to clean my cycling shoes in the hotel sink back in NZ but they weren't perfect and probably still had microscopic organic material all over them. With our strict quarantine requirements I was expecting to have to surrender them to this guy. His response? "Nah mate, all good," and then he waved me through! Didn't even want to inspect them...
    ^^ From memory, on more than one occasion that AP email has been sent out at least a day prior to arrival on overnight stuff.  You're probably right about the consignment being registered prior to physical pick up.

    ^ Thry probably didn't care about your shoes in the slightest - there'd be more crap in the pockets of most arriving Kiwis than your washed shoes!
  • AstrobricksAstrobricks Member Posts: 5,440
    ^ You probably demonstrated that you knew more about the topic than he did :)
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