Christmas container chaos is global as Greek toy retailer Jumbo sees major shipment delays

The Greek toy and gift retailer, Jumbo, has revealed that some 6,000 containers of the some of the best-selling toys this year, are stuck on cargo ships and shipping containers around the world, in an echo of the current chaos being experienced at UK ports.

The firm, which operates stores across Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania under the Jumbo brand name, as well as operating an e-jumbo online store, told Reuters that ‘while the figure is impressive, it is real.’

The issue has arisen as warehouses in Greece become overwhelmed due to Covid-19 restrictions. The situation appears to be a mirror of similar experiences here in the UK, where ports in the South of England are becoming backlogged with unmoved containers of PPE and under-manned owing to restrictions in place to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the British Toy and Hobby Association joined a number of industry bodies and retail voices to call on the UK Government to intervene and ‘save the festive season’ for UK families still awaiting deliveries of toys trapped in the melee.

In Greece, meanwhile, a Jumbo company official has said that “containers are coming from different parts of the world but to unload them, we need to have space at our warehouses.”

Last week, the retailer announced that it was stopping online sales after orders surged beyond its capacity.

“With an annual turnover of about 1 billion euros… Jumbo cannot get all this stream of sales through the needle of online shopping,” the official said.

The Greek City Times reports that Government restrictions imposed in the country meant that retailers have only been allowed to operate a ‘click-away’ method. Under the restrictions – that will remain in place in Greece until a review on January 7th – shopping in retail stores is banned.

Instead, goods must be collected at the entrance of shops, without customers entering, while payment must be made electronically or through a POS. Customers waiting to pick up goods must maintain a distance of at least two metres, while only nine people are allowed to queue at a time.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of ToyNews and its sister title, Licensing.biz. He has worked his way from Staff Writer to Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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