Online shopping contributed to festive mail spike

NEARLY 9.5 million articles of mail were inspected by Customs officials during the peak Christmas mailing period in November and December last year.

The festive season was one of the busiest times of the year for Customs and Border Protection staff, with 800 working Christmas Day in 2012.

A statement from Customs said in December alone, the government department checked almost three million international travellers through Australia's borders.

As volumes of mail peaked during the festive season, in part due to the rise in online shopping, more than one million articles passed through the Sydney Gateway.