As a result, people are being encouraged to send their gifts earlier. This makes it easier for the Royal Mail to process the packages and make sure they arrive on time.
Royal Mail says: “Allow plenty of time for posting. Please post items and gifts for Christmas early, particularly for International deliveries.
“Ongoing Covid restrictions, reduced air and freight capacity, high volumes and winter weather conditions are all impacting transportation and local delivery across the globe.”
There was a large increase in packages sent over the Christmas period in 2020 due to lockdown, but the mailing company is expecting a similar demand despite there being no lockdown restrictions this year.
So why is Covid-19 still having an effect on Christmas deliveries?
Why is the coronavirus pandemic still affecting deliveries?
Last year, people were shut indoors. It meant that wrapping gifts and hand-delivering them to loved ones was much more difficult, and people were encouraged to avoid doing this due to lockdown.
Instead, people turned more often than normal to using postal services to deliver their gifts.
“We believe the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in a structural shift, with a permanent step up in the level of parcel volumes compared to pre-pandemic levels, driven by increased online e-commerce activity,” the Royal Mail said.
It is part of a range of factors that may affect deliveries this Christmas, such as the shortage of HGV drivers. However, Royal Mail CEO Simon Thompson recently said that the shortage of drivers will not affect deliveries this coming Christmas.
Due to the increase in packages processed by the company over the festive period, people are being encouraged to send their gifts as early as they can.
Last Royal Mail Christmas delivery dates (domestic)
Greg Martin / Cornwall Live)
Below is the breakdown for the latest recommended delivery dates for sending packages within the UK.
- Friday, December 17 – Royal Mail Bulk Mail Economy
- Saturday, December 18 – 2nd Class, 2nd Class Signed For, Royal Mail 48
- Tuesday, December 21 – 1st Class, 1st Class Signed For, Royal Mail 24, Royal Mail Tracked 48
- Wednesday, December 22 – Royal Mail Tracked 24
- Thursday, December 23 – Special Delivery Guaranteed
Royal Mail International Standard, International tracking and signature services
Below is the breakdown for the final delivery dates for sending packages abroad:
- Wednesday, December 1 – Caribbean
- Monday, December 6 – Australia Greece, Italy, New Zealand and Portugal
- Wednesday, December 8 – Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Far and Middle East
- Friday, December 10 – Cyprus, Malta and Sweden
- Saturday, December 11 – Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia), Turkey
- Monday, December 13 – Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Poland and USA
- Thursday, December 16 – Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
For HM Forces Mail, the final dates are:
- Monday, November 29 – Airmail to Operational HM Forces
- Monday, December 6 – Airmail to Static HM Forces
Last Parcelforce deliery dates
Like Royal Mail, Parcelforce also recommending people send packages early.
They said: “We are still experiencing delays due to increased pressure on airline capacity and additional local measures to help prevent Covid-19 spreading – all of which impact on delivery times and result in additional delays to many overseas destinations. We are also experiencing disruption to parts of Europe due to customs delays.
“Therefore, we strongly advise that you should allow an additional two to three days onto our last posting dates to Europe and allow an additional week for rest of the world destinations.”
The last delivery times available for Christmas day are:
- Two-day services: Wednesday, December 22
Next day services: Thursday, December 23
The dates for Parcelforce Worldwide Global Express are as follows:
- Thursday, December 16 to Monday, December 20 – Europe
- Monday, December 20 – USA and Canada
- Friday, December 3 to Monday, December 20 – Rest of world