For the second year in a row, Corona is presenting parcel shipping with new challenges. Parcel volume will reach record levels again this year. Whether the Christmas mail will arrive on time this year depends on deadlines that you should definitely be aware of.

Attention, send your Christmas mail on time this year as well!

The Bundesverband Paket und Expresslogistik (BIEK), which represents the parcel services DPD, GLS, Hermes and UPS, expects a significantly higher volume of courier, express and parcel shipments (CEP) in November and December. According to the forecast, around 445 million parcels will be sent to private households by Christmas.

At peak times during the Christmas season, up to 22 million shipments are transported on a single day in the networks of the parcel service providers. Up to 30,000 additional workers and up to 25,000 additional vehicles are employed to handle the high volume of shipments.

If you want your Christmas present to arrive on time for the festival, you should send your parcel earlier this year as well. The regular delivery time of standard shipments of one to two working days cannot always be met before Christmas due to the volume of traffic and depending on the weather, explains BIEK.

These are the official deadlines!

Christmas Eve falls on a Friday this year. The latest shipping date for parcels and parcels from DHL that are sent within Germany and via branches or packing stations is Monday, December 20, 2021 and no later than 12 p.m.

For letters and postcards, Wednesday 22 December 2021 is the deadline for timely arrival. This date applies to all postage in post offices or yellow mailboxes of Deutsche Post. Be sure to pay attention to the emptying times. If you miss the appointment by even a minute, the letter or card may not arrive on time.

At Hermes, private packages should be handed in by December 20th so that they can be delivered by the festival. The deadline for international shipments here is December 14th.

DPD accepts Christmas parcels until December 21st so that they arrive in time for Christmas Eve. At GLS, December 20 is the deadline.

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As FOCUS Online learned, the major parcel delivery services propose early storage to their large and private customers. In the case of express parcels in particular, consumers should have sent the parcel by December 21st at the latest.

Express deliveries are usually possible within one working day. However, in view of the expected “unusually high volume of shipments”, this cannot be guaranteed this time either. The background is that the package load in the previous year led to considerable challenges and delays. That could happen again in 2021.

The information is also important for online orders. There are no general order deadlines with the larger online providers. Amazon, Otto, Lidl, Zalando and Co. usually indicate expected delivery times in the respective item description.

Also this year, online giant Amazon could indicate whether the package will arrive in time for the festival or not. However, the delivery times of the major parcel providers make it clear that anyone who orders after December 22nd should not expect timely delivery before Christmas, even with premium shipping.

Due to impending delivery bottlenecks, consumers should have bought their Christmas presents this year by the first and second week of Advent at the latest. It is unclear whether consumers will still be able to get enough toys, clothing, jewelry or electronic products by mid-December.