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UK Courier Peak Delivery Schedules & Key Information for Christmas 2016

Now that we’re fast approaching the busiest time of the year, we have compiled the delivery, return and collection schedules for some of the UK’s leading couriers, as well as their contact centre opening hours and other relevant information regarding the peak Christmas period.

Make sure you’re fully aware of the delivery schedule of your chosen shipping courier(s), particularly the last shipping dates for pre-Christmas delivery, so that you can effectively inform your customers of the cut-off dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery.

While we have focused on UK services, we have provided all of the links to the dedicated pages on each courier’s site, so that you can find out about international services.

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Royal Mail: Delivery & Returns Schedules

If you ship with Royal Mail, it’s important that you’re aware there will be no collections or deliveries made on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Tuesday 27th December, New Year’s Day, Monday 2nd January, as well as Tuesday 3rd January if you are located in Scotland. The full Christmas schedule can be found here

With regards to Christmas delivery, the latest recommended posting dates for domestic deliveries can be found below.

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Last dates for international services can be found here.

If you use Royal Mail’s UK Business contract services, the latest posting dates can be found below:

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If you are looking for the latest recommended posting dates for international deliveries, you can view them here.

Other Key Information

Royal Mail will be operating later opening hours during the peak time, as well as offering extra deliveries and more re-delivery options.

Yodel: Delivery & Returns Schedules

Over the Christmas period, Yodel will be operating a normal service, however there will be limited service on the 24th December, and no service on the 25th-27th December and the 1st and 2nd January.

Collection Schedule & Last Posting Dates

To ensure your Yodel parcels are delivered by Christmas, make sure you are despatching them by the dates displayed below.

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Contact Centre Opening Hours

The contact centre opening times will largely operate as usual, however it will be closed on Christmas and Boxing Day, and will have different opening hours on Tuesday 27th December.

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Other Key Information

Yodel have planned their resources for this peak period around forecasted daily parcel volumes. For this reason, you should inform them of any expected changes to planned volumes as soon as you know during this time.

Further information, including details on trailer collections during the peak shopping period, can be found in Yodel’s 2016 Peak Communication guide.

DPD: Delivery, Collection & Returns Schedules

DPD will not be operating deliveries or returns on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Tuesday 27th December, New Year’s Day or Monday 2nd January 2017. This will also be extended to Tuesday 3rd January 2017 for Scotland.

Last Collection Dates for Christmas Delivery

To ensure you meet Christmas deliveries, you will need to arrange for your parcels to be collected no later than Thursday 22nd December, when using DPD Next Day service. If delivery is required on Christmas Eve, DPD will be able to collect on Friday 23rd December for Saturday delivery.

If you are shipping internationally, take a look at their international Christmas delivery schedule, for final posting dates. You can access the DPD Classic schedule here and DPD Direct schedule here.

Interlink: Delivery & Returns Schedules

In England and Wales, Interlink Express will only be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, and normal service will be resumed from Monday 2nd January 2017. In Scotland, however, normal service won’t be resumed until Tuesday 3rd January 2017.

The full Christmas schedule can be found here.

Please be aware that any items collected on Christmas Eve will be delivered on Wednesday 28th December.

Collection Schedule

For UK deliveries, the last shipping dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery will be Thursday 22nd December, unless you are using the Saturday delivery service.

A full list of the last collection date for international Christmas delivery can be found here.

UKMail: Delivery & Collection Schedule

Below, you will find the complete delivery and collection schedule for UKMail, during the Christmas period. Please note that they will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Tuesday 27th December, New Year’s Day and Monday 2nd January 2017. Additionally, no services will be operating on Tuesday 3rd January 2017 in Scotland.

You should also be aware that both Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve fall on a Saturday this year, and UKMail will therefore operate its Saturday Delivery service only, on both of these dates.

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With regards to meeting pre-Christmas delivery, you should be sending your parcels by Thursday 22nd December for delivery on Friday 23rd December. That said, delivery can be made on Saturday 24th December when you despatch on Friday 23rd December, however delivery dates will ultimately depend on which service you are using, for example whether you are using Next Day or Saturday Delivery options.

Contact Centre Opening Hours

The customer services opening hours for UKMail can be found below.

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Hermes: Delivery & Collection Schedule

To ensure you are meeting pre-Christmas delivery when shipping with myHermes, make sure you are sending your parcels by the dates displayed below.

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Parcelforce: Delivery & Collection Schedule

Parcelforce will make no collections or deliveries on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.

The full schedule of closures for England, Wales, Northern Island and Scotland can be accessed here.

Last Posting Dates

Parcelforce will be able to deliver your parcels on Christmas Eve (Saturday 24th December) with their express24 service, although this will incur an additional £9.00 Saturday delivery charge. For this reason, it is recommended that you dispatch your parcels no later than Thursday 22nd December, using their next-day delivery services, and Wednesday 21st December for their two-day delivery services.

You should also be aware that you may require extended delivery times when sending to certain areas.

For a complete list of last posting dates for international destinations, click here.

Additional Important Information

While Parcelforce offer same day collections, they will be suspending this service as of Monday 12th December, and will then only collect the following day. There is also the option to drop your parcel off at a local Post Office branch if you are not able to wait. Alternatively, you will be able to drop your parcel off at a Parcelforce Worldwide depot up until 7pm on Friday 23rd December, for next-day delivery.

DHL: Last Posting Dates

Below, you will find the last posting dates for pre-Christmas delivery, when shipping with DHL.

Specifically, for domestic deliveries you will need to be dispatching by no later than Wednesday 21st December.

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Final thoughts

We would strongly recommend that regardless of the courier service(s) you use, you confirm these dates with your account manager as they may differ slightly depending on whether you have a business account. They may also depend on your shipping method or any agreements you may have in place with your provider.

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Topics: Shipping & Fulfilment, eCommerce