Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Is it that time of year already? | Planning your Christmas deliveries

There are still over 100 days until Christmas (not that we're counting...), but many of us are already starting to plan for the festive period. With shops displaying Christmas decorations earlier than ever, and reports that some supermarket branches already have a Christmas aisle, it's difficult not to notice that the retail sector is commencing its Christmas push.

If you love Christmas, being super-organised, or both, then you'll most likely have already started some Christmas preparation, or at least given it some thought! But what if your Christmas plans involve shipping gifts to family elsewhere in the UK, or even overseas? You want to ensure that your relatives or friends receive their gifts before Christmas day, but preferably not too far in advance! You'll also want to have the peace of mind of knowing that your gifts are received in the exact condition that you sent them, and - if you love tinsel ribbon and bows as much as us - your Christmas wrapping will also be a consideration. Most importantly you'll want to keep the cost of posting your Christmas presents as low as possible, so you can spend less on shipping and more on the present to be shipped! In the hope of helping you address some of these issues, we've put together some ideas to help you plan your Christmas shipping.

When should I post my Christmas parcels?

To be absolutely certain of pre-Christmas delivery, the obvious answer is: the earlier the better! But you also don't want your overseas friends, relatives or customers to receive their gifts too early, so you need to find a happy medium. We'd recommend sending gifts to UK addresses by the 1st December. Unlike the Post Office, door-to-door couriers such as UPS and DHL don't tend to advertise cut-off dates for guaranteed Christmas delivery but since courier services tend to offer much reduced transit times, you should be fine if you stick to these dates. For deliveries further afield, you'd need to allow for more time. Our top tip? Visit our transit times page, enter your collection and delivery postcode into the appropriate transit times calculator and add two weeks to be extra safe!

How can I protect my Christmas gifts in transit?

As ever, careful packaging is the best way to ensure your parcels arrive in pristine condition: make sure you use a sturdy box, and don't over or under fill it; protect your gift by at least 5cm of cushioning all around, and if you have any further queries or if you are packaging an unusual gift and would like some advice, contact our customer services team who will be more than happy to assist you! 

How should I wrap my Christmas parcels? 

Careful packaging means your gifts should be placed within a cardboard box, and this outer packaging should not be covered in Christmas wrapping paper as this could mean your shipping label could be detached from your parcel. The good news is you can still wrap your presents as extravagantly as you like inside the shipping carton, just don't forget: cushioning is key!

How can I save money on Christmas post?

As well as offering shorter transit times and a convenient door-to-door service: shipping your Christmas gifts by courier could also be cheaper, especially for higher weights. Get a quote for Christmas parcel delivery here, or call us on 0845 145 1212.

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