FAMILES are being urged to post Christmas presents early amid concern online shopping and Covid restrictions will cause delivery chaos.
Warnings have been sounded that the surge in demand means that people are running out of time to make sure presents get to their loved ones.
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Time is running out to post cards and presents this ChristmasCredit: PA:Press Association
The Royal Mail has said the last UK posting dates are December 18 for 2nd class mail and December 21 for 1st class while for Special Delivery, it is December 23.
The company is running the usual “Shop Early, Send Early for Christmas” campaign to encourage people to spread the load of mail that has been used for over a century.
But this year Royal Mail is expecting this year to “outstrip prior years’ festive peaks”, having already seen a 34 per cent increase in parcel volumes between April and August.
Despite the rules allowing three households to be able to meet up inside for five days over Christmas, many people will still rely on the delivery services to send cards and presents.
Royal Mail is expecting a surge in demand this yearCredit: Getty Images – Getty
Consumer rights expert Martyn James told the Telegraph: “There is going to be a mad panic next week and before we know it time will have run out.
“People should post letters and cards sooner rather than later.
“We are also on course for an unprecedented volume of parcels being sent, partly because people have had to order many gifts online and partly because of coronavirus restrictions on seeing people over Christmas.
“People have instead had to resort to sending goods directly to family members or friends and there will be millions more parcels than usual.”
He urged consumers to check delivery times as “one of the big areas of concern” is “people panic and bang through orders without necessarily reading all the small print”.
One click ordering offered by stores like Amazon makes life easier but “if you haven’t looked properly or scrawled right down to the bottom of the page then you might not realise” what the estimated delivery date is.