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Post at Christmas: When to send packages and letters? | > – Guide

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Post at Christmas: When to send packages and letters?  |  > – Guide

As of: December 9th, 2023 12:07 p.m

Consumers should send their Christmas mail early so that it arrives by the holiday season. This is especially true if the recipient lives abroad. Important dates and deadlines as well as shipping tips.

The business with parcels and parcels is booming before Christmas. Parcel service providers have their hands full these weeks, as more and more goods are being sent due to booming online trade. If you want to make sure that your presents are under the tree on time for Christmas, you should get your package on its way in good time – especially since Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday this year. The parcel services will not deliver on this day. You should send shipments abroad particularly early, as they usually take longer.

When does which DHL package have to be sent for Christmas?

DHL wants to deliver packages within Germany before Christmas if they are sent by December 20th at the latest. Shipments abroad take significantly longer. Shipments to neighboring countries of Germany must have been sent by December 14th (exception: France: December 11th). If the recipient lives in other European countries, December 11th is the last date. DHL also offers the “ExpressEasy” service for an additional charge. This means that shipments within Germany and to European capitals should arrive on time if they are delivered by December 21st at the latest.

If you wanted to send a package to a recipient outside of Europe, you had to take action much earlier. The shipment should have been delivered by November 28th.

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Appointments at Hermes and DPD

If you want to make sure that the gift arrives on time, you should pay attention to the deadlines.

Other large parcel services such as Hermes and DPD also recommend that customers send standard shipments early. Hermes wants to deliver shipments within Germany before Christmas if they are delivered by December 19th at 12 p.m. The last date for shipments to other EU countries varies depending on the destination country between December 12th (e.g. Greece) and December 18th (Austria). A detailed overview can be found on the parcel service’s website.

DPD promises to deliver parcels within Germany by December 23rd if they are delivered by 12 p.m. on December 20th at the latest. For the priority and express variants, the latest deadline is December 22nd, also 12 p.m. For shipments to other European countries, DPD states December 15th, 12 p.m., as the deadline.

Save postage by comparing prices

Some services calculate the price for a package based on weight, others based on size. If a small, heavy gift is to be sent, another provider may be cheaper than a large, light box. If you frank your shipment online and print out the parcel label yourself, you can also save money. Some companies will pick up packages from your home upon request – but this costs a few euros extra. You can find the cheapest tariff on comparison sites on the Internet.

Avoid waiting times in branches

Long queues often form in Deutsche Post branches before Christmas. But many small shops also accept parcels on behalf of DHL as “parcel shops”. Waiting times are often shorter there. Customers can find collection points near them on the DHL website. Hermes and DPD also offer a dense network of collection points, mostly small shops, kiosks or gas stations, especially in cities.

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Tips for proper packaging

To ensure that the package arrives undamaged, senders should note the following:

Use sturdy and sufficiently large cardboard Insulate the goods in the box so that they do not touch the cardboard walls. Pad the cardboard so that nothing can move inside. Do not decorate the shipping box with wrapping paper or bows. Tape the package generously with adhesive tape, do not use string – Attention: Some providers have limits for this Adhesive tape – DHL, for example, only allows packages that are one-third wrapped, otherwise the bulky goods price will apply. Remove old address labels and coding from used boxes and stick the package label clearly visible on the top (largest area).

Before the holidays, letters hardly travel faster than parcels

If a letter or postcard is to arrive within Germany for Christmas, it must be posted by December 21st at the latest, according to Deutsche Post. Within Europe the deadline is December 13th and outside of Europe it is December 6th. If you would like to enclose a bank note or small valuables with your Christmas greeting, you should send it as a registered “value” letter. For an additional charge of 4.45 euros, the letter is then insured within Germany up to 100 euros in cash or 500 euros in material value.

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