Guess who will be the busiest man about my neck of the woods from now until Christmas? Well besides Santa who has to divide his attention equally over many many suburbs. That man is Rodney – our Australia Post parcel delivery man. Rodney is unfailingly polite, professional and by the end of the festive season probably the fittest person around because he literally jogs. Rodney goes above and beyond to get all our parcels to us. But there’s one thing we parcel and Christmas Card senders and receivers can do to help all the Rodneys out there and that is post early.

This year, more than any other, selecting and beautifully wrapping the gift is only part of the story. You’ll need to be aware aware of delivery cut off dates to ensure your gifts and wishes arrive on time AND at the best price. So below is a quick guide for on time posting this Christmas that I have sent to friends and clients. Granted, these are Australian dates and I have lots of blog friends who live elsewhere (Hi Lincoln Nebraska!!) – but you get the drift. Post early because as Australia Post says “Sending as early as possible and by the dates advised means your letters and parcels will have the best chance of arriving in time for Christmas. We will still deliver items sent after these dates as quickly as possible, but it will be difficult to get them to their destination by Christmas“.

Let’s lead with parcels…

The cut off dates for sending parcels within Australia:

Parcel Post : Saturday 12 December 2020.

Express Post : Saturday 19 December 2020

Now to the cut off dates for sending parcels overseas.

If you are thinking about shipping, well that ship sailed in September. There are some countries to which no service is available at all this year. The countries and dates below are for air freight, are subject to change and do not factor in time in customs in the country of destination:

To the US, Canada, UK, Europe: Monday 16 November 2020

To most of Asia: Monday 23 November

To New Zealand: Monday 27 November

Now to letters and Christmas Cards which are making a big return in 2020.

The good news is small size Christmas Cards (up to 130mm x 240mm x 5mm) marked “Card Only” posted in November and December cost $0.65 instead of the regular letter price of $1.10. The okay news is that parcel delivery continues every day. The less good news is that letter delivery to a street addresses is now every second day in Metro areas. So factor in the following times for delivery….

Letter or card within the same state – up to five business days. Yep, even if posting to an address in the same or adjacent town or city.

Letter or card between the metro areas of the capital cities – up to five business days. Say Sydney to Melbourne. And we should send a little something to Melbournians. They have done it tough.

Letter of card between the metro areas of capital cites and Country locations – up to six business days. Right – I need to allow up to six days to send my Mum about 120kms away in regional Toowoomba a card. I could walk there quicker but there you go.

Between Country locations – up to seven business days. That’s quite a while – but it does say “up to”…….

Then there’s receiving parcels and letters into Australia. That’s a bit more dicey. Shipping is occurring but there are delays and those delays are random. Air freight capacity into Australia is getting slightly better (and from New Zealand slightly better still) but remains constricted and that won’t change anytime soon. So overseas senders will need to get their skates on. Not that you’d necessarily say that to friends or family overseas.

Like everything in 2020, we are just going to have to go with the festive flow when it comes to postal and parcel delivery. But for those of us who love to gift, a little information goes a long and will help our goodies to reach the intended recipient on time. You’ll be happy, they’ll be happy and Rodney will be happy.

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