NZ Post gearing up for bumper delivery season

With just over five weeks until Christmas, NZ Post is already ramping up its operations for what is expected to be a busy parcel delivery season.

The deadline for sending and receiving parcels to most overseas countries is next week, meaning Christmas shopping needs to start early.

NZ Post Service Delivery manager Sam Flavell said they are expecting parcel deliveries across its network to ramp up by 35 percent over the next six weeks.

"Christmas is always a busy time of the year for us. I think last year some numbers we had, 2.2 million parcels nationally per week in those couple of weeks before Christmas."

Flavell said deliveries in Christchurch usually averaged about 167,000 per week, but he expected that to rapidly increase to 230,000 parcel deliveries a week over the next month.

He said online shopping has significantly increased their delivery volumes, and some of the biggest sale days of the year are still looming.

"On the 24th we've got Black Friday, so obviously a lot of online deals along with Cyber Monday. So we see it ramp up from there. And then, of course, we're into December and people start realizing they need to get their parcels to their friends and family for Christmas."

Up to 120 courier drivers will hit Christchurch roads this Christmas season.
Up to 120 courier drivers will hit Christchurch roads this Christmas season.
To assist the team with the expected hike in demand, the company's brought in extra resources.

"We've got extra planes, extra trucks, extra staff also. So yeah, and extra drivers especially and a lot of them starting next week".

And it's all go in Christchurch, the city's two NZ Post courier depots will operate up to 120 courier vans alone.

"Getting in early is definitely the best advice. The earlier you get in the more likelihood that you'll get that parcel safely and securely delivered to your doorstep."

Flavell is recommending that anyone planning to send parcels to their loved ones overseas should tick off their Christmas shopping lists and start the process now, to avoid disappointment on the big day.

The sending cut off dates for overseas packages and letters to get where they need to be by Christmas Day within New Zealand is December 18 for economy, December 20 for courier and December 23 for express.

For Australia, the dates are November 29, December 11 and December 18. 

Asia, Europe, North America, South Pacific and UK, the dates are November 24, December 8 and December 15.

For the rest of the world, the cut off date is November 20 for economy, November 29 for courier and December 13 for express.

- By Geoff Sloan, Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air