Beat the Royal Mail Strikes throughout December
Royal Mail staff are due to go on strike on several dates during December, and this will add at least 2-5 days to their usual delivery times, plus the strike days (so you could be looking at delays of at least 3-7 days).
Heavy demand is also impacting DPD & DHL, resulting in delivery times of 1-3 days and 1-2 days respectively.
We strongly recommend ordering 1-2 weeks in advance or considering DPD (1-3 days) or DHL (1-2 days) for much faster service, as the estimates with Royal Mail are sadly not good:
- Royal Mail are recovering much less effectively during this round of strikes than they did in the first round - probably due to the combined impact of significant Christmas volumes - and many customers are seeing deliveries take one week (and out of thousands, one person's in Wales took 11 days)
- You should assume Royal Mail deliveries will take 7 days or more (though it could be a few days less, it's better safe than sorry, and it could also be a few days more...) and either order 1-2 weeks in advance or choose DPD or DHL
- We expect the delays to continue until the middle or end of the first week of January, at which point the impact of strikes, Christmas parcel volumes and Christmas/New Year bank holidays should be over
- For full details of the strike impact on Royal Mail's service see end of this page
To help avoid/reduce the impact of delivery delays we are putting in place some measures to help you:
We will be temporarily absorbing more of the cost of DPD's next day (aim) UK delivery service, and reducing the price for you throughout December.
Please note that while normally a next-day service, DPD are currently taking 1-3 days to deliver parcels due to the impact of strikes (also note this timeframe is not guaranteed but it is what customers are currently experiencing). In line with this, if you choose their Saturday option, while they aim for Saturday it is NOT guaranteed and it could be delivered on Sunday or Monday.
Throughout December, we will offer GB DPD delivery for £2.75 on all orders over £50 (£3.99 for Saturday-aim deliveries and £3.75 for orders over £25). Costs are higher for Northern Ireland, Scottish Highlands and Islands, but still with a special discount!
We are subsidising the cost DPD charge us even more substantially than normal to offer you this price. This isn’t sustainable long-term, but we want to help you over this period.
For faster service in GB, choose DHL. We are also temporarily absorbing more of the cost of their GB service and reducing the price for you throughout December.
Please note that while normally a next-day service, DHL are currently taking 1-2 days to deliver parcels due to the impact of strikes (also note this timeframe is not guaranteed but it is what customers are currently experiencing).
DHL orders must be placed by 3pm for same-day dispatch (all other options remain 4pm).
Throughout December, we will offer GB DHL delivery for £4.75 on all orders over £50 (£5.75 for orders over £25). We are subsidising the cost DHL charge us even more substantially than normal to offer you this price.
We have temporarily bought back the DHL service as it is a little faster than DPD, though they have imposed significant cost increases and reduced the collection time.
If you'd like to keep using Royal Mail, we recommend ordering 1 - 2 WEEKS in advance - while many customers are seeing delays of 1 week, this is not guaranteed and you could be one of the unfortunate people who see additional delays. It's just not worth the risk if you need your items urgently, which is why we strongly recommend DPD or DHL, or ordering 2 weeks in advance to be absolutely safe.
If you are ordering internationally, choose DHL/Express Courier – or bear in mind Royal Mail deliveries could take 3-6 days longer than usual, and order in advance accordingly.
We will not be offering Evri/Hermes as after trialling their service in the first strike it resulted in very poor service for some customers, including putting one customer's order in their wheelie bin as a 'safe place'!
The Royal Mail strike dates are as follows. But knowing this is not terribly useful as the consequential impact of the strikes, combined with significant Christmas volumes is likely to lead to the delays mentioned above/below throughout December:
- Friday 9th December
- Sunday 11th December
- Wednesday 14th December
- Thursday 15th December
- Friday 23rd December
- Saturday 24th December
Impact of Royal Mail strikes on their service:
- The worst case is if you order the day before a strike or the first day of a 2-day strike (e.g 14th December) - delivery will take at least 3 days, but probably it is more likely to take 4-7 days (at least)
- If you order on the day of a 1-day strike, or last day of a 2-day strike, delivery would take at least 2 days, but probably it is more likely to take 3-6 days (at least)
- The number of days above are ESTIMATES and "at least", delivery could take up to 10 working days excluding any strike days or bank holidays (which could mean 14 calendar days), though this is very unlikely
- Many customers are seeing deliveries take one week (and out of thousands, one person's in Wales took 11 days)
- Orders placed on the 23rd won't be delivered until the 28th at the absolute earliest due to the bank holidays, and probably it is likely to be later
- Orders placed on the 24th won't be delivered until the 29th at the absolute earliest, and probably it is likely to be later
- Bank holidays on 25th, 26th, 27th December and 2nd January will continue to cause delays in the days after Christmas (probably resolved by the middle or end of the first week of January)
The real way to beat the strikes is to order well in advance of when you need your items, or choose DPD/DHL!
We are really sorry about the impact of this strike action, which is totally outside of our control (unless anyone has a fleet of helicopters they'd like to donate to the MagicMist delivery effort?!). We hope subsidising the DPD and DHL options throughout December helps apologise to you on Royal Mail's behalf, and lessen the impact.