Berlin Is there is still time for Christmas presents? Not if they have to arrive to friends and family all over the world in time. Early planning helps.
During the Christmas period, parcel delivery services have their hands full. People all over the world send gifts and Christmas greetings by post. To ensure that the gifts reach their destination on time by 24 December depends on the right delivery date. In particular, Christmas mail to foreign countries has to be sent early.
Deutsche Post and DHL: Parcels should be taken to a DHL or post office branch no later than 6 pm on 20 December. Christmas mail abroad needs more time: International parcels should be sent as quickly as possible. For European destinations, 10 December is early enough to ensure that presents arrive on time for Christmas.
The company will deliver Christmas cards or postcards by 24 December if they are brought to an office by Saturday, 21 December. Post within Europe, on the other hand, must be posted by 16 December and letters elsewhere in the world by 11 December.
For the less-well prepared, there is an express service for letters and parcels. According to the company, for delivery within Germany it is still alright to go to a branch on 23 December. For parcels sent abroad, the sending date is earlier despite express delivery: and depending on the distance, is between 7 and 17 December.
DPD: If you hand in a parcel to DPD by 12 noon on 20 December, you can be sure that it will arrive by Christmas Eve. Express delivery parcels that are posted by 12 noon on 23 December will also end up under the Christmas tree in good time. Parcels to EU countries need more time and should therefore be brought to the parcel shop by 12 noon on 18 December.
Hermes: For domestic parcels to arrive on time, they must be at the Hermes parcel shop by 12 noon on 20 December. The delivery company will deliver Christmas mail abroad on time for Christmas If it is handed in to Hermes before 9 December.
GLS: The delivery date for domestic Christmas mail via GLS is also Friday, 20 December. If the parcel is destined for a neighbouring country, it must be posted on 19 December. If you want to post a present to friends in other EU countries in time for Christmas, you should hand in the parcel at a GLS shop one day earlier, on 18 December.
UPS: The parcel service does not specify a deadline for Christmas post. The advice is that customers should plan for at least one to two working-days for a package to reach its destination within Germany and to bring gifts early to the collection point.
Those who want complete peace of mind can book the express service, which guarantees a delivery on 24 December, if the package is given to UPS by 23 December at the latest. For particularly large parcels, the delivery service charges a surcharge during the Christmas season.
(Original text; dpa, translation John Chandler)