Royal Mail has acknowledged that some customers may experience “slightly longer delivery timescales” than normal, after confirming “exceptionally high volumes” of post this winter.
The company also advised that anti-Covid measures are impacting the efficiency of its delivery service this festive season.
Missed deliveries and late arrivals
The acknowledgement comes as people and businesses across the UK have complained about late or missed deliveries. John Lewis, Boots and HMV are among the retailers to have blamed Royal Mail for delivery delays.
Online shoppers have expressed their frustration with Royal Mail, messaging the company directly and contacting retailers over missed deliveries and late arrivals.
Speaking to the BBC, small businesses owners expressed sympathy for the Royal Mail during this time, but expressed concern over the impact the late deliveries will have on their already fragile businesses.
Greater uptake in online Christmas shopping
The postal firm released a statement explaining that the “greatly increased uptake on online Christmas shopping” this year has been driven “in no small part” by the lockdown across the country. Because of this, delivery companies have experienced “exceptionally high volumes” of post, it said.
Coronavirus-related absences from the workforce have also had an impact on the Royal Mail’s services. The postal group hired about 33,000 temporary workers to support the 115,000 permanent postmen and women this festive season.
"Despite our best efforts, exhaustive planning and significant investment in extra resources, some customers may experience slightly longer delivery timescales than our usual service standards,” the company said.
"This is due to the exceptionally high volumes we are seeing, exacerbated by the coronavirus-related measures we have put in place in local mail centres and delivery offices.
"In such cases, we always work hard to get back to providing our usual level of service as quickly as we can."
Anyone concerned about a package delivery or the potential later delivery times on parcels to loved ones this Christmas should visit the service update page on the Royal Mail website.