These are the Christmas delivery deadlines in the Netherlands in 2022
Don’t panic, but the Christmas holidays are fast approaching. As an expat, there’s a good chance you’re planning on sending a few cards or gifts in the post to family and friends living around the world, but considering how busy this time of year can be, it’s important to make sure your packages get there in time for the big day.
Dutch mail and posting deadlines this Christmas
Want to make sure your presents are under the tree on Christmas morning? These are the Netherlands’ delivery deadlines this Christmas.
Staff shortages mean the delivery times over at PostNL are slightly longer than you may be used to. On top of this, the busyness over the festive season means the company warns customers that, between December 7 and December 27, deliveries will take longer than normal. PostNL therefore advises anyone hoping to send a package in time for the holidays to drop their letter or parcel off at a PostNL delivery point.
If your package's final destination is an address in the Netherlands, PostNL is normally able to deliver it the day after it’s dropped off at one of their PostNL points. While in theory this means you can wait to drop off your parcel until December 23, it’ll probably be better to err on the side of caution and give it a couple of extra days to get to its destination
If you want to send something abroad - particularly outside of the EU - then the sooner you drop it off at a PostNL point, the better. On the whole, estimated delivery times depend on the final destination, but within the EU it generally takes up to seven working days. Remember to account for potential delays, and PostNL advises sending international mail via a PostNL point - where you can also pick up free priority stamps - so it will be delivered quicker.
Unlike PostNL, DHL offers a little more concrete information in regard to their estimated delivery times over the festive period. For packages heading outside of Europe, you’ll have to drop them off with DHL by December 20 at the latest. For packages within the Netherlands and Europe, you have until December 21.
DHL has also warned that it’s suffering from some delays at the moment, but on the website the company promises that, if you send your package on or before the above dates, “Santa’s little helpers” will get it there in time for Christmas.
On the UPS website, you can find a handy little tool that allows you to check the expected price and delivery time for your package by inserting your location and the intended destination, allowing you to check exactly how long it will take so you know when to send it by.
Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be any other information in regard to delivery deadlines for this Christmas. Last year the company said that, within the Netherlands, all packages dropped off on or before December 21 would be delivered by Christmas Eve at the very latest. For packages in Europe, the deadline was December 18, and for international deliveries, it was December 17.
Make sure your presents are under the tree on Christmas morning
Once again, the majority of delivery companies haven't guaranteed that dropping off packages or posting cards by a specific date ensures they’ll be delivered on time, so if you’re worried about delivery delays, it's best to get them sent off as soon as possible - perhaps by December 10 at the latest - regardless of the end destination to make sure they make it to the lucky recipient in plenty of time.