Last posting dates for Christmas: guide for small businesses

Red Royal Mail van on a UK street

Small business retailers frantically trying to deliver customer orders in December need to be aware of the last posting dates for Christmas. Whether you’re a high street business or an online shop, keep your customers happy and informed with a reliable delivery service.

Royal Mail has published the last recommended postage dates for international and UK parcels to arrive in time for 25 December 2023.

This guide includes all the dates to remember along with tips for communicating with your customers during this busy time of the year.

Last posting dates for Christmas 2023

The table below shows the dates to remember if you’re using Royal Mail services.

If you’re using an alternative courier service then some companies are offering collections up until 21 December – but be sure to check with individual couriers for exact dates.

And keep an eye out in your local Post Office as they may be offering DPD and Evri delivery services over the counter too.


These are the last posting dates for delivering parcels and letters in the UK:


Postage option

Monday, 18 December

2nd Class

2nd Class Signed For

Royal Mail Tracked 48

Wednesday, 20 December

1st Class

1st Class Signed For

Royal Mail Tracked 24

Thursday, 21 December

Special Delivery Guaranteed

Friday, 22 December

Special Delivery Guaranteed (or pay an extra fee for Guaranteed Saturday Delivery)


You’ll need to leave more time if you’re posting internationally.

These are the last posting dates for using international and tracking and signature services:

Personal customers posting at Post Offices

Royal Mail business account customers


Wednesday, 6 December

Wednesday, 13 December

Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Australia, Bulgaria, Caribbean, China (People’s Republic), Far and Middle East, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain

Thursday, 7 December

Thursday, 14 December

Cyprus and Malta

Friday, 8 December

Friday, 15 December

Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Eastern Europe, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA

The dates for using online services for international delivery have now passed for businesses and personal customers.

Tips for communicating with your customers

Keeping your customers informed about when they can expect to receive parcels is particularly important during December.

Here are some things to keep in mind to keep online shoppers happy:

  • update your website – include a ‘last order’ date for items to arrive in time for Christmas (this could be a banner or an update on your homepage, as well as on your delivery page)
  • be transparent in order confirmation emails – make sure it’s clear when deliveries are expected
  • use a tracked service – this helps customers follow their parcel and reduces the risk of something going missing

Are you on track to meet the last posting dates for Christmas? Let us know in the comments.

Small business guides and resources

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Photograph: Mino21/

Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.

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