Australia Post is urging all Australians to send their Christmas gifts and cards by mid-December at the latest as record volumes of parcels threaten to create delays.

The postal service said 2021 has already seen volume records broken, with this year’s Christmas expected to be the biggest on record for the nation’s couriers and postal workers.

With many state boarders still closed and online shopping showing no sign of slowing down, Australia post is anticipating parcel traffic to be extremely high. The organisation has hired more than 4000 Christmas casuals to cope with demand.

To ensure Christmas gifts and cards arrive on time, Australia Post has set the following deadlines:

  • All parcels sent via regular post must be sent by Monday December 13th.
  • All parcels sent via express post must be sent by Monday December 20th.
  • All Christmas cards should be sent by Thursday December 16th.

Customers in Perth, Darwin and regional areas are advised to send their gifts and cards even earlier than the recommended deadlines to avoid disappointed.

Australia Post’s Executive General Manager of Business and Government, Gary Starr, said the service has been preparing for a bumper Christmas for weeks.

“We’re seeing record parcel volumes with more than 5.9 million households shopping online a month — that’s more than half of all Australian households, and it’s showing no signs of slowing as we head into the online sales season and Christmas,” Mr Starr said.

“That is why we’ve planned ahead with extra air freight capacity, weekend deliveries and recruitment of thousands of new team members to ramp up our delivery services, parcel sorting and customer care, and we’ll be delivering right up until Christmas Eve.

This article first appeared on Over60.