Christmas cut-off dates blog

Christmas cut-off dates 2023: Australia Post, DHL + more


Written by Kimberley Hughes

As the holiday season approaches, anticipation builds – not just for the festivities but also for the surge in customer orders. Preparing for this peak period is crucial for retailers who aim to deliver joy — not delays. Setting the stage for a seamless shipping experience involves early planning, staying updated, clear customer communication, smart shipping solutions, and incorporating buffer times for the unexpected.

And, with fast shipping, free shipping and easy returns being some of the top influences on holiday purchase decisions, it’s even more important to stay ahead of the game these holidays.

In this article we’ll cover why it’s crucial to have your finger on the pulse with holiday shipping cut-off dates, including a list of resources with all the important dates to add to your calendar!

Skip to shipping cut-off dates
Helpful person holding lightbulb

Why it’s important to be aware of your cut-off times

If retailers are not prepared, the holiday rush can turn from festive to frantic in no time. That's why keeping a keen eye on shipping cut-off times is a must for any retailer looking to spread cheer without the fear of delays.

Here are 5 good reasons you’ll want to take note of key dates:

1. Meet customer expectations

As everyone gears up for the holiday festivities, customers' expectations for on-time deliveries reach their peak. In fact, a survey by Voxware found that 69% of respondents are much less likely to return to a retailer after experiencing delays. Aligning with cut-off times doesn't just keep you in the good books; it ensures that your customers' holiday experiences are seamless from purchase to unboxing.

2. Optimise your workflow

Knowing when each carrier waves their final wand for shipping helps you plan your logistics with precision. This awareness and predictability results in a more streamlined operation, by allowing retailers to prioritise orders efficiently, keeping the gears of peak season fulfillment well-oiled and ready to go.

3. Promote proactive purchasing

Educating your customers on potential holiday delays early encourages them to make their purchases with plenty of time to spare. This not only ensures their orders are on schedule but also helps distribute your workload more evenly.

4. Effectively manage costs

Being ahead of the game with shipping times can lead to significant savings. You can avoid the higher costs associated with rush shipping, keeping your holiday margins merry.

5. Clear communication

Transparency about shipping deadlines is a service in itself. It not only shows your customers that you respect their time, but also builds trust and loyalty. Loyal customers spend 67% more on average than new ones, which underscores the value of maintaining clear and prompt communication.

Holiday cut off dates by carrier

New Zealand Post

Get ready for the holiday season with NZ Post’s carefully outlined schedule. For your local shipping needs, take note of these important cut-off times:

  • Courier Economy: Dispatch by Monday, 18 December 2023
  • Courier: Dispatch by Wednesday, 20 December 2023
  • Express & Express Tonight: Dispatched by Saturday, 23 December 2023

For the full list of national and international Christmas cut-off dates, visit NZ Post's key sending dates, or download your copy here.

NZ Couriers

NZ Couriers is committed to delivering your parcels on time during the festive season. Mark these cut-off dates for sending within New Zealand on your calendar:

  • Business Zone Address: Dispatch by Wednesday, 20 December 2023
  • Residential Zone Address: Dispatched by Tuesday, 19 December 2023
  • Rural Zone Address: Dispatched by Monday, 18 December 2023

For detailed information on international shipping and to stay updated with any changes, head over to NZ Couriers' cut-off dates page or download your copy here.

Australia Post

Australia Post is well-prepared to handle your holiday deliveries. Note the following Australia Post Christmas cut-off dates for sending domestic parcels to ensure they arrive in time:

Within Australia (excluding WA and NT)

  • Parcel Post: Dispatch by Monday 18 December 2023
  • Express Post: Dispatch by Thursday 21 December 2023

For a more detailed list of Christmas lodgement dates for retailers, especially those sending large volumes of parcels, refer to the Australia Post Business page for Christmas lodgement dates.


For Aramex's holiday shipping, use their handy online tool to get location-specific cut-off dates. Access it here to download your schedule.


DHL cut-off dates to ship within Australia are essential to note, and their 2023 schedule advises the following deadlines to keep your parcels on track:

  • DHL Express Worldwide: Ship by December 22, 2023, for delivery within 1-2 business days.
  • DHL Economy Select: Ship by December 18, 2023, for delivery within 1-5 business days.
  • DHL Domestic Express: Ship by December 22, 2023, for next business day delivery.

It's always good practice to check directly with DHL for the most current information and any potential changes that could affect delivery times during the busy holiday season.


Sendle is also geared up to manage your Christmas deliveries, with last pick-up dates to ensure your packages arrive on time:

  • Domestic (last pick up date): Tuesday 19 December (Same City)
  • Express Domestic (last pick up date): Wednesday 20 December (Metro to Metro)
  • International (last pick up date): Wednesday 13 December (NZ, UK)

Head to the Sendle page to get the specifics for various locations and ensure your parcels are under the Christmas tree ahead of the big day.


For CouriersPlease, their holiday shipping schedule is designed to ensure parcels are delivered by December 23rd. For the specific cut-off dates tailored to different regions and services, download your copy of the schedule directly from CouriersPlease 2023 Christmas cut-offs.

Royal Mail

As you prepare for the festive rush, here are the essential Royal Mail Christmas cut-off dates for sending within the UK to keep in mind:

  • 2nd Class/ 2nd Class Signed For: Monday, 18 December 2023
  • 1st Class/ 1st Class Signed For: Wednesday, 20 December 2023
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed: Thursday, 21 December 2023
  • Special Delivery Guaranteed (Guaranteed Saturday delivery for an extra fee): Friday, 22 December 2023

Visit their page to see the full list for domestic and international shipping or download your copy of the dates here.


For FedEx, to ensure your parcels are delivered by Christmas, visit their holiday shipping schedule page for comprehensive shipping resources and deadlines: FedEx Holiday Shipping.

Lower shipping costs

How to make courier delays a problem of the past

In the bustling holiday season, having multiple shipping carriers available not only provides a safety net against delays but also enhances the customer experience. Here's why adopting a multi-carrier strategy can be a game-changer for your business during the silly season:

  • Reduce the risk - spread your shipping across multiple carriers to reduce dependency on one, safeguarding against unexpected delays.
  • Choice at checkout - offer greater flexibility at checkout with a variety of shipping options, catering to different customer needs and timelines.
  • Reliability - build trust with your customers by consistently meeting delivery expectations, even during the busiest shipping season.
  • Competitive advantage - offering a variety of shipping options can set your brand apart, giving customers more reasons to shop with you.

If the thought of managing multiple couriers gives you a headache, consider starting a free trial of Starshipit. With our user-friendly dashboard, you can effortlessly manage all your couriers, print shipping labels, validate addresses, set up shipping automation, and more. The best part? We have shipping experts on hand to help you every step of the way.

Start 30-day free trial

Wrap up

As we wrap up, remember that the key to a stress-free holiday season for you and your customers is planning ahead. By marking these courier-specific cut-off dates in your calendar, you're taking an essential step to ensure that gifts and goods arrive in time for the festivities. Each courier, from NZ Couriers to Sendle, provides options suited for every need — be it express or standard, domestic or international.

Stay updated with their websites for any last-minute changes and consider offering your customers a variety of shipping options to meet their holiday needs. Here’s to a successful and timely holiday season!

Ready to start automating?

Automate your entire shipping process while delivering better experiences for your customers.

Start 30-day free trial
Kimberley Hughes

Kimberley Hughes

Kimberley is Starshipit's Content Marketing Lead. Her days are filled with creative storytelling and innovative content strategies. Off the clock, she's an all-seasons iced coffee fan, a Catan strategist, and skincare explorer. For a peek into her world, find her on LinkedIn.

More from this Author