Today, Wednesday, was the cut-off day for guaranteed Christmas parcel deliveries between Estonia and countries outside the European Union, ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK) reported.
Customers inside the EU still have time for their packages to arrive in Estonia, or arrive in another EU member state having been sent from Estonia, before Christmas – which in Estonia, as in most northern European countries, is celebrated primarily on the evening of December 24.
Packages inside the EU will arrive within about 10 days, AK reported, though beyond the EU's borders this time can be anything from a couple of weeks to a month or more.
Kristi Unt, board member at state-owned postal service Omniva, told AK that: "As of today, ee can no longer guarantee that parcels ordered from outside the EU will arrive [in time for Christmas]. Everything from inside the EU that reaches us by December 22 arrive by or on December 24."
Omniva and another major, private sector delivery firm, Itella, are now delivering tens of thousands of packages on a daily basis, with the aim of meeting their intra-EU postage pledges.
This work has also been affected by discount campaigns which began last month.
Omniva delivers between 40,000 and 50,000 packages per day nationwide, and many sorting office staff are now joining their outdoor delivery colleagues to help things along, mostly at the company's automated parcel machines.
Britta Unt said: "Last winter, I was able to help with the sorting, I helped put the packages on the line. This time, I will be test-filling the parcel machines, for the first time,."
Large items such as some Christmas gifts suit parcel machine delivery better than other methods.
At Itella, the company has hired more seasonal staff, particularly on the night-shift, which is when 80 percent of packages are processed, ready for delivery.
Itella also operates parcel machines, which are being attended by customer service personnel, who help with customers unsure how to use the system.
"Language skills are important here: Estonian, Russian, maybe a little English," Rauno Parras, director of Itella's transport unit, told AK.
Recent campaigns included e-Monday, focused on e-retailers in Estonia, in mid-November, then the well-known "Black Friday" drive, and intertional campaigns from e-retailers like Amazon, Parras added.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Merili Nael
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera