Shipping, packaging, delivery: If you want your Christmas gifts to arrive on time and safely, you should consider a few things.

Everyone still has to go under the Christmas tree: gift packages in a Berlin package center

Dhe parcel deliverers are preparing for the flood of shipments this Christmas. According to the Federal Association of Parcel and Express Logistics (BIEK), they will set a new record this year with 330 million shipments. If you want your Christmas presents to arrive on time and safely, you should consider a few things.

Send off on time

So that the gifts on Christmas Eve are actually under the tree and not in the logistics center, consumers should post parcels without the express option by December 19 or December 20, 12 noon, depending on the parcel service provider – with the express option even on December 21. According to BIEK, if you want to be absolutely sure in the run-up to Christmas, you should send your parcel as early as possible (by December 15) or choose an express option with a defined time window. For the international shipping of parcels, the deadline is between December 13th and 19th, depending on the destination country and parcel service provider.

Correct packaging

According to BIEK, a note such as “Caution fragile” is not enough to ensure that fragile content arrives safely. Instead, senders should wrap the items in air cushions and use sturdy packaging. In the case of used cardboard boxes, all stickers, existing barcodes and other misleading information should be removed and the addresses of the recipient and sender should be clear.

Small packages are protected by a larger cardboard box. The empty space can be stuffed with newspaper. Do not decorate the shipping box with wrapping paper, bows or parcel string, as these can get caught in the automatic parcel sorting systems.

accept package

As a rule, the deliverers try at least once to deliver the package to the front door. If the recipient is not at home, the parcel carrier can also entrust the shipment to neighbors. If you do not want this, you must inform the delivery service in writing beforehand. A note on the front door is not enough.

If no neighbor wants to accept the parcel, the recipients can pick up the parcel for a few days at a post office or a partner shop of the parcel services. Then they go back to the sender.


Consumers can also allow deliverers to park the parcel at an agreed location such as the garage. The liability risk for damage and theft is transferred to the recipient. If the stored package is stolen from the garden shed, for example, the parcel service does not pay any compensation. Transport damage is also difficult to complain about with storage contracts, because the time of the damage can hardly be proven.


If the deliverer did not ring the bell even though the recipient was at home, he should request another personal delivery. If the package is obviously damaged, the recipient should complain directly upon receipt and check the contents for damage. The parcels are usually insured for damage of up to 500 euros as standard. Anyone who sends valuables should either book a higher insurance policy or hire a courier service. This increases the shipping costs accordingly.

Consumers should also take photos of the package and contents and keep invoices before shipping. In case of doubt, these are used as evidence.


If you don’t mind driving or walking a few meters yourself, you can have the parcels sent to a packing station. This saves the deliverers having to go to the front door and protects the environment and the neighbors’ nerves. And if that is important to you, you should only order things that you keep because that avoids returns. Or he goes straight to the store and buys the gifts there.