The boss of Royal Mail has issued an update to customers over Christmas delivery dates, after fears over HGV driver shortages.

The company has already revealed that it will give £400 million to shareholders following a busy period after soars in online deliveries during the pandemic.

Simon Thompson, boss of Royal Mail, said that inflation is starting to have an impact on the company, but Royal Mail will manage due to costs on fuel and salaries being protected through hedging and new staff contracts.

Mr Thompson said: “If you have a look at posting dates for Christmas this year, we haven’t changed them. So it’s our expectation that we’ll be fine.

“Our team stood up to the challenge through the pandemic and I see no reason why they won’t do the same again.”

Gazette: Royal Mail has launched a drive to recruit around 20,000 seasonal workers (PA)Royal Mail has launched a drive to recruit around 20,000 seasonal workers (PA)

Domestic parcel volumes increased 33 percent compared with pre-Covid levels, however international parcels dropped by 32 percent due to air freight shortages and increased customs processing.

Despite this reassurance, Royal Mail has urged customers to begin their Christmas shopping early to avoid missing the final postage dates.

UK latest recommended posting dates for Christmas 2021 are:

Saturday 18 December

  • 2nd class
  • 2nd class signed for
  • Royal Mail 48

Tuesday 21 December

  • 1st class
  • 1st class signed for

Thursday 23 December

  • Special Delivery Guaranteed