2021 Last Order Dates for Christmas Delivery Overseas

For Christmas 2021, delivery times to some overseas destinations are still longer than normal with COVID-19 still causing disruptions to global flights and carrier services. We’d suggest customers order as early as possible to give every chance for your Gift Box to be delivered abroad in time for Christmas. These are our recommended 2021 last order dates for Christmas delivery to popular countries:

CountryTracked PostExpress Courier
USASun 28th NovThu 16th Dec
CanadaSun 28th NovThu 16th Dec
AustraliaSun 21st NovThu 9th Dec
New ZealandSun 21st NovThu 9th Dec
Singapore, Hong Kong,
Japan
Sun 28th NovThu 16th Dec
For countries not listed, assume same as Australia

These are guidelines (not guarantees) to be viewed in conjunction with our COVID-19 Update and are based on:

  1. Delivery to main cities and towns in the destination countries. Remote areas may not be reached on time.
  2. Shipments getting customs clearance promptly once they reach the destination countries.
  3. No adverse weather or environmental conditions along the journey that may disrupt transport networks.

Any orders placed after these recommended last order dates will still be fulfilled as normal (dispatch within 2 working days of order), but please be aware of the risk that your Gift Box may not arrive until after Christmas.

If you are still after ideas of what to send, we have 3 fantastic Christmas boxes on top of our usual British Gift Box range. Take a look and see which one you think they’d like best:

  1. Most popular – Christmas Nibbles Box
  2. All the favourites – Christmas Nosh Box
  3. Ultimate family treat – Christmas Gastronomy Box

Do get in touch if you have any questions on 0118 380 0209 or [email protected] Our team are always happy to help!

 

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/general/" rel="category tag">General</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>

Royal Mail International Parcel Prices to US Rockets

The cost of sending parcels to the US by Royal mail rose dramatically over the summer. The combination of COVID-19 international flight restrictions and changes in US policies on postal rates for incoming mail combined to create a worrying precedent for international mail.

Royal Mail in the UK, who we use for our international tracked and standard postal services, is one of a number of international mail providers affected by the circumstances, with the price of sending International standard parcels to the US increasing by 49% on average, and the price of International signed and tracked parcels sent to the US increasing by an average of 38%.

The impact of flight restrictions due to the Coronavirus pandemic is one cause of the price rise, with Royal Mail explaining that “Most of Royal Mail’s international mail is carried on commercial passenger flights. There has been a 95% reduction in air passenger flights globally following the outbreak of Covid-19. We are having to use air freight to keep the mail moving instead.” According to Royal Mail, this has led to a “five-fold increase in our air freight costs to the US”.

A more notable trend in international mail, though, comes from a change in US policy towards incoming mail from outside of the USA, which will contribute a long term cost increase in sending mail to America. Royal Mail explain that “The increase in the rates we pay for last mile delivery in the US are a result of decisions taken at the UN’s Universal Postal Union (UPU). This met the US administration’s stated objective – to increase how much they charge other countries for delivery. We expect other countries to follow suit. We are likely to see price increases to elsewhere in the world in due course.”

The complex relationship between the US and the UPU was first raised in 2018, when the Trump Administration announced plans to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union, citing unfair trading conditions which they alleged favored China. The US opted against withdrawl from the UPU when a deal was struck to allow the US Postal Service to set its own postal rates, which, according to Royal Mail, will see “A significant increase of more than 100% in the rates we pay for last mile delivery in the US from 1st July”.

These substantial increases brings the price of Royal Mail’s postal services up to the same range as express courier services from the likes of DHL and as a result we have seen a huge swing in customers choosing express courier over international postal services for parcel deliveries to the USA. And why not if you can get a faster and more assured service for a similar price!

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COVID-19: Store Operations & International Deliveries

Adapting to the “new normal” post-COVID

After a tumultuous and challenging two years for many small businesses, including ourselves here at British Gift Box, COVID-19 restrictions have thankfully been lifted in the UK and across most of the world. We were fortunate to have been able to continue to send our Gift Boxes to your loved ones across the world throughout the pandemic although global restrictions made it a much more difficult to always deliver our service to the levels that we set for ourselves. Thank you so much for your patience and encouragement during this time.

Because we send nearly all our Gift Boxes overseas, many of the challenges created by the pandemic remain in the “new normal”. These are detailed below so we’d ask you to make yourself aware of them to understand what they could mean for any orders you place.

 

Product availability

Global supply chain problems mounted as the world emerged from the pandemic affecting the supply and resulting in price inflation in many basic food commodities. This has led to shortages of some of the food products that go in our Gift Boxes as producers have had to adapt or re-prioritise production. The situation is changeable and exacerbated by the conflict in Ukraine. Where one or two items in a Gift Box are not available we will substitute them with similar alternatives where possible. So please be aware that there may be minor variations to the box contents as described.

 

Longer delivery times

All logistics providers shipping overseas are still experiencing longer delivery times to some extent compared to pre-pandemic norms. The aviation industry made huge cuts during the pandemic and are now building back but have significant challenges in doing so. This means there are still fewer commercial flights to carry your parcels and the transport networks still suffers from some  disruptions. Whilst the big private carriers like DHL have their own fleet of cargo planes to soften the impact, national postal carriers like Royal Mail have been particularly badly affected as they are wholly reliant on commercial flights.

This means that postal deliveries to many countries are still taking longer than normal. Economy and tracked postal shipments to Australia and New Zealand can still take as long as a month to remoter parts of those countries. Fortunately, express courier services like DHL & UPS are less affected and seem to be almost back to normal. The impact on global logistics is likely remain for the foreseeable future. It is more important than ever that you chose the right shipping option for your needs and it is up to you to check the latest status for the country you wish to ship to.

As our carriers cannot guarantee that your parcel will be delivered to their target timescales as shown in the International Shipping page, any orders you place assumes you understand and accept the risk of possible delays. Specifically, if you choose to send your parcel by economy (untracked) post, for which we have no visibility nor control over during transit, we will not be able to provide a refund or any compensation for excessive delays or non-delivery.

We’d ask you to consider ordering earlier than normal for birthdays and other important events to avoid unnecessary delays. Thank you again for your patience.

 

Delivery to the door changes

All couriers and postal delivery services across the world have made changes to their delivery procedures to keep their staff safe. Local policies apply but this means that parcels could be left without human or other unnecessary contact including:
• Without signature
• Without knocking on doors
• Without ringing door bells
• Without calling first

 

Country specific information

A number of countries have significant backlogs of mail and parcels to process because of previous/current pandemic restrictions and excessively high parcel volumes. You should expect to see delivery delays to these countries for some weeks to come. See further information from carriers and for specific countries in the following useful links:

Royal Mail International Incident Bulletin

DPD Service Updates

 

Despite the ongoing challenges, we are doing everything we can to make sure you can still send some home comforts to loved ones abroad at a time when they may need it most.

 

Last updated: 1st July 2022

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/general/" rel="category tag">General</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/website/" rel="category tag">Website</a>

New And Improved British Gift Box Checkout

We are really excited to announce that the latest version of our checkout is here, with a host of improvements for our customers: clearer cart layout and checkout steps, improved user experience, and lots of useful information. The British Gift Box checkout is the main interface that customers use to pay for and/or subscribe to our lovely gift boxes. It’s crucial that it’s fast, reliable, informative, and above all, easy to use. Having taken a number of months to develop a new checkout and tested it extensively, we’ve now enabled the new checkout for all transactions.

Let’s take a look at the key changes.

 

Clearer Cart and Checkout Layout

The previous single step checkout has been replaced by a 2-step Cart and Checkout process to make each step much clearer, pages less cluttered and more intuitive.

New British Gift Box Checkout

 

Clearer International Shipping Information And Options

The Shipping Country selector and calculator now also provides general as well as any country-specific shipping information for customers to be fully informed about the issues involved in sending a parcel abroad.

Once the shipping country is selected, all the available shipping options together with the details of each shipping service are clearly displayed for customers to make an informed choice of how they want their gift boxes to be shipped to their recipient.

New British Gift Box Checkout

 

Better Personalisation For Gifts

The majority of our customers are people ordering a gift box for a loved one overseas so the ability to personalise their gift with a handwritten message card and perhaps a few printed photos is very important for them. The new design steers them through the personalisation process, including giving them the added ability to specify a target delivery date for us to aim to deliver for.

 

More Accurate Address Data Capture

The new checkout uses the latest address lookup and validation technology to help customers enter accurate address details, which is essential for successful delivery abroad. Suggested addresses from the latest database are presented as customers start to type in address details – they can select the correct one or continue to complete manually.

New British Gift Box Checkout

 

Improved User Experience

The new British Gift Box checkout means that buying a gift box or subscribing to regular gift box deliveries should be simple and easy. And it will arm customers with the relevant information they need to know about the often complex shipping process their gift box will go through to reach their recipient in the destination country.

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/general/" rel="category tag">General</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/payment/" rel="category tag">Payment</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/website/" rel="category tag">Website</a>

It’s Not Too Late To Order For Easter Delivery Overseas

Whilst the key postal shipping deadlines have gone, you can still get an Easter Box of goodies to friends and family overseas in time for Easter with our courier options!

ORDER BY 14 TH APRIL FOR COURIER DELIVERY TO POPULAR EXPAT COUNTRIES!

Last order dates for Easter delivery using a courier service:

 

Check out our two Easter boxes for an ideal last minute gift:
Cadbury Easter Treasures
Ultimate Easter Celebration

These last order dates are based on our couriers’ targeted delivery times and assume no delays in customs clearance where applicable on arrival in the destination countries. Any delays at customs may delay delivery.

For orders placed after these recommended last order dates, we will still fulfil the orders as normal but please be aware that your Gift Box may not be delivered until after Easter.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0118 380 0209 or [email protected] Our team are always happy to help!

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/products-services/" rel="category tag">Products & Services</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>

Last Orders For Easter Postal Delivery Overseas

Have you sent your Easter eggs to loved ones overseas yet? Show that you care by giving them an Easter to remember!

We have two Easter gift boxes available to send abroad, so have a look and see which one you think they would prefer:

Cadbury Easter Treasures
Ultimate Easter Celebration

ORDER BY THE END OF MARCH FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE IN TIME FOR EASTER!

With postal shipping services to most countries taking up to 7 working days (and more for a few others), give your Easter Box the best possible chance of being delivered by Good Friday by ordering by 31 st March.

Recommended last order dates for specific countries:

 

 

These last order dates are based on Royal Mail’s targeted delivery times or recent actual performance for certain countries and assume no delays in customs clearance where applicable on arrival in the destination countries. Any delays at customs may delay delivery.

For orders placed after these recommended last order dates, we will still fulfil the orders as normal but please be aware that your Gift Box may not be delivered until after Easter.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0118 380 0209 or [email protected] Our team are always happy to help!

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/products-services/" rel="category tag">Products & Services</a>, <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>

Understanding Postal vs Courier Shipping Services

With our recent announcement that we have launched new lower-cost postal shipping options to complement our existing courier services, we thought it would be a good idea to explore the differences between postal and courier shipping for your Gift Boxes going abroad.

The basics

A postal service is normally operated by or on behalf of national governments to carry letters and parcels with a universal service mandate – i.e. they are obliged to deliver to every address in the country concerned and have international arrangements to deliver post to and from foreign countries. They are usually state monopolies and generally own and operate the national postal infrastructure. They include operators like Royal Mail, United States Postal Service (USPS), Australia Post, Hong Kong Post.

Courier companies are private, often global, businesses with distribution networks around the world. They tend to focus on delivering parcels and packages for businesses like ours to consumers and other businesses and offer a greater range of speed, delivery times and guarantees. There are hundreds of courier companies operating globally with DHL, UPS and DPD being some of the key players in the sector.

How do they do international shipping?

When you use a courier service to ship something internationally, they will be responsible for handling your parcel from the UK all the way to the recipient in the destination country…a true door to door service. This includes processing the exporting requirements before your parcel is allowed onto a plane/train/van to leave the country, to facilitating the customs clearance process when it reaches the destination country and through to managing the final delivery to the recipient. The courier may ‘subcontract’ the final delivery leg to a local courier in some countries where they don’t have a complete distribution network of their own but even when this is the case, the key feature of this service is total ownership from the courier throughout the process.

The process is slightly different for postal services. For example, if you use Royal Mail to ship something to USA, Royal Mail will handle the delivery up until the parcel is received in the customs department on entry to America. Once your parcel receives customs clearance, Royal Mail hands over responsibility for the rest of the delivery process to the recipient to the destination country’s postal service, the United States Postal Service (USPS) in this case. Ownership for the delivery is therefore usually split between two national postal operators.

Service standards and quality

Because of the full control and ownership of the international shipping process, courier services are better placed to ensure that your parcel is handled correctly and gets where it needs to be in the given timeframe. This means that shipping is generally faster, more reliable and delivery timings more accurate (subject to customs clearance). Good tracking facilities come as standard and will give you greater visibility of your parcel through its journey to delivery and signature on delivery gives extra peace of mind. When issues do occasionally arise during the shipping process, having a single process owner makes it easier to communicate with them to resolve problems quickly.

Postal services on the other hand rely on two national postal operators working together to deliver your parcel, with all the operational and logistical issues that this entails – e.g. different service levels, efficiency and security standards, etc. This often results in longer delivery times, a lack of or infrequent tracking and less predictable delivery dates. It’s also worth noting that not all postal services are created equal – some countries will have a more reliable service than others and there is always a small risk that parcels can be lost in countries with less developed postal services.

One of the biggest drawbacks of postal services is a lack of customer service. Once a parcel is posted, it is not possible to intervene in its journey, even where there is some tracking visibility. If there are problems with the delivery of a parcel, it is very difficult to get assistance and influence the outcome.

Using postal services can also be troublesome if duties and taxes apply to your shipment. The customs department will have to contact the recipient directly and wait for payment. Until payment is settled, the shipment will not be delivered.

Restrictions

Couriers services will take individual parcels up to 30kg for shipment internationally.

Postal services are only available for parcels weighing up to 2kg. As all our Nibbles Boxes are no more than 2kg, they all qualify for the Economy Post and Tracked Post options from Royal Mail. However, the postal options are not available for our larger Nibbles or Gastronomy boxes as they are all over 2kg.

Prices

Unsurprisingly, the higher service standards and quality offered by courier services means that it generally costs more than postal services, albeit competition in the courier sector acts to keep costs down as uncompetitive providers will lose business to more efficient ones. Ultimately, you get what you pay for, but we understand that not everyone can or will pay for it.

It you can live with the slightly lower service levels of postal services and your gift parcel weighs no more than 2kg, then it is more cost-effective to send your parcel by post. This is especially so if you are sending a parcel to distant destinations like Australia and New Zealand where the cost of courier shipment can start to approach the value of the Gift Box you’re sending.

This is the reason why we introduced the postal service options for customers wanting to send a small Gift Box in the most affordable way possible.

Conclusions

So now you know the key differences between postal and courier services, you should be in a better position to decide on what is the right international shipping service for your order where multiple options are available! Consider what your priorities are – such as speed, reliability, tracking visibility, security or cost – and make your choice based on what best meets your priorities.

For more information about shipping options we offer, see our International Shipping page.

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>

New (Cheaper) Shipping Options Now Available!

We now offer lower-cost postal shipping options to make it more economical to send our smaller boxes anywhere in the World! We still offer fully tracked, peace of mind courier options, but can now facilitate cheaper Economy Post and Tracked Post services and rates from Royal Mail for all our Nibbles Boxes.:

 

 

For more information on shipping options, click here.

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>

Last Orders For Christmas Delivery Overseas

As virtually all our Gift Boxes are sent abroad, we’d suggest customers order early for Christmas to avoid disappointment. There are no certainties when shipping things internationally due to the extra complexities of exporting across borders, uncontrollable customs clearance procedures and variable quality of local courier networks in the destination countries….but you can give your Gift Box the best possible chance of being delivered by Christmas by ordering in good time. Here are our latest recommended last order dates to frequent destination countries for Christmas delivery:

 

Last Order Date Popular Destinations For Our Gift Boxes
Monday 10 December New Zealand
Tuesday 11 December Australia,
Wednesday 12 December Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Cyprus, Malta, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden
Thursday 13 December Canada
Friday 14 December USA, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands

 

For countries not listed above, please contact us and we’ll be happy to advise.

 

These last order dates are based on shipments getting customs clearance fairly routinely once they reach their destination countries. Should local customs or other regulatory bodies hold the shipment for any reason, this may affect the local courier’s ability to deliver it in time for Christmas.

For orders placed after these recommended last order dates, we will still fulfil the orders as normal (dispatch within 3 working days) but please be aware that your Gift Box may not be delivered until after Christmas.

We have two Christmas boxes on offer, so have a look and see which one you think they would prefer:

Christmas Nibbles British Gift Box

Christmas Nosh British Gift Box

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions on 0118 380 0209 or [email protected]. Our team are always happy to help!

 

 

Posted in <a href="https://www.britishgiftbox.com/category/shipping/" rel="category tag">Shipping</a>