Saint Nicholas about to make landfall: PostNL ready for this quintessentially Dutch holiday to kick off the holiday season

PostNL in startblokken voor feestdagendrukte

The Hague, the Netherlands, 11 November 2021 – PostNL’s people are all geared up to manage the many parcels and cards that will be sent in the weeks ahead and are looking forward to delivering happy holiday cheer to all. In the Netherlands, the holiday season kicks off on Saturday 13 November with the arrival of Saint Nicholas and his helpers from Spain (according to tradition). Online orders are expected to peak on or around Black Friday (26 November) and Cyber Monday (29 November), both just before St. Nicholas’ Eve*, meaning that millions of parcels are set to be delivered in the run-up to this special event for the country’s children. PostNL has joined forces with the entire e-commerce sector to make a host of preparations to manage the busy times ahead.

How PostNL prepares

In normal times PostNL delivers over a million parcels a day, and it has spent the best part of the year making a whole range of preparations to be able to handle twice this much on peak days in November and December. This year, the Dutch towns of Westzaan and Nieuwegein saw the opening of a regular and a robotised parcel sorting centre respectively, for instance, with shifts running 24/7 at the parcel sorting centres and extra trucks and vans put into place to deliver all parcels to consumers on time. On peak days, some 1,250 trucks and 6,500 parcel vans are ready to go out and deliver the around two million parcels a day, while, for the first time this year, the Sunday after Black Friday will also be allocated full delivery capacity.

Holiday peak

Consumers have been ordering more online since the lockdowns began and the holiday peak will come on top of this, which is why the entire e-commerce sector is pulling out all the stops to process and deliver orders in all sorts of ways. Web shops are running their promotions earlier and are encouraging consumers to bundle their orders into one. Aside from extra discounts for consumers, this helps avoid additional logistical pressure. ‘Wees voorbereid – Bestel op tijd’, a campaign urging consumers to be prepared and order on time, sees web shops and carriers encouraging people to order their gifts now. In addition, Thuiswinkel.org provides a number of tips and tricks on how consumers can give a helping hand to web shops and delivery services. In addition, Thuiswinkel.org provides a number of tips and tricks on how consumers can give a helping hand to web shops and delivery services.

* On 5 December, people in the Netherlands and Belgium celebrate the Feast of St Nicholas (Sinterklaas) by pretending that he is giving them and their children small, personalised gifts. In the run up to the big celebration on the 5th, Sinterklaas himself appears throughout the Netherlands to distribute sweets to children – and put small gifts in their shoes left out overnight.