Contents: An overall summary of current disruptions due to the Corona virus follows. If you scroll further down you will see historical individual entries going back to March 2020.
Current summary (updated 13/9/21)
After a normal few months sadly some delays are starting to occur again. Whilst the majority of parcels are still traveling normally, we would now advise international customers to allow 2-6 weeks for international deliveries, just in case. The delays are occurring somewhere between France and the destination countries. We suspect the two main reasons being lack of flights and cargo space and/or staff to process packages. It is currently effecting about 5% of the parcels we send.
We are currently aware of up to 10 (reduced from 30 over the last few days as parcels have started to track again) customers packages stuck on the US border awaiting clearance. Tracking shows them all in the same place (processed through France). Delays for these are currently 2-6 weeks with some parcels now re-appearing on tracking after many weeks in limbo. Natural disasters and Covid impacts are suggested causes of issues.
We are also aware of up to 10 packages stuck on the Chinese border awaiting clearance. Tracking shows them all in the same place (processed through France). China Post reports these delays being 4-8 weeks and blames Covid impacts. Some parcels are moving again after several weeks delay.
Australia Post are also reporting delays due to Covid impacts. Link to a report from e-commerce bytes here.
We have only received reports of delays into the US, China and Australia at the moment. We do expect an increasing amount of global delays as we enter the Winter months. We also anticipate some service disruptions in France.
Please don’t panic! All parcels are covered for loss (which is very rare – 1 in 1000 packages to date). We just ask you to bear with us and the mail services during these demanding times.
Any UK delays seem to be a result of Brexit related paperwork checks rather than Covid. There are still many teething problems with new border requirements with paperwork and import duties etc,
Parcels are currently traveling as normal within Europe
Restrictions are once again in place for larger parcels with our budget couriers for items such as full size chairs etc. We will contact you if there any issues with your order.
As always we will update this link with any news as we have it. Thank you for your patience.
Useful links and articles:
Australia Post service updates page: https://auspost.com.au/about-us/news-media/important-updates
The US postal service USPS service updates page: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/service-alerts/
Canada Post service updates page: https://www.canadapost.ca/cpc/en/our-company/news-and-media/service-alerts.page
United Kingdom service updates page: https://www.royalmail.com/coronavirus
Individual impact reports going back to March 2020:
Update 17th September 2021
Restrictions on shipping large items such as chairs have been imposed again by our budget couriers. This is likely due to reduced international flights and cargo space. If there are any issues with your large item order we will contact you offering you alternative shipping options, delayed dispatch until services return or a full refund.
Update 7th September 2021
Here’s a typical example of the current tracking of one of our US based customers parcels with a five week gap in tracking. Either it was stuck this end awaiting transport to the US (limited flights and cargo space) or stuck at ‘Goods In’ at the US end. Tracking does not reveal what happens in the space in between… Thankfully it has started moving again this morning.
Update 6th September 2021
Australia Post are also now reporting delays with services due to Covid impacts. Link to an e-commerce bytes article here.
Update 4th September 2021
Over the last week or two we have started receiving multiple reports of parcels stuck on the US and Chinese border. Tracking shows them all in the same place awaiting processing into the US or China.
All parcels are covered for loss which is very rare (maybe 1 in 1000 parcels) so we would urge customers not to worry and ask that you bear with us. We are 99% sure your parcel will arrive in due course.
The tracking number we have supplied to you can be used with tracking on USPS, Australia Post or China Post so that you can sign up for notifications as soon as movement of your package occurs.
As soon as we have news we will update this page. See a report from Royal Mail on China Post delays here:
Update 2nd June 2021
No disruptions to report. All services operating as normal. All staff (Eve & Steve) double vaccinated.
Update 10th May 2021
Restrictions on shipping large and heavy parcels via our standard services have now been lifted. Everything listed in our stores can now be sent and we can offer better postage prices for larger multiple item orders. Ask for a quote.
99% of parcels sent are arriving without issue with just one or two delays here and there. Deliveries are almost back to pre-pandemic status.
Update 1st April 2021
France is entering a third softer lock-down until mid-May. After which time it is hoped things will start to return to normal as the effects of mass vaccination kick in. This continues to have little effect on our selling services as we have minimal contact with people other than our friendly local posties and that is at a good distance! We won’t be buying from local customers in our store or their homes until mid-May.
Packages bound for the United States are intermittantly facing delays with some items. We are guessing that those items picked for checking at customs (a lot of wood items it seems) are where the delays are at. The next entry on the tracking of all the delayed parcels has been entering US customs / or processed through ISC at New York or Miami. Some are not seeing movement for 4-8 weeks and then appearing.
Update 23rd March 2021
We are receiving further increased reports of parcels stuck on the French / US border (30+ packages). This is an intermittent problem with most packages traveling normally but mostly larger ones facing delays. Last tracking entry will generally show processed through a French international hub. This means the parcel is either awaiting space on a plane (restricted due to lack of international flights) or has entered the US and is awaiting clearance into the US. The next entry on tracking once things start moving again will likely show processed through Miami or New York international sorting centers. Sorry for the delays and thank you for your patience.
Update 19th March 2021
Further lock down restrictions are in place in some regions of France for another month. It is not our region but we are aware this does not bode well for a return to normal in the near future. We can likely expect an ongoing situation with larger packages and possible delays with any shipping passing through those regions. Link to France 24 report on the new lockdown by clicking here.
Update 6th March 2021
An interesting and informative article from the New York Time on impacts of the virus on global shipping: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/business/global-shipping.html
Update 27th February 2021
United States USPS postal delays:
Update 24th February 2021
We are getting a number of reports of delays with parcels entering the US. Parcels are stuck on the border awaiting clearance into the US and / or clearance through customs and / or USPS accepting them into their systems.
We obviously have no control over this situation and can only apologise for the delays.
Update 27th January 2021
Restrictions on the sending of very large items remain in place with budget services. If we cannot currently send your large item we will contact you to ask if you want to wait until we can (we have no idea when that will be), pay an extra premium to send via express services like DHL or Fed-Ex (often twice the price) or cancel and refund your purchase.
Update 15th January 2021
Some budget parcels are taking a little longer to arrive than normal with some delays on the borders. Otherwise things are looking good with deliveries.
Update 21st December 2020
We are now getting reports of multiple parcels sent to the U.K. in December being held up. Those of you in the UK will be aware of the border issues including big hold ups of lorries, travel restrictions and BREXIT uncertainty.
There are multiple variables at play here and I’m afraid this is just completely out of our control.
If items arrive late for gifting we can supply a UK address for them to be returned to. Upon receipt we will issue a full refund.
Update 14th December 2020
We are currently very busy and one of us is out of action for a week or so (not Covid related) leaving just one pair of hands. This may add a few days onto dispatch times. If there are any delays with your order we will contact you promptly to advise. It is unlikely that items ordered now will arrive prior to the 25th December to international destinations. Please get in touch if you are in a rush.
Update 15th November 2020
Restrictions on sending oversize items have been imposed again (parcels whose three sides add up to more than 150 cm / 60 inches) by some of our couriers.
We have a number of courier options but if your item is currently undeliverable you will be contacted promptly and advised of options available; which will include waiting for restrictions to be lifted, receiving a refund or possibly paying a premium to ship through express premium services.
Update 2nd November 2020
France and the U.K. are once again entering lock-down until mid-December at least. This is not currently effecting our online services at all and all postage services are currently operating as normal.
As always we will post updates on any impacts here.
Update 4th October 2020
All systems are currently a go! We suspect though that there may be issues arising over the coming weeks and months. We will update as usual as soon as we start experiencing any disruptions to postal services.
Update 6th September 2020
Most shipping is proceeding without issue. Some peculiarities are occurring with odd packages being sent to the US.
The restrictions on oversize packages have been lifted and those parcels we have been holding will be on their way in the next day or two.
Update 24th August 2020
USPS delays in the US as a result of the virus and other variables are continuing to be somewhat intermittent. 50% of budget packages are traveling normally. Others are facing delays. Express services are continuing to arrive in normal delivery windows.
We expect USPS delays to escalate over the coming months.
Update 14th August 2020
Travel restrictions have been imposed between the UK and France again as a result of rising infection rates. This seriously restricts the number of shipping services we have available to us, as we can usually travel backwards and forwards between the two countries with your orders to get you the best shipping deal and find couriers for large oversize items. As a result we may not be able to ship large items within normal budgets for the foreseeable future. We will advise customers accordingly giving them the option to cancel their orders, pay a premium or wait until restrictions are lifted for dispatch.
Update 27th July 2020
New Zealand backlogs are finally showing some movement after ten week delays!
Update 24th July 2020
USPS delays mean that parcels are traveling much slower than normal through the American postal system with standard services. What usually took a week is now taking 2-3 weeks. See USPS notice here: https://faq.usps.com/s/article/USPS-Coronavirus-Updates-Expected-Delivery-Changes
Update 14th July 2020
Things seem almost normal again with just a handful of parcels yet to turn up. Please contact us if you are still waiting for your item and we will start the claim / investigation process.
We will continue to keep this page in place and update with news in anticipation of likely further delays in the future.
Update 5th July 2020
The majority of newly sent parcels are traveling normally at the moment. 10% are facing odd delays. Express services are 99% efficient.
Delayed packages are still arriving and starting to track again. Sometimes after some weeks / months. Out of the many delayed packages we have had during the pandemic we have had no completely lost parcels yet.
Update 29th June 2020
Mail in Europe seems to have pretty much gone back to normal with just a few stragglers finally turning up.
International mail to the US, Australia and Canada is still experiencing delays but there are no patterns. Some parcels are arriving in normal delivery windows and some are being added to the piles at the borders awaiting processing. Parcels that got stuck at the beginning of the pandemic in March / April are slowly being reached at the bottoms of the big piles.
There are points of delay going into customs and once parcels have got over the border and are awaiting pick up by national carriers. If your parcel is delayed for a long time the last tracking will likely show a border point.
Out of the 100’s of delayed parcels we have had, none have been confirmed as lost yet. Tracking is intermittent but most things are slowly getting through the postal systems.
Express premium services are traveling as normal.
Update 20th June 2020
We are pleased to report further appearances of long lost parcels. Budget services are still haphazard, with some deliveries arriving in normal delivery windows and others taking 3-5 weeks. Express services are mostly arriving on time with a couple of day delays in some circumstances.
We received our first 1 star feedback as a result of delayed delivery this week. I knew it was coming, it was just a case of when! We will of course continue to make our best efforts to explain the delays and plead for understanding and patience in these unprecedented times. A quick look back through our 1000’s of feedbacks to more normal times will confirm delivery has always been prompt pre-Corona. The parcel we received the one star feedback for arrived with the customer today. See the tracking by clicking here
With the lifting of border controls to some degree this week here in France Mr EVE finally got back to the UK suitably booted and suited to make some deliveries of large oversize items. We would thank those customers for their patience. 1000+km in a day. Please rest assured we are doing everything we can to get things to you as quickly as possible.
Update 15th June 2020
The lack of aircraft traveling internationally are still causing delays and not helping towards tackling the backlog of delayed parcels waiting to hitch a lift in spare cargo space. Some parcels have been sent by sea instead which is adding weeks onto delivery times.
Borders are also a major cause of delays as there are not enough staff to process and deliver current high levels of packages due to the increased levels of online shopping. The backlogs are only being processed slowly and in some cases not at all.
Parcels sent in June via budget services seem to be traveling reasonably well through the postal systems. Many reaching customers in normal delivery windows of 5-10 working days. Parcels sent via upgraded express services are arriving in normal 3-8 working day delivery windows.
Update 9th June 2020
More and more parcels are tracking again after no movement for many weeks and in some cases, months.
Backlogs from late April / May now seem to be starting to get slowly processed.
We would urge all customers not to be concerned about loss. It just hardly ever happens (three parcels in over 10000 to date across all our shops and two of them showed up sometime later). Parcels nearly always turn up eventually. If they don’t, all our parcels are insured for loss. If you no longer need the item please contact us for instructions on how to refuse and return your parcel with no cost to you.
Thank you for your patience Jamie! Jamie’s package took twelve weeks to reach him in Canada after getting caught in a pile up on the border.
Update 3rd June 2020
There are still many delays with parcels sent via budget services. Borders are still a major problem with less postal and customs staff, large build ups of parcels, less planes and much more people shopping online. Some carriers are using ships rather than planes.
Express services are not facing excessive delays at borders but seem to be moving consistently, if a little slower.
We still have no news regarding sending larger oversize packages or getting a driver back to the UK for oversize UK deliveries but fingers crossed we will get something sorted after the 15th of June. I will contact those customers waiting as soon as I have solid news.
Update 28th May 2020
The French Prime Minister says that after June 15th, France expects to open the borders with European countries without the 14 day quarantine, except with those countries that impose this on France.
Depending on the situation in the U.K. we hope to get a driver back to the U.K. shortly after the 15th June to take big items that have been held for delivery to our English customers. This obviously depends on how long England has travel restrictions on it’s border…
If LaPoste has not raised it’s restrictions on the sending of large items by that time, we will also be able to take those items we have been holding for international customers back to the U.K. for shipping from there where there are no restrictions on sending large items.
Update 25th May 2020
A very patient Alexius ordered this vase from us on the 10th March. 10 weeks ago! It arrived with him in Australia this morning!
Link to a video highlighting the issues with Canada Post especially but many of the issues discussed here apply to other carriers too: https://globalnews.ca/video/6991655/canada-post-on-parcel-backlog?fbclid=IwAR1xHQY80pjS1cBk1iWgGv2nhHRB3DHY0dNtCfLRibbK8gW8cuW0UwpPeDE
Links to two French articles on how bad things are with Canada Post at the moment: https://www.journaldemontreal.com/2020/05/23/postes-canada-croule-sous-les-colis-1?fbclid=IwAR0JlWh4K8O0LMbV0H7fgThzPnXT3A3YWeqVk4TCpDGdNnlZtyVqFrTjP_Q
Update 19th May 2020
It is with great relief that we report that many parcels have now started to move after many weeks of no movement. It seems they are starting with the top of the pile with more recently delayed parcels moving first and then moving to those on the bottom of the pile. Most parcels sent in the last four weeks are moving. Some of those sent before that are seemingly still sitting in piles.
Please contact us if your parcel is showing no movement for four weeks and we will start a claim / investigation. All packages are covered for loss, but we need to file the claim first. This takes at least a few weeks for the courier to locate the package or confirm it as lost.
We would again really like to thank those customers who have been so patient and understanding with us in these incredibly trying times.
Update 15th May 2020
We stuck it out today to speak to customer services at La Poste about delayed parcels. After 50 minutes at 15 Cents a minute of holding we finally got to the head of the queue and spoke to a somewhat grumpy operator, only to be told what we really already knew. The postal system globally is in chaos. International borders are particularly troublesome. There are huge back-ups of parcels going back to the beginning of March.
We are able to start cases for lost parcels after twenty working days / four weeks have elapsed from dispatch. If you would like us to start a case and you have not yet been in touch please do contact us and we will start a lost parcel claim / investigation.
As detailed in our postal policies everything we send is insured (you can see our policies on Etsy by scrolling down on our shop home pages on Etsy). Ultimately you will receive your item or a full refund after the carriers have carried out their investigations. These investigations are taking 3-6 weeks at present.
We appreciate the situation is stressful. We can confirm though that it is not as stressful as home schooling!
Update 14th May 2020
Parcels sent in March 2020. Most parcels, perhaps 80%, have now arrived. We are starting or have started claims and investigations for those that have not. We expect at least 99% to turn up eventually though.
Parcels sent in April 2020. 50% of parcels sent in April are at a stand still. 25% are starting to move slowly but this percentage is increasing daily. The rest have arrived.
Parcels sent in May 2020. The majority are currently moving slowly but steadily through the postal systems.
All parcels sent via premium express services are arriving in normal delivery windows.
Update 10th May 2020
We are pleased to report a continuation of parcels starting to show some movement after long periods of holding.
France will be lifting some restrictions from Monday 11th May which we hope means that parcels that got delayed in France will now start getting on their way to you. We also hope to be able to start sending large packages. with couriers again soon.
Those of you waiting for delivery on large and fragile items that require personal delivery may have a couple of weeks longer to wait. It will be a few weeks yet before we can get a driver back to the U.K. Likely mid-June.
A summary of the changes happening in France from the 11th of May can be found here: https://www.france24.com/en/20200509-france-prepares-to-ease-covid-19-lockdown-what-you-need-to-know
Update 6th May 2020
Thankfully over the last few days we are starting to see updated tracking with parcels that have got delayed and/or stuck over the last couple of months. Hopefully this trend will continue.
Update 4th May 2020
Many international parcels have not moved for some weeks. We anticipate normal services will start to resume from next week when restrictions are slowly being lifted in France. Postal services in your own countries may though still be hit with delays and hold-ups.
We currently have around two hundred parcels delayed in transit. Usually it’s one or two! Again, thank you for your patience.
Update 27th April 2020
La Poste are currently facing multiple issues with backlogs and service outs including tracking and customer services. We are currently finding it impossible to contact them on the phone to chase parcels or start investigations for late ones. Doubtless they are a little overwhelmed.
Lost parcels are very rare. Generally 1 in 1000 packages that we send. If a parcel is confirmed as lost after an investigation is made we will refund you in full. Delivery times and investigations are taking longer at the moment and all we can do currently is ask for your patience.
We send hundreds of parcels out a month and never have more than one or two investigations underway. We currently have around 100 late parcels. Most of these parcels are stuck at borders. These are clearly difficult times for the postal services globally.
Please note a parcel is not considered as lost and worthy for investigation until twenty working days / four weeks have elapsed from dispatch. Normal transit time is generally up to ten working days / two weeks.
Update 19th April 2020
We are now starting to get multiple reports of parcel delays overseas. Especially the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. Delays seem to be occurring on the borders, in and out of customs.
Update 15th April 2020
La Poste have placed further temporary restrictions on accepted parcels (translated through Google translate):
“As part of our adaptations related to the Covid-19 and to protect our employees with barrier gestures we regret that we can no longer send packages of more than 15 kg, so-called bulk packages (Length – 1m or the sum of Length – width – height – 150 cm) as well as packages of “tube” shape”
Where financially viable we are using other couriers for larger and/or heavier items. If we encounter delays in getting your parcel on it’s way we will be in touch offering you the option of waiting for La Poste to resume normal services (likely mid May), contributing towards the cost of a more expensive courier or receiving a full refund.
Some customers are starting to experience some delays in receiving parcels. Mainly those internationally outside of the European Union. The United States, Australia and Canada seem to have pile ups of parcels on their borders.
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience in this difficult time.
Update 14th April 2020
The French President has announced that the lock-down will remain in place until May 11th. After that date it is suggested things will start slowly returning to normal. We think it is likely shipments will experience ongoing delays throughout April and May.
France 24 reports on Macron’s speech at the link here: https://www.france24.com/en/20200413-macron-targets-easing-of-france-virus-lockdown-from-may-11
Update 13th April 2020
Restrictions have been put into place for some oversize and heavy parcels by a number of couriers. The thinking behind this is if it needs more than one person to handle it it is an unnecessary risk. Please allow for dispatch delays of at least three weeks for large and heavy items over 10kg in weight. We may be able to ship by alternative means. If urgent please get in touch prior to purchase.
Update 7th April 2020
Our normal couriers La Poste (the French national post office) are still accepting mail but it is not currently moving much within the French postal system. This suggests that there may be some delays with orders made in the last week or so. The majority of orders made before that time seem to be moving as normal through the system.
Where possible we are using other couriers for international orders but sometimes this is just not financially viable. Please assume that our normal delivery window of 5-10 working days is unlikely to apply throughout April. Please contact us prior to ordering if things are urgent and we will see what we can do.
Update 30th March 2020
The French Post Office, La Poste, is only accepting and processing parcels on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of each week until further notice. This is to restrict unnecessary human interactions. This means that if you place an order on Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday it will not be on it’s way until Wednesday.
Update 25th March 2020
Parcels still seem to be arriving in normal delivery windows. 3-7 days within Europe and 5-10 days globally.
Update 23rd March 2020
Our courier is suggesting that there may be delays at borders both within Europe and globally. They cannot any longer guarantee shipping times.
Update 19th March 2020
Our courier has now asked for customer phone numbers so that they can contact you in the event of any postal delays, local enforcement rules or for personal contact issues. Please message us after purchase with a contact phone number.
Update 18th March 2020
The Post Office is taking parcels back to the depot for us daily so we have no dispatch delays currently in place. Items continue to be on the way within 24 hours of order.
Update 17th March 2020
All our digital shops remain open for business. We are dispatching items globally.
Customers should also allow for delays with postal systems across the world. Currently we cannot even begin to estimate global delivery times. More local services within Europe that do not involve flights will likely face less disruption.
Update 15th March 2020
All our digital shops are open for business. We are dispatching items globally on a daily basis.
We will update this page with any developments as they happen.
We wish you all the best in these worrying times.
Eve & Stephen