International courier company DHL says it anticipates more than 35 million parcels will pass through its global network in the 31 days of December.
DHL, which was unable to share how many of those it anticipates will be New Zealand in-bound and out-bound, expects December 16 to be its busiest day of the month.
Mark Foy, New Zealand country manager for DHL Express, said the silly season had already begun for the company, which was now considered to start a month earlier than it traditionally had, due to flash sales events Singles' Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
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DHL said its festive delivery season officially began on October 28 and deliveries on that day increased by 50 per cent compared to volumes on a regular Monday.
Foy said DHL predicted total delivery volumes to be up to 30 per cent more than those reported during December last year.
"We've had a large influx in parcels, particularly last week, on the back of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. If we compare that to a normal week it's about 50 per cent above where we normally sit," Foy told the Herald.
"The trend we're seeing this year more than we have any other year is that this peak period that would normally be the four weeks of December, but because of these new shopping days like Singles' Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we're starting to see that peak happen at the beginning of November now."
DHL delivers an average of one million parcels a day, globally, though it expects this to increase by between 20 and 30 per cent in the month of December. It could not share any New Zealand figures.
Foy said the company had reported solid growth in out-bound e-commerce exports in New Zealand over the year, predominantly to Australia and the United States.
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It reported 40 per cent increase in its local export e-commerce business.
In-bound parcels, for this time of the year in New Zealand, were already between 50 and 60 per cent above what they would be during a regular month, Foy said.
He said DHL operations teams would work 24/7 in the lead-up to Christmas Eve.
The company had put on an additional 767 aircraft across the Tasman, flying to Australia each night, earlier in the year which it expected would assist in a smooth Christmas delivery period - double the delivery capacity it had this time last year.
It had also opened a new service centre in Auckland, deployed additional staff for delivery, and put more delivery trucks on the road in December with extended delivery hours, including on the weekends to cater to the busy period, Foy said.
DHL has more than 30,000 delivery trucks on the ground in all of its markets in December. It could not say how many of those operated in New Zealand.
The increase in online shopping so far this month and therefore increase in parcels volumes through DHL's network reflected the increasing desire for convenience. DHL had recognised this and introduced delivery service points such as local news agents and gas station that enabled parcels to delivered and picked up from those locations, Foy said.
This is popular in markets such as Australia and Britain, where there the proportion of retail spend conducted online is much higher.
DHL now has 130 pick-up points throughout the country, including a partnership with Z Energy, to use its gas stations as collection locations.
DHL's latest Export Barometer survey found that 25 per cent of New Zealand exporters now conducted 80 per cent of their orders online.
Foy said he did not foresee any operational challenges in the sector following changes to GST law. "It will be interesting to see if consumers paying 15 per cent more [online] will affect volume numbers.
"Our estimates over the month of December is that it won't, but it will interesting to see over the long term whether the convenience and price point, now that there is a 15 per cent extra on low value goods, slows volume growth."