PostNL reaches maximum capacity, packages left behind at webshops

This week has made history for PostNL as the postal service has delivered 10 million packages and can no longer process all orders. 

The service has had to leave packages behind at webshops because it has nowhere to place and process all the orders.

The company tells the NOS that this is the first time this has happened. “Unfortunately, we now have to say to webshops: sorry, this is what we can collect, the rest we will do a day later.”

Some webshops are now indicating to customers that they may have to wait longer to receive an order, however, this depends on the shop. “Some indicate: allow for a longer delivery time. Or they give priority to certain products.”

Black Friday crowds and closures

The postal service tells the NOS that it believes the boom in online orders may have been caused by the recent closures of shopping streets following heavy crowding in city centres.

Mayors called on people to avoid the crowded city streets and instead order packages online. This, in combination with the coronavirus and beginning of Sinterklaas celebrations, has caused a record-breaking strain on PostNL.

The service has asked that if anyone wants to return a package, they do so after the celebration of Sinterklaas.

Other services still running

However, not everyone’s Sinterklaas packages will be delayed. Services such as DHL are still able to serve their current webshop customers. Although, they have said they will not be taking on any new businesses for the time being due to the high pressure that the service is under.

Webshops, such as have told the NOS that “of course it sucks, but there are also circumstances that were not entirely foreseen.” The company also has other courier services to rely on, such as DHL, DPD and GLS.

Other webshops also believe PostNL’s delays won’t affect their delivery times. has also claimed that “the vast majority of the packages will be delivered on time.”

Phew, that’s a lot of packages! Will these delays affect you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Feature Image: PostNL/Supplied.

Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


  1. definitely affected by the delays, my delivery os already 3 days late!!
    considering that people get asked to avoid the shops they could have foreseen this boom in online shopping…but in the end are again the customers getting a bad service, people that maybe have been saving for one year to finally order a product where they promise one day delivery and then having to wait for…yeah exactly how long?

  2. I ordered a package by DHL. DHL promises to deliver it from 10-3pm. Later that day they promise it to diver it before 5:50 pm. At 7pm they promise to deliver it the next day. So DHL keeps you waiting at home from 10am till 7pm without delivery. There are other ways to communicate and more friendly ways to (not) deliver.

  3. I’ve been waiting for a parcel from NL since December 5, 2020. On January 7,2021, I received a notification that my parcel was scanned in to the US on December 10, 2020. Since then nothing.

    Another parcel was sent to me from NL on January 23, 2021. Says it left NL to country of destination. Hasn’t moved since. This whole thing is a mess!


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