Courier Post straining to deliver presents on time

There are fears Kiwis' Christmas presents might not arrive on time, with Courier Post workers straining to keep up with their busiest season ever.

Hundreds of thousands of parcels are still in transit to their destinations, as December 25 fast approaches.

The rush began a lot earlier this year, with orders higher than usual in November - but they haven't slowed down in December.

This year's rate of outgoing parcels is three times faster than the same period last year.

"We're at record breaking levels this Christmas," operations manager Mark Stewart said, with the number of parcels processed now in the millions.

Mr Stewart said they're aiming for same-day delivery on all parcels coming in, but it's not always possible with over 100,000 arriving daily in Auckland alone.

One woman told Newshub she'd been waiting three weeks for her package to arrive, only to find it was lost. Others echoed that frustration.

"Around Christmas time it's pretty busy, so you don't have time to be coming back and forth," one customer said.

Another told Newshub they'd waited several days for a parcel.

Courier Post has brought in reinforcements through extra planes and vans. Mr Stewart said they're aiming to get all Christmas presents delivered on time and if that doesn't happen, they'll be upset.

"We are working hard to get them there."

One of the main factors contributing to the increase is the rise of online shopping, with a boom bigger than their "most optimistic forecast", he said.

International parcels are processed through a dedicated facility at Auckland Airport and its volumes are up more than 30 percent on the same time last year.

But adding to Courier Post's headache is the added time it takes to get to and from Auckland Airport over Christmas.

Today was one of the busiest days of the year on the Airport motorway, with Courier drivers and holiday-makers all trying to share the same busy stretch of road.