Parcel Motel experiencing delays during Christmas period


As Christmas time approaches, couriers get intensely busier and packages can easily take longer to reach your doorstep. This can be very frustrating and these delays can come at the worse time, and obviously couriers do their best to get packages out as quick as possible.

A popular service in Ireland called Parcel Motel, which allows customers to have packages delivered to Northern Ireland and then to a locker of their choosing and results in saving money from most UK retailers who offer free or vastly cheaper shipping charges than delivery to Republic of Ireland. During normal operation, most customers can expect their package within 24 hours of it arriving in Northern Ireland, which also makes for quicker deliveries compared to shipping directly to Ireland.

However, during Christmas period, the delays can be pretty substantial. We have seen a lot of users already experiencing these delays with some waiting over a week for the packages to arrive to their locker after delivery to the Northern Ireland depot. We have reached out to Nightline: who run Parcel Motel for comment on the delays and what customers can do to cut down wait times.

It seems Parcel Motel have seen an increase of nearly 80-percent of packages being received compared to the same time last year. Obviously the customer base has grown since that time. Parcel Motel recommend users change their locker from the busiest locations, but have also implemented a 4 hour window for the busiest locations in an effort to allow users to collect their packages from a van that will be at the location when lockers reach their capacity.

If you use one of the busy locations below, it’s suggested you change to the alternative location during the christmas period, or second alternative if possible. This should at least get you the package a little quicker should the locker be full at any stage.

Busy Location Alternative Location Second Alternative Location
Raheny, Howth Road – Top Oil Artane, Malahide Road – Esso Artane – Maxol
Grand Canal Dock – Spar Ringsend Road – Maxol
Spar – Milltown Sandford Road – Esso Rathmines – Esso
Rathfarnham – Texaco Three Rock, Grange Road – Esso

We have included the full statement below. Parcel Motel also offer for packages to be delivered directly to your door, which in case of the locker being full would also be a quicker option, but sadly also includes a higher cost at €7.95.

There are also other companies in Ireland, which provide a similar forwarding service. Parcel Wizard, which will deliver your package to a retail location, which includes mostly newsagent location around ireland. Another service is Address Pal, which is run by An Post, but lacks any form of liability, so we would not recommend them for any expensive items.

During the busy period in the run up to Christmas we will usually see an increase of 25% in the number of parcels we process on a daily basis. This Christmas was unprecedented, as we are seeing an increase in delivery volumes of over 80% more than this time last year. This has resulted in a backlog for processing parcels, which we are currently addressing.

In advance of the Christmas period we expanded both our customer support and operations teams, by over 120 staff, in order to manage the increase in volumes. However, following on from the unexpected surge in parcels we are experiencing, we have expanded our services to also include: processing and delivery operations 7 days a week; we have opened 2,400 extra lockers in our busiest areas; and we have also arranged for timed bus deliveries (offering a 4 hour window for Parcel Motel members to collect at the most popular collection times) to some of our busiest Parcel Motel locations (where lockers may not have space available as customers have not yet had the opportunity to collect their packages) – alternatively if the customer is not able to collect their parcel during this timeframe we then place the parcel in their Parcel Motel within 2 working days.

Approximately 5% of parcels arrive (we have handled over 2 million parcels to date already in 2016) with insufficient information in order for them to be checked into a customer account without a manual query process intervention.  The majority of these cases are a result of the customer or retailer not including their Parcel Motel account name (sometimes a parcel will arrive with a maiden name or a partner’s name) and/or PMID (the unique account number that routes the parcel to the appropriate Parcel Motel location).

We apologise for any inconvenience caused and we would like to reassure customers that we are actively addressing the issue. Customer satisfaction and providing our members with access to fantastic cost savings is incredibly important to us. We would urge our customers to please ensure all relevant information is included on their parcels. In order to keep up with our growing membership base, we have plans to introduce additional locations in 2017 to allow more customers access the bargains on offer from Irish and UK retailers.


Craig O'Sullivan

Creator of Passionate about Technology and always looking for that next cool gadget or app

1 comment on “Parcel Motel experiencing delays during Christmas period”

  1. Karina Leech Yesterday at 19:05
    Hi i have two parcels being held at your depot was to be delivered to me on 9th December but never came to me. My mobile has being cut off so I’m unable to receive phonecalls or text messages I really need these parcels there’s christmas presents in those deliveries and i’m really worried i won’t get them on time. Also i’m not getting answers from your customer service phoneline. The two tracking numbers for these home deliveries are: PRCL42207029001 and PRCL41391495001

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