1. ITV Report

Busiest day of the year for Royal Mail

Photo: ITV

Royal Mail staff are working hard on their busiest day of the year to ensure millions of Christmas cards arrive on time.

Workers at the Medway Mail Centre will sort through around six hundred thousand parcels today - that's DOUBLE the average workload. There are 430 seasonal staff at the centre on top of the permanent workforce.

There are some 20,000 Royal Mail temporary Christmas staff across the UK.

Mail volumes triple for Royal Mail at Christmas and planning begins in April.

Workers sorting mail Credit: ITV

Last year, Royal Mail delivered around 138 million parcels during the Christmas period.

While the service does not hold precise data for Christmas cards, the Greeting Card Association's most recent market report said around one billion Christmas cards were sold in the UK in 2016.

This comprised almost 100 million single cards and an estimated 900 million sold in boxes and packs.

The last posting dates for Christmas are Wednesday December 20 for second-class mail and Thursday December 21 for first-class.

Royal Mail recommends that people post early to help ensure cards, letters and parcels arrive in time for Christmas Day.