Why don't parcels get delivered on Sunday?

For many working people out there, a Sunday is one of their only days off, so it may be strange that on the whole, many companies don't tend to deliver on Sundays.

However, what is so different about a Sunday to any other day? There is of course a big religious tie, with Sunday known as 'the day of rest' to Christians. In fact, there were even laws that prevented any shops opening on a Sunday until pretty recently.

There is also the fact that many people claim there is no demand on a Sunday for the likes of parcels and shopping. This post will explore some of these reasons and take a look at where Sunday deliveries could be heading in the future.

Religious Ties

With Sunday being the traditional day for Christians to visit church, it used to be deemed unnecessary for services to operate. It was also thought that if services operated on a Sunday, then it might draw people away from the church.

However, modern society has brought with it dwindling numbers of people who are religious, meaning there is more demand for places such as shops and restaurants to be open on a Sunday.

This resulted in the Sunday Trading Act 1994 being introduced, which meant that buying and selling on a Sunday was then legal. You would think that considering companies were open for business on Sundays that they would start delivering too, however this never came to light.

No Demand?


Some people claim that there are no parcel delivery services on a Sunday as it is a day when people want to relax and spend it with their families, rather than having to wait in for a parcel. Many businesses don't operate either and people tend not to be typically desperate for parcels on a Sunday, which may be why the service is, on-the-whole, slightly redundant.

This may be proven by the fact that even the Royal Mail doesn't offer the service. In fact the organisation went as far as cancelling its Sunday post collection service back in 2007 after 17 years as it claimed that the service wasn't efficient. This may have been because it cost four times the typical amount to send on a Sunday than it did any other day. Part of the issue is that employees working on Sundays usually expect higher wages and that fewer parcels/letters are collected per load.

However, it was recently claimed in a survey by TV channel Really that Sunday is now the busiest day for a third of Britons. This faster past of life on a Sunday could mean people are less worried about relaxing and more bothered about getting their chores sorted out, including sending out parcels.

Looking into the future

With a handful of firms, such as retailer Next, offering deliveries on a Sunday, more companies may decide to enter the race so that they don't fall behind.

It was also reported in June this year that once again, the Royal Mail is considering a seven-day service after it has been privatised. If this was to happen, many other delivery services may be forced to follow suit so as not to miss out on business.  

However with new services coming to light, such as click-and-collect - which allows consumers to order online and then collect in-store - and couriers offering to come to your door to pick up your parcel, perhaps the Sunday delivery may not be needed after all.

Copyright © 2016 UKMail Group PLC. All rights reserved. Read our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. (v4.8.0)

Please note if you do not select the “signature required” delivery option, UKMail will not be liable should your items be subsequently lost or damaged after the delivery (see clause 11.7 of the Terms & Conditions). *We define a “Parcel” as a package with dimensions up to 80cm x 80cm x 80cm and a weight of up to 25kg.

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