The pace at which online shopping has grown has left some parcel delivery businesses struggling to fulfil all their deliveries in time for Christmas, the boss of one of the UK's biggest courier firms has admitted.
Jonathan Smith, chief executive of Yodel, the UK's largest home delivery company behind the Royal Mail, told the Financial Times that his company, and others, could not have foreseen the pace of growth in e-retail, even earlier this year.
"This appears to have been a very strong online Christmas," he told the paper, "and I don't think anyone would have put their money on that in the summer."
However, a spokesman for online bookseller Amazon played down fears that Christmas deadlines would not be met.
"We monitor the performance of our carriers in order that we can provide an even better service in future ... we are very confident that customers expecting deliveries before Christmas will receive them," he said.