Royal Mail suffered a malicious cyber attack on the 10th January which affected its overseas services (domestic mail was unaffected). Essentially, all Airmail ground to a complete halt. With a backlog of unprocessed overseas mail building up, Royal Mail stopped all businesses from submitting any further Airmail - our access to printing overseas postage labels was removed.
The Royal Mail strikes prior to Christmas caused us to stop accepting overseas orders during December as we felt there was little chance of them arriving before Christmas. We don't like disappointed customers! We were therefore delighted to start accepting overseas orders again in the New Year, and we had a flurry of US orders at the very start of the year. You can imagine our frustration when the cyber attack happened only ten days later!
Anyway, Royal Mail has now managed to clear the backlog of overseas mail and are now accepting Tracked Airmail packages (regular Airmail should follow fairly soon as I write this). As we were thinking of converting to Tracked Airmail anyway, this seemed to be the extra push to go ahead. Tracked Airmail is more expensive but we feel that the extra cost might well be worth it. It's a prioritised service so should be a bit faster and of course we can also track where the packages are. Airmail delivery times can be quite variable depending on destination country and how quickly it clears customs. At least now we should be able to see exactly where packages are if they are delayed.
As reminder for EU customers, we are members of the IOSS scheme which means we collect and pay the EU taxes due, such that orders should arrive in the EU without delays / demands for taxes / duty payments. You'll see on the postage label a black circle with the letters IOSS to show that we are part of this scheme.
We are so reliant on Royal Mail and can only hope that services are now back to normal - and stay that way!