Mail to China (2022 temporary suspension)

Thank you for letting me know — that’s encouraging. I have mail from Australia to China that hasn’t arrived from November, December, January, February, and March so I definitely think there is an issue but I’m glad to know at least some is arriving.


I do think that is because of the congestion in mail sorting center or airport or something and there is still mails being buried under new coming mails.
Also, according to the registered mail data I received from overseas.Mails are usually being tucked in phases like booking flights to China, arrived in China and waiting for collection by China Post and custom procedure, all these could take over 10 days, especially when sending to inner cities in China. It may cost more time since mail truck from ISC in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou only carry mail twice a week to other parts of the nation, this can cause delay.


Yeah, I know, thanks. I don’t think the 52 days traveling card is lost; I mentioned it as slow, and also noteworthy because the member has not logged on in over a month.
I feel bad for all Chinese Postcrossers who are awaiting their mail, and being so optimistic. Hope for improvement very soon!
Hopefully the mail delivery will be more consistent and faster than it was in 2022. Here’s the travel times to China I had last year: two cards were average travel time to China at two+ months, and then one arrived after nine months, and the other two got lost or were never delivered, and so I sent a second card to each that were finally registered.


I think @Donald is correct, there is a huge amount of variation, depending where the card is going in China.

Some mail still is simply not getting through and some mail, maybe to larger cities, seems to be sporadically getting through.

Tough to generalize, I think we will need to wait for stats from this recent loosening of the throttle to really know. One person’s luck that their card was registered might not mean mail is fully operational yet.


I’m in the Des Moines area, I find that postcards from other Postcrossers in the US take anywhere from 5 to 10 days to arrive. I register the card as soon as I receive it. It’s about the same time frame sending cards from the US to western Europe.

I just don’t get it, the USPS used to be way faster with domestic first class mail (incl postcards) - 3 days max from outside of the postal zone you live in (e.g. LA to NYC).

I know times have changed, but yeesh!


It’s been over 10 months since we temporarily suspended this route, and 7,5 months when we tentatively started to slowly resume it again. And, today, I’m happy to report that we have finally dropped the throttling we had in place for addresses in China.

Average travel times are now close to what they used to be before early 2022. Over the last weeks, we have been further increasing the selection rate of addresses in China and today we are dropping the throttling altogether.

I think some may be curious to see how things are looking at the moment, so here’s the updated chart:

As usual, data is per week: red is average travel times and blue is number of postcards registered each week. Click for bigger. These previous disclaimers still apply to the chart:

One additional note on that spike close to the end of the red line: in the week before the last a significant bunch of postcards with very long travel times were delivered (15% of them were traveling for over 9 months!), bumping up the average travel times. However, last week the average went back to under 55 days and the median (not the mean) travel times actually hasn’t changed much over the last weeks, so the situation remains good as that single week appears to have been an exception.

Obviously, there are still many due postcards which we expect will start their jorneys over the coming days and weeks. As usual, the address selection algorithm will aim to avoid country repetitions where possible, but it should still be expected that addresses in China will be more frequent than over the past months when throttling was in place: please be patient with that and try to keep in mind that many of those receivers have been waiting many months to receive their due postcards back without any fault of their own.

To our members in China who had to go through this long wait: thank you for your patience. I honestly hope we don’t have to go through this again (with addresses in China or anywhere) as it’s not fun for anyone. We did the best we could while having incomplete information and not knowing if the problem was going to solve itself tomorrow, or continue compounding to something much bigger. Looking back, I think it was the right decision. Now that even China Post says things are back to normal, I’m happy that all due postcards will be heading to those that have been waiting for them to arrive. Keep an eye on your mailbox!


Thank you for the update, @paulo. Can you shed any light on whether we need to worry about getting accounts blocked due to mail to China not arriving? As I mentioned above, I have not had a piece of mail arrive in China since November (from Australia), and I send a lot there due to direct swaps and penpals. So, now that I’m suddenly pulling multiple Chinese addresses at a time, I’m concerned I’m going to end up blocked when they don’t arrive.


Exasperated! I requested 5 addresses to send postcards to today - I got 3 for China & 1 for Russia. The likelihood is that I shall have to wait 60 days plus for them to be registered, or else they won’t arrive at all. Considering the cost of postage it does sometimes seem a waste of money that I can ill-afford.I guess I’ll just have to be patient.


Well, almost every single active Chinese member has a gap, most of they have waited for too many days. A friend of mine has never stopped sending during this 10 months, now she sent 400 more than received. You can imagine more cards than usual (I mean even before June 2022) gonna come here. Although I think it SHOULD be, if you don’t want, it’s a good time to quit, till we got balanced. :blush: I don’t think it will cost too long.


With over 300 cards sent you should have 14 slots. Yes these 5 may take some time, but you will be sending and receiving the other 9. Depending on the timing this should be approximately 8 or 9 cards in your mailbox every 2 weeks. As you approach 350 you will get yet another slot.


I’ve seen gaps of 100 or so, but 400? I thought the algorithm was designed to stop giving out addresses at some point?


You’re right, she has more than 1 account and run them well, and of course was stopped requesting addresses by system for several times. She has told me actually the number is 450, I jokingly said members like she deserve a prize of persistence. :laughing: I am literally unable to do so. If it seems unreal, there was a post shows a gap of almost 300. I do think it’s time to give them a full mailbox. :see_no_evil:

Edit: It’s not my original purpose to promote or glorify multiple accounts, and we are not talking about this here. What I focus on is the continues sending, no matter if she gets cards back in time or not.

3 posts were merged into an existing topic: Multiple profile postcrossers

I’d like to remind everyone that this is not a topic about politics — it’s about the hiccups on mail traveling to China. Let’s keep the conversation on topic.


I turned off domestic sending, turned on repeated countries, and drew Chinese addresses for all the slots I had free! Even if that’s just 3 right now, I’m ready to help make up those cards postcrossers in China have been waiting so patiently for. :slight_smile:


That makes me a bit worried now - I am about to go to a rare country, and now I am worried about drawing too many addresses with high chances of the cards expiring/never arriving or arriving and not being registered.

Do we know if the numbers are limited either by person drawing the addresses (maybe not, if you got six addresses to the same country this morning), or by outgoing country?


There are no limits like that. Postcrossing’s algorithm will always try to give as much diversity as it can… but if we have a lot of members in a country that are due a lot of postcards, it’s likely everyone will receive more addresses in that country, until things balance out.


Thank you for the clarification! And thank you and the team for all your hard work on this very tricky issue!


Just curious, how many and what is the percentage of those postcards that were sent to China before the suspension, say, during May 2022, but didn’t get registered within a year and ended up being wiped out from the system?


I don’t know how it works.

I think it is tough for recipients in China when their addresses were paused due to China Post not being able to deliver cards.

At the same time, it is tough for senders who send their cards which are never received or never registered. It is a real cost in terms of money, and time (slots are taken for 60 days, waiting for expiry, to send a new card.)

Maybe it is not possible to please both sides of the equation as long as China Post has its delivery difficulties - hard for both senders and recipients. Hopefully a balance can be found between the two.