Postcards from Austria to US hardly delivered

Be careful how you write your numbers. A lot of my mail gets misdirected to another address because the sorting machinery gets confused with 1 and 7, if the 1 looks like anything but a vertical line.

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I see there is some major problem with USA… I sent 4 cards on WPD (I draw all 4 to US :smiley: ) and it took them from 24 to 45 days to be delivered :frowning: from Poland which has a huge amount of flights there… and now my card to Germany is traveling 20 days, too…which is a neigbour to us. Really weird…

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Three weeks for USA - Poland cards is a bit slow, but these days normal. I had one of mine that took 50 days to be registered by an active Polish member.

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When I used to mail cards, I always printed the address our, putting the postcard ID in Bold above the person’s name. Some cards expired; par for the course, but most got through and were registered.

The id should not be on the address side (if you mean above the persons name there). At one point I got cards where it was printed, and not cut from there, so the id was above my name, and the id was marked over with black marker, by postal staff, I guess. So if that was the only id number, it was always a little difficult to read it. ( I think this can also be one reason for a card expiring or not getting registered.)

Interesting also to read @mhavy that the uppercase is not needed.
Sometimes, long ago, I was told it needs to be uppercase, since it helps to spot the address from the message, and also help the machine read the address correctly.
But I guess the sorting machines have gotten much better, that’s really good.

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As with many things in life, keep in mind the difference between personal perception and statistics.

The postal connection to US may be a bit slower for some at the moment, due to various reasons (from a misrouted letter-tray to an overseen one to labour shortage to inactive users (and if there really are some US-newbies out there, well not all of them will be super reliable)).
But contrary to ‘hardly’ or ‘not arriving’, data shows that cards do arrive. Some faster, some take their time, but they arrive. (And with all due respect - for those of us with more than 35 slots, we can bear to wait a bit, imho)

Two Austrian examples of arrivals in US below

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There is a USPS Facebook group and yesterday or this morning there were photos of mail being stored outside at a facility as they had ran out of storage space.

However a few weeks ago I received a card from the USA to France in less than a week. So who knows! Maybe it just missed the rush.

Alex

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But we only see the postcards that arrived so far and don’t know about the ones that may exist and travel?

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I have a similar experience to @Stevyy . Mine are arriving fairly quickly.

And these are those travelling to the U.S. and expired for @P05tkatze

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Yes, and I don’t deny that it’s slower than usual atm for some users/countries. But we see there are arrivals, that shows there is no total breakdown of connection. So while one may see those still traveling in one’s list, those that have arrived already tend to be forgotten. (We also don’t see the activity of users where longer-travelling-cards are going to).

As for the rest, even for seasoned users postcrossing is training in patience.

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I’ve had a large proportion of my cards go to USA & Russia the last few months. The USA ones have been much faster.
Hang in there’s

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That is very strange to hear. For me all my have US cards reached in time. I hope your cards reach soon.

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@“no total breakdown of connection”:
My sent cards:


one card arrived sent in SEptember, arrived in November

page 2 not a single card to the USA

page 3 starts to show the previous “normal” for me…

I fully agree, that PC also asks for Patience, but my list of traveling postcards to the USA is growing without being processed:

image removed by moderator
please don’t show the names of the recipients of your cards

From all the responses I get the impression, that it is a phenomenon visible to several, but not all postcrossers and reasons are vairable, however due to the upcoming Xmas time will not improve until next year probably…

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The 27 November press release from the USPS newsroom has some interesting information:

FY24 first quarter service performance scores covering October 1 through November 17, included:

  • First-Class Mail: 87.7 percent of First-Class Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 3.3 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • Marketing Mail: 94.3 percent of Marketing Mail delivered on time against the USPS service standard, consistent with performance from the fiscal fourth quarter.
  • Periodicals: 84.5 percent of Periodicals delivered on time against the USPS service standard, a decrease of 1.5 percentage points from the fiscal fourth quarter.

Performance during this timeframe was negatively affected during the insourcing of several Surface Transfer Centers that were previously managed by third parties. There were temporary operational disruptions during these transitions that have been resolved. Additionally, performance was negatively affected as a facility in Saint Louis, MO, was shut down for two weeks for decontamination of a hazardous mercury leak from an illegally shipped package, which required significant rerouting of product and service disruptions throughout the Midwest.


A facility had to be shut down for two weeks! I’m close enough to Missouri and have sent cards from different states in the Midwest in this time frame, so I was surprised and interested to read this.

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That really is odd, isn’t it? I hadn’t realised the extent of your problem.

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USPS uses machines to read addresses so prefers addresses be printed or typed in all capital letters. They also have suggested abbreviations and want us to use ZIP+4, although they’ve been asking us to use that almost as long as we’ve been supposed to use the Metric System, and I think USPS has given forcing the issue.

These are the US State and Territory abbreviations:

What are the USPS® abbreviations for U.S. states and territories?

And abbreviations to use in addresses for things like Street or Avenue

C1 Street Suffix Abbreviations | Postal Explorer (usps.com)

Using official abbreviations instead of the full word supposedly makes things move faster, but I’m not sure.

I used to be on Postcrossing 10+ years ago, when I lived in a different country. This year it just occurred to me that I should restart this and I registered a new account (couldn’t remember either my old username, email or password).

So, I’m not totally new to this, and am aware of the test in patience. My first sent cards were registered about a month ago. Now I’m at ‘sent 6 and received 1’, which seems to be a bigger test in patience than I originally assumed :eyes: It is getting a little frustrating, as my domestic mails usually arrive quickly. Is there extra steps taken at the US custom that are slowing things down?

I took some steps such as writing my last name inside the mailbox, just in case the postmen check for the names (as I’ve heard, in some cases, no name no mail).

Might be one question for fellow US postcrossers: I do have a preferred first name, which I have used for most of my life. It is different from the legal name that I used to register for usps (for informed delivery). Would that cause some mismatches?

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It’s always possible that there could be a name issue, but I highly doubt it. Especially with the amount of mail I’ve gotten from old residents showing up in my informed delivery and I’m my mailbox. USPS is always chaotic, but it seems even more so now. Holiday pains maybe, or just the usual ebb and flow, who knows.

I just sent a domestic postcard here in the US and it took 2 weeks to reach its destination. I find postcards tend to reach their destinations a lot slower than 1st class mail.

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I have the same experience with cards to the US. Some have a normal travel time but some are expired. I do not write the ID near the adress.