What can I do for postcards to travel faster

The cards I recieve are faster than the ones I sent.
Do I do anything wrong?
Do a priority sign help?
Can you sent by airmail from Germany ?

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Hi Gerti, you haven’t done anything wrong - it’s a normal part of Postcrossing that sometimes we receive more cards then we send & sometimes it’s the opposite.

It depends a lot on which countries you are sending to & receiving from & what’s going on with each of their postal systems at any given time.

None of us has control over our postal systems eh? especially given the challenges of the pandemic which are causing slowdowns all over the world.

Once you put the letter in the mailbox, it’s out of your control & on it’s own journey and we just need to get used to that.

I don’t know the nuances of the German postal system, but I’m sure someone will reply here who does - a large % of worldwide mail travels by air these days & most of us don’t have any options about that in our postal systems.

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A lot of countries differentiate between surface mail and airmail, or first and second class mail, or economy and priority. Germany doesn’t. All mail is sent by airmail. To ensure that German mail is treated preferentially in other countries you can stick an airmail sticker on. Everything else is out of our control.


Mail from Germany all is in the same class and should be sent via airmal from Frankfurt. However, if the postal system in the recipient’s country has different classes for mail, putting on an airmal sticker might help it to get into the priorised category. It’s not necessary, though. From the cards you sent I see no problem. They all arrived reasonably fast.

Edit: Hawkwind was faster. :grin:

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Currently, not all mail ist going by airmail, though - some mail pieces come by ship to the US. And sorting centers are still backed up due to covid restrictions and winter weather.

Postcrossing teaches a lesson or two in patience …


Yes and yes. You can get Airmail/Priority stickers in your post office. All mail is treated equally in Germany, but the sticker will make a difference in other countries for further delivery (e.g. Russia, China and probably orhers).

Hi Manuela, do we actually know that about Russia or China or any other country? Have we actually had advice from folks about the best way to expedite mail in any country?

It is also possible that the members you are sending to are simply not registering cards right away. For example, I register cards only once a week which means that a card arriving on Monday is registered four days later on Saturday, sometimes even Sunday if my Saturday ends up being too busy. 4-5 days makes already a quite big difference.

And as mentioned already, some postal systems are faster. Some even have less delivery days. We are switching over to every second day delivery, which will eventually make a big difference between travel times.

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@LC-Canada Lynn, I have lived in Russia for several years, does that count? :smiley: And China - I have noticed a difference in travelling times with and without priority sticker. So, speaking of my own experience I dare give this advice to a fellow German postcrosser. It is up to anyone to do as they like, of course.

Absolutely Manuela, I just wanted to check it was actual experience, there’s lots of lore on PC that isn’t always easy to track down as fact. Thanks for the info & you know, this sounds like a wiki we need eh? :smile:

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It’s not a guarantee, though - especially now with the pandemic…

Oh no, nothing is these days, but there are nuances to any given postal system & it would be cool to collect them in a wiki

All points valid and I’m only going to add to this thread: address in clear writing helps a lot. It doesn’t have to be all capitals (though I’ve heard somewhere US postal system preferring that) nor printed. But the more legible it is, the lesser the chance of delay or misdirection on any stage of the journey :slight_smile:


Interesting question. I will tell you how I approach this; doesn’t work 100% of the time…but maybe 90%. I try to request addresses between 9:00 AM - 12:00 Noon (EST). Most of the addresses I draw are European addresses. Those seem to travel faster and get registered promptly.

As for me: I want to send mail to Russia, Asia, Pacific Region, anywhere. It‘s not the postcrossers’ fault that mail takes longer. How nice to learn that a postcard to China or the Far East of Russia arrived at last and brought joy to someone there. But if you want to limit yourself, do as you consider best. However, the question wasn‘t about address selection…

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To all the helpful postcrossers
Thank you very much for many advices, hints and explanations
I will try the airmail stickers, print the adresses and be patient :blush::kissing_heart::raising_hand_woman:t3:

Happy postcrossing



That is correct, but my point was that from the US mail reaches Europe faster than anywhere else. And the reverse is true as well. So my comment was appropriate.

I recommend to follow UPU addressing solutions for the countries you send postcards to.


The list includes all the guidelines and Postal Addressing Systems published by the national Postal Service Providers. This also helps while writing to rare countries or check addresses of postcrossers.

Another idea is to use the recipients’ local writing system as much as possible: Hanzi for Chinese/Taiwanese addresses, Cyrillic for Russian/Ukrainian/Belarusian, etc. That saves any days spent on translation at the first sorting office, especially if the card is travelling onward to more rural areas. (Post office pros, feel free to correct me)

Easiest to do if you have a printer, for sure. Though you can always try @PinkNoodle’s method :smiley:


I use Russian language nearly on the level of second native and, of course, write Russian addresses in Russian. But that helps absolutely nothing.