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.
@LC-Canada Lynn, I have lived in Russia for several years, does that count? 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?
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
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…
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
I don’t know if even I can recommend my own method! (But it is a lot of fun!)
Honestly, I haven’t been paying attention to the difference in travel time in relation to writing the address in local script versus in Latin script, but I have noticed that overall, some of my cards have been arriving with refreshing speed!
My last delivered card to Russia took 79 days, and when I drew the next one to Russia I tried handwriting the Cyrillic address. Now I fear I will suffer from legibility problems!
I have not used airmail/priority stickers because the ones from Australia Post are so huge, but now I’m tempted to try anyway. Everything out of Australia seems to take so long, and even to the same country there are wildly different timeframes (‘long’ and ‘loooonnnnnger’). Hard to know where exactly the holdup is though.
I know this won’t fly even if it worked, but I have started to wonder if putting the card in an envelope would help. At least in the USA it should be able to go right through the sorting machines whereas a postcard might have to held up for manual encoding. And I suppose postcards are almost always assumed to be low priority anywhere in the world.
I suggest envelopes only because my letters and bill payments lately seem to be arriving on time despite the service disruptions wrought by our so called Postmaster General. I always address according to the USPS template in all caps in blue or black to avoid any need for it to have to wait for manual encoding. As a postcard does not fit the template with all the writing on half of it, I would suppose it would befuddle the machine and be kicked back out for human eyes. And of course bill payment envelopes clearly are formatted properly because the electric company or whoever wants your money yesterday.
The interviewee mentioned that it is taking much longer than normal for the US postal service to manually sort letters right now. Perhaps it is worth printing addresses on a label (if you have the means to do so.)
Some observations I’ve made so far (keep in mind I’ve also just send 37 cards so some of this might be anecdotal evidence):
Russia: Writing in Cyrillic if possible was already mentioned, but another thing to think about is using the correct format for the numeric postal code, i.e. writing the digits in this kind of unusal (for Germans, that is) way. Every card I’ve sent to Russia so far has been faster than the average/median card from Germany to the adress in question.
Envelopes: Judging by my (very small) data, cards travel a lot faster when you use an envelope. If that’s an option for you, paying the additional 15/20 cent (1,10 € for an international letter from Germany, 80 cent for a national one) might be worth it - if the person you’re sending the card to is okay with this, of course.
Japan: There’s a Japanese expression: Shiyō ga nai - “it can’t be helped”. Other users have also discovered that cards from Japan to Germany are a lot faster than cards from Germany to Japan. Whatever the reasons may be, there’s no way for us mere mortals to influence this.