Why do my cards take so long?

Today I received two cards from the USA, noticing they were travelling just a week. My outgoing cards are traveling a lot longer, to the USA at least 15 to 26 days by now. Australia takes even longer and Slovakia (both in envelopes, by request) traveling 26 days. I am sometimes quite frustrated by the long time it takes for the cards to arrive.
Am I doing something wrong?
Can I do anything to speed up the delivery? AirMail stamps are always put on!

4 Likes

I find cards often arrive in batches from the same country, and presumably the same happens when I send cards out. The sorting offices must hold mail until they have enough to put it all on a plane to its destination.

Also bear in mind that, at the moment, mail is often being collected, sorted and delivered very sporadically in lots of countries due to covid. Here in the UK I’ve noticed some postboxes not getting collected for several days, and we can go a few days without post at times. It all depends on how many staff are available I guess.

It’s certainly frustrating, but other than writing the address clearly and double checking you’ve used enough postage, there isn’t much you can do to hurry the process along.

11 Likes

If you are sending cards to USA, it helps to leave the bottom 15 mm space of the card empty. On arrival here, the foreign cards are sorted just like domestic mail, with a bar code in that space for faster delivery. If the machines cannot read the code later, the card must be sorted by a person which delays things a few days.

However, German cards usually arrive here within 7 - 10 days. Canada, Japan and Britain and much of Europe are also quick. Australian cards can be quite slow these days. Most of the rest of the world takes roughly two weeks.

11 Likes

In Australia our postal service website still sports the blurb that mail services are still being disrupted by Covid. As it is a requirement that people stay home for seven days if they get it…it’s still wreaking a bit of havoc with the workforce here…lots of people needing to be off work because they’ve got it (up until last week you also needed to isolate if anyone in your home had it too…but they’re peeling those restrictions back now too).

Extreme weather is another thing that our postal service is attributing slow mail to. We’ve been having a lot of flooding (and the associated damage/restrictions on routes) on our east coast over the last few months, especially in the big international gateway areas of Sydney and Brisbane. So that’s also caused a big of chaos and delay.

Put that together with an international border that has only really just re-opened after two years being closed due to covid…and thus a very heavily reduced international flight schedule…and you can start to see why nothing is moving as quickly as it did pre-pandemic.

Our postal service also cites some changed international quarantine regulations as reasons why things we post internationally are also being further delayed.

In short…when I put anything in the mail here…I am hoping for a three week wait. But in reality things are taking even longer than that for me. :frowning:

12 Likes

My card’s average travelling time for most countries is around 40 days, even higher for few. So, your travel times aren’t really that bad :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:.

11 Likes

I have found mail to & from Germany to Canada has been slower in the last 6 weeks, likely due to staff off sick with COVID. That’s also true in many other country’s postal services.

Also 1000’s of int’l flights have been cancelled in the US, UK & other places, again because staff are off sick with COVID. Fewer flights means mail gets held up.

2 Likes

I’ve been receiving cards really REALLY fast from several countries and the senders are surprised by it. I got one from Portugal that took just 6 days, and from Bosnia & Herzegovina within 10 days, Australia within 2 weeks, Germany within 10 days and so on.

Not sure how the postal system actually works, but I’ve been trying to figure out the average times by going to the “Top Users” section for the country and look at the recently sent postcards to USA. That gives me rough idea on when to expect their cards. :slight_smile: But luckily, they’re exceeding my expectations.

Vinny

1 Like

Remember, too, that “travel time” actually represents a total of three different stages:

How long it takes for the sender to get the card into the mail.
+plus+
How long the cards travel with two or more postal services
+plus+
How long it takes for the recipient to register the card.

15 Likes

@TurtlePoint Great point! It just gives me an upper bound, and perhaps that’s why they’re exceeding expectations. Also I assume that Top Users normally don’t delay a lot in posting their cards, and the recipients typically register the same day or a couple of days later?

Vinny

1 Like

@eagleray Vinney, I don’t think “Top Users” do a lot of ‘special’ things. It’s the little things that can add up:
I can take a day to decide on an appropriate card, and it can easily take an hour or more to choose stamps, address it, decorate and write it. Then I can only get to my outgoing box every other day.
When I receive a card I like to read it and try to learn a little more about the card itself (e.g., a cathedral or landmark) or the senders comments (e.g., “I like paddle ball”) then incorporate that into my registration so that the sender knows that I truly did receive, looked at it and read the card. If I get my mail very late, I won’t get to that for at least a day.
ALL of this is a part of what I enjoy about Postcrossing, so I’m not that concerned about travel time.

12 Likes

Never said they do anything “special” but if I have to look at any stats, I would prefer to look at active users, and the top users (compared to other active users) provide more data points since they are probably consistent in their efforts and send a LOT more cards than other active users. It’s just a little easier to figure out what I’m looking for.

The OP is concerned about the travel time :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Been like this since the Pandemic start :sweat_smile: flights are almost back to normal but postal still the same, dont understand why :woman_shrugging: :disappointed:

1 Like

Noted. So all along the card, 15mm empty. Not even a washi tape? :sweat_smile:

1 Like

The bottom 15 mm of the card, yes. To USA, leave that space clear if possible, otherwise your card may be slightly delayed.

4 Likes

I quickly get cards from the USA and Russia but my cards are not arriving.
Since almost all my cards are on their way to those countries, I do need a lot of patience.:face_with_hand_over_mouth:

1 Like

It seems like it’s been longer from the US, too. My cards to Germany are taking upwards of three weeks now, instead of one to two :woman_shrugging:t2: Who knows what happens once the cards are in the hands of the postal service. Haha.

Thanks for explaining that! I’ll stop putting decorations on the lower border from now on!

1 Like

@postcrossingbali @cleopatra-matta

Many cards from the US are like this one:

5 Likes

Because this is the 21st century! :wink:

Turns out that mail delivered by mule in ancient times was often much faster than today’s airliners can do it. And sea travel seems also rather slower in our times than in the days of sail. When during the pandemic mail from Poland to Australia was delivered by sea only, my postcards there took over 150 days!

3 Likes

I think that the high fuel prices mean that the mail is transported by rowing boat.

12 Likes