Not happy with postal service to Canada

| 10/08/2016 | 28 Comments

Why does it take a letter from Canada less than a week to arrive in Cayman; but mail sent from Cayman to Canada often takes over two months to get to its destination in Canada? The staff at the post office in Cayman blames Canada Post. There is no disruption or strikes currently in Canada – and mail from there arrives in a timely fashion.


Auntie’s answer: I have also been frustrated many times from the apparent snail’s pace of posting mail overseas. In fact, I always allow weeks (not days) extra when calculating the right time to post something.

To find out about any specific issues with mail going to Canada, I posed your question to the Cayman Islands Postal Service (CIPS). I would like to praise the service for their quick response and offer to help, which I have included at the end of this column.

Here is what their representative said: “There are several factors that could contribute to the scenario identified in the question. We’ve not had any reports of priority mail items taking two months to reach Canada.  However, we are aware of factors that are causing some delays (about one week) with some mail to Canada.  The delays relate to our current routing for mail to Canada, but we are working on a solution and anticipate this being resolved by August.”

The official also suggested looking at the choice of mail class, which can affect delivery times, and wondered if the sender from Canada and the sender from here used the same class. I assumed you were talking about airmail, as opposed to the slower surface mail, in both directions.

Either way, the CIPS is offering you a way to determine what exactly is causing your postal problems: “If the sender who asked the question is willing, we have a way of ‘tagging’ items with a radio-frequency identifier that may help identify specific issues we are unaware of.”

If you would like to take up this offer, the CIPS suggests you email customer care or call Deputy Postmaster General Melissa Martinez-Ebanks at 945-6875.

I would be very interested in hearing the result of this tagging exercise if you choose to have that done.

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t have too much problem with mail delivery or despatch (I don’t receive much overseas mail now: emails have put paid to that). However I do have problems with somebody else’s mail being put in my box, and my incoming mail gets Mis-sorted into somebody else’s box. The problem here is if the box holder is, say, away for a couple of weeks and their box is not checked, then my mail which was incorrectly placed in that box stays there until they return to Cayman. This has actually happened to me with very important mail. Auntie, perhaps you can mention this to the postal authorities!

  2. Roland Hill says:

    I am still waiting for an envelope posted on the Brac two years ago to arrive at the Airport Post Office in Grand Cayman.

  3. Cayguy says:

    Once upon a time i sent a letter to florida from here that took six weeks to get there. after that episode, I found this great technology that allows two parties to receive messages, pictures and so forth almost right away – its called “EMAIL”. you guys should definitely look into this

  4. Anonymous says:

    It sounds like an internal inquiry should me made within the postal service to find out where the bottle necks are occurring and then fix them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It took 4 weeks for a letter sent in Cayman to arrive to me in Cayman. I have lived in many countries and the postal system here is by far the worst.

  6. Soldier Crab says:

    The Seven-Mile-Beach Post Office has always been a disaster; they lose incoming and outgoing mail on a daily basis.

    The problem with most outgoing international mail is that the C.I. Post Office sends it by CAL to Miami. The U.S. has the worst postal system in the world, probably because very very few Americans understand that there are other countries outside the U.S. and where they are located. So the mail sits in that huge sorting office at Miami airport for weeks until someone works out where to send it next.

    Mail to the U.K. now goes by B.A.; mail to the rest of Europe goes via CAL as described: does that make sense?

    Air Canada flies from GCM to Toronto: hint hint!

  7. All The Rage says:

    Have you heard about this new “email” thing? I’ve been told that it’s pretty efficient.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Didn’t Julianna O’Connor-Connolly attend the Qatar postal conference where Cayman received a bronze award for the excellence of its postal service and spent more than $6,000 in NYC en route to and from? To date, Ms. O’Connor-Connolly has not to explained the expenditures.

  9. East End Resident says:

    Insufferable postal delays happen on both incoming and outgoing mail. If you track parcels each way you can easily see where ALL of the delays occur. Here, in Cayman. A parcel arriving from overseas can be tracked as arriving in Cayman within days, but it’s taken up to 2 weeks for me to be notified of its arrival. On two occasions parcels from overseas with tracking are shown to have arrived in the Cayman Islands (the barcode on the parcel was actually scanned) but then despite numerous requests to actually have them, they were never found. In the other direction, parcels sent to the US will be accepted at the post office and sit there for 2 weeks before getting on a plane.
    And while I’m ranting, what about mail within Cayman. 2-3 weeks for a letter handed in at SMB post office (with a stamp on it) to appear in the PO box of the recipient – at the same post office! Absolutely hopeless.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I have had years of magazine subscriptions that never arrived…ever…no explanation. Send to Miami PO Box now.

  11. kid says:

    Anyone who work for government are unless as they don’t care their job only just fat cheque pay! That why mail are left behind in post office cupboard while they play games on their BlackBerry or smartphones

  12. Bruiser says:

    The same problem arises with mail to US. Properly weighed by the Post Office and stamped for first class air mail – still takes 3 weeks minimum from Cayman to US – and 1 week back the other way.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Its the delay of being advised that post is ready to be collected that frustrates me. Can they not set up a service whereby we are sent a text from the post office when are packages are ready to be signed for instead of them sending a letter. This would shave a week off incoming postal times.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Oh, so sad – but oh, so true!!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Which August? After all this IS the CIG!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Canada? How about mail from Cayman Brac to Grand Cayman? Two years later and I still haven’t received it! It hasn’t been returned to sender so where is it?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I received mail from the UK in three days, but it took a week to get from the airport PO to my PO box. PO workers are government workers so performance is not relevant

  18. Anonymous says:

    Or how about never being delivered at all? I sent wedding invitations to Canada in 2012 which have never been delivered (nor returned to my return address). Where are they?

    • I also sent 3 separate important letters to Canada in 2012. All 3 were sent directly from the Seven Mile Beach Post Office and I confirmed with the post office official each time that I had put on the correct postage. None of them made it to Canada or were returned.

      My advice is don’t use the Cayman Islands Post Office for overseas mail as they cannot do want you pay them to do. They do have pretty stamps though.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Who cares its Canada

  20. Anonymous says:

    Is this tag available on incoming mail. Airmail letters/cards from West Palm Beach often take 2/3 weeks to arrive here which is ridiculous. I suspect part of the problem is the delay from arrival on the incoming flight at Owen Roberts to the time the letter is placed in the recipient’s box in GT post office.

    • Anonymous says:

      That is exactly what it is. I tracked a letter from the UK and it gave the time of departure from LHR, so I knew it was the BA flight. Tracking was lost after that and ten days later it showed up in my PO box.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t they be more specific on “The delays relate to our current routing for mail to Canada, but we are working on a solution and anticipate this being resolved by August.”?
    What is the current routing? and what kind of solution they are talking about? The year is 2016 and there should not be any problems with timely delivery of mail anywhere in the world.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a government stock answer for when they have been rumbled. They dont fix anything until there is bad press, hence no specifics. I have even been told by government employees that the best way to get a problem fixed is to write to the media, otherwise the formal complaint gets filed a a box in the corner of a room.

      • Anonymous says:

        …Or published via ornate pdf download from their obscure website with less than 200 site-views per year (50 of them relatives or employees of Dept). A CIG classic.

  22. Anonymous says:

    To give scope to the level of indifference that is possible: I know of registered domestic packages sent from Seven Mile Beach to George Town Post Office that went unclaimed by an important government department for MONTHS. The package was recovered along with a dusty column to same department on personal inspection from the Postmaster General’s predecessor a few years ago. Hopefully things have improved since then.

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