In recent months, sending parcels from abroad to Cuba is affected by delays or losses. To explain the complicated process parcels go through to reach the recipient, the Correos de Cuba Business Group (GECC) held a press conference.
Engineer Zoraya Bravo Fuentes, Director of Postal Operations of Correos de Cuba explained that the difficulties begin from the moment the sender chooses the company to send their packages and how. The General Customs of the Republic published a note about it on the list of parcel agencies with ties to the island
As for the shipping basically there are two: the Universal Postal Service (divided into regular and certified) and the Private Express Messaging Service. “In Cuba basically the ordinary sending is used, it is the cheapest to users. Suffice it to say that, for example, over 90 percent of international packages from the United States are of the ordinary type “specified Bravo Fuentes.
But what characterizes a normal shipment? “They have no control, nor certificate on what they contain, so we do not know where it is until it arrives in Cuba. They don’t have compensation nor can we know if it got lost on the island or in the country of origin. There is nothing that identifies them in papers; it is like a letter which is not known whether it was sent or not. No controls, “said Bravo Fuentes.
“As it is relatively inexpensive regular service, the enterprises of the country of origin send them in airlines that charge less, so they make many stops if not on a direct flight. In Brazil, for example, it can get to Panama, Colombia and Spain and then to Cuba. Once at the airport that made stopovers, packages compete with luggage and passengers and mail from their own country, so it may take weeks or even months to reach its final destination, “said the specialist.
This is the main problem, according to officials of the Correos de Cuba, which can delay the service although in Cuba they have created all conditions for reception. “Unfortunately, when the package is in Cuba also goes through other objective and subjective difficulties in the different stages of the process,” said Bravo Fuentes.
The steps of the parcels in Cuba
Once the parcels arrive in the country via air transportation, various organizations analyze them to prevent the entry of illegal goods or with phytosanitary risks.
After having bags or bales in the Office of International Exchange they proceed to the opening and registration in the computer system. Each bag can have several packages that should be reviewed carefully, as in case of breakages postal officials are obligated to repack them in a nylon bag and seal them.
According to reports at the conference, the registration system packages used in the country is of Chilean technology and has 10 years in use. It doesn’t allow tracking parcels through for senders to directly know if it arrived in Cuba
“That’s why the majority of claims are made by recipients through our office phones and not those who sent packages in the country, as it should be. In addition, a 3508 Decree which prohibits giving information to the public if they don’t have the shipping code, to avoid confusion. For all these reasons we plan to implement the International System of Postal Service funded by the Universal Postal Union. Here the user can enter their shipping code and know the condition of their parcel, if it came, and so on “explained the engineer Bravo Fuentes.
Also she said that “for inspecting packets five x rays equipments were used, but four were disrupted by lack of maintenance and this year we were working with one. For this reason, a two-month delay in deliveries was generated. We currently use two units and have a delay of 15 days. Hopefully we will normalize services in late June. “
After the sorting they proceed to send packages to their destination provinces. Then the transport factor enters the picture. In Cuba the distribution of the national press all week from 1:00 to 13:00 is a priority and only then there are free trucks to transport packages. Although Correos de Cuba has a contract with almost everything that moves on the ground and expects to sign agreement for transport by air, the engineer said Fuentes Bravo is still insufficient.
When it arrives at the post offices the pre-dispatch and final clearance occurs. But here there is also its complexity. Of the 812 post offices in the country, only 262 are enabled to receive and deliver international packages, because only they operate internally with the CUC currency. This hinders even more difficult deliveries and receiving shipments, because the recipients are to be moved to local facilities authorized thereto.
The following infographics reflects the fundamental steps of the long-haul international packages from the country of origin to the final destination in Cuba:
The case of collaborators in Brazil
When the more than eleven thousand Cuban health collaborators settled in Brazil, neither the South American giant mail nor Cuba’s were ready for the amount of parcels sent to Cuba. Until today there is no direct labor agreement between the two countries concerning Postal transit. And while the collapse of shipments was to some extent predictable, the fact is that Correos de Cuba Business Group now routed all its energies to reach an agreement with their Brazilian counterparts, facilitate and order routing service. Although the main problem, as we have said, “lies at the origin.”
A Cuban collaborator that delivers his packages to Cuba gets in a friendly Portuguese accent the answer that it will arrive in just seven days. However, it may be months before touching Cuban soil, for the reasons described above. They cannot control shipments because most are of ordinary type without certification.
What answer then they give to collaborators in Brazil?
“Although we have no date, all efforts are being made to sign agreements and prevent sending packets in multi-scale aircraft. Yes, the claim must be first in the country to know the status of your shipment. You can also visit our website we will soon hang on the Internet (www.correo.cu), and have access to customer service, such as 646-4680. Our Facebook page is also an excellent tool for help and answer questions. Complaining, as we all know, is a constitutional right.