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Sorry, Europe. International Shipping Woes

The Covid-19 virus has disrupted pretty much everything, including shipping of BMOW hardware. The impact on international shipments to Europe has been especially severe. Typical post office delivery times to Europe have exploded from roughly a week pre-virus to 1-2 months today. Shipments to Canada and Asia have also been delayed substantially. It’s very frustrating for everybody involved.

As of today (May 5), most of the Europe-bound packages that I’ve shipped since mid-March have yet to be delivered. Of all the shipments to Europe sent between March 12 and April 25, a whopping 81% are still in transit and haven’t yet been delivered. The most recent tracking information for many of them says “Processed Through Regional Facility: SAN FRANCISCO CA INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION CENTER”. Many packages have been stuck with that same status for over a month.

What’s happening? Are the packages really still in some San Francisco post office warehouse? The tracking info provided for First Class Package International mail is imperfect, and sometimes it’s not updated further after the package leaves the United States. The packages may not necessarily still be at the San Francisco distribution center. In the past I’ve had packages get stuck for several weeks in the customs inspection of the destination country, and that might be what’s happening here.

Sadly there’s no way to get additional information on delivery status. US Postal Service First Class Package International shipping is the least expensive international delivery method, and normally it’s reasonably fast, but unlike FedEx or UPS or DHL there’s nobody to call and no meaningful recourse to track a delayed package. While it’s frustrating, there’s really no option other than to wait.

If your package is one of the many stuck in this limbo, then please accept my apologies. Thank you for your patience. And know that in the worst case if your package disappears permanently, I will replace it for you.

Read 9 comments and join the conversation 

9 Comments so far

  1. Luyckx - May 5th, 2020 3:18 pm

    In Europe, package delivery is pretty normal, except in France.
    Your packages may effectively be stuck in Frisco.

    Btw, keep up the good work.

  2. Hauke - May 14th, 2020 8:28 am

    I picked up my wombat at the (German) post office today, ordered in late March.

    Good things take their time. 😉

  3. Steve - May 14th, 2020 9:24 am

    I’m glad to hear it’s still moving, if slowly.

  4. Steve - May 15th, 2020 10:45 am

    I checked again today, and unfortunately the European shipping situation hasn’t improved much. Delivery times to Europe are 1 month at a minimum, and many packages have been in transit for 2 months and are still yet to arrive at the destination. In normal times, most European packages would be delivered within a week or two at most. It’s puzzling because most international shipments to Canada, Asia, and Australia are still proceeding with only minor delays.

  5. demik - May 21st, 2020 3:13 am

    Don’t worry, we will wait !

    Shipping inside Europe is also slow FIY. Took 5 weeks from one parcel to go from Germany to France…
    I also saw that my ROM-inator II moved yesterday, so there is hope !


  6. Sébastien - June 4th, 2020 6:11 am

    The package has arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport since May 23 and I have not yet received it.

  7. Ton - June 5th, 2020 10:49 am

    Got my package today after ordering it the beginning of May. So, it took indeed over a month but I’m happy it finally arrived. I think things are clearing up now.

  8. Ken - June 6th, 2020 2:26 pm

    Similarly, my Australian customers waited two months for anything I shipped to them. I haven\’t heard similar complaints from Europe — maybe they\’re just quieter about it…

  9. Giano - June 11th, 2020 10:41 am

    Just received today my full Wombat package I’ve ordered last week. I’ve also received the same day another parcel I’ve ordered from Australia *THREE* months ago…

    Anyway, my Apple IIgs with Microsoft Natural Keyboard and Evoluent Vertical mouse is working beautifully 🙂

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