Which countries should you avoid shipping to?
Let’s say you put a few items up for auction on eBay and one lucky winner has an address in Haiti.
Would you post it using regular mail?
If you’d just read the Universal Postal Union’s annual report on the global ranking of postal services around the world, probably not.
Each year, the UPU assesses the postal services from 173 countries to come up with an indexed score and ranking to show how individual countries have performed.
Each country is ranked on four key measures:
- Reliability – operational efficiency
- Reach – global connectivity
- Relevance – the demand for postal services
- Resilience – diversification of revenue streams and ability to innovate
These four metrics combine to create a score which then determines its country ranking, such that each country can be compared with its peers.
And the award for Worst Postal Service goes to…
Enough of the preamble. Who’s at the bottom of the table?
164th – Iraq
165th – Dominica
166th – Guinea
167th – St. Vincent
168th – Mozambique
169th – Samoa
170th – Liberia
171st – Haiti
172nd – Sao Tome and Principe
173rd – Tuvalu
A few predictable names in there but ironic to see St. Vincent so low in the table, given the fact that it is the third most prolific stamp issuer on the planet (over 5500 new issues since 1950!).
How about the top ten?
In order of postal excellence, the best performers are: Switzerland, Netherlands, Japan, Germany, France, Poland, Singapore, USA, UK and Austria.
How does Latin America do?
As this is a Latin American blog it would be remiss of me to not mention the performance of the twenty republics. Out of 173 countries, in descending order, we have:
44th – Brazil
66th – Colombia
72nd – Chile
76th – Mexico
78th – El Salvador
90th – Costa Rica
99th – Peru
101st – Argentina
105th – Dominican Republic
114th – Honduras
119th – Panama
123rd – Paraguay
125th – Uruguay
127th – Ecuador
134th – Cuba
151st – Venezuela
163rd – Nicaragua
171st – Haiti
Surprised? What you expected?
Conspicuous by their absence are Bolivia (whose postal service has been in turmoil in the past few years, culminating in a new institution being formed in March this year) and Guatemala (also suffering from protracted disruption and suspension of services).
This exercise has been undertaken since 2013 and each year, comparisons can be made against prior year to see how individual countries are performing and how they move up and down the rankings. Quite how relevant the table will become in future years is open to question though, as stamp issuance ceases, mail volumes decline and delivery services are more reliant on the private sector. Witness the aforementioned Bolivia and Guatemala…
For those that want to dig a bit deeper or view the entire list, you can read the full report. This post reflects the situation as of 2018 but the most current report, published in October 2020, can be accessed here.
P. Bose says
Rankings are ultimately only statistics. From a personal experience of a buyer from Down Under no item has made it here in under three weeks , if that. That is simply not acceptable today you guys from US Post. Quite pathetic in fact. No idea how you’ve made it to the ranks of the best!!!!!
Varun Thomas Paul says
I think Serpost of Peru is a very very slow postal service with lazy staff. A letter sent from Peru to India via registered mail hasn’t yet arrived being about 45 days. Pathetic. Uruguay is far far better reaching in about 13 days.
I have used the Cuban, Ecuadorian, Colombian and Peruvian postal systems. The fastest for a standard postcard to the UK was Peru averaging around 2 weeks, followed by Ecuador (although 1 card took 6 months) whereas Cuba took around 3 months and finally Colombia has so far delivered a handful of items 7 months after they were sent from Medellin
Brazilian postal services are the worst in the world, something horrible ….
Canada has Brazil beat. Brazilians don’t expect high standards from their public services. I know, my family is from there. But Canada is by far worse. They can’t deliver a piece of mail from one end of a neighbourhood to the other in less than two weeks, even if it trackable.
You are dead wrong! Canada had one of the best services in the world.
Australia! Some 3rd world countries might come close but, you can’t beat the incompetence and lack of pride in the job Australia Post displays. It’s a huge country but, they charge accordingly, so you would think they invest some of the huge payments into infrastructure. No, they don’t but, if you’re high enough up the ladder, you get paid so much one way or another….
I sent sent something since last June never arrived. I sent a few other items many years ago, never arrived. I will never ship anything else to Brazil. Brazil need to clean up their act and fire who needed to be fired.
I sent Christmas gifts to Brazil on December 5th thinking they’d be there in time. Ha! Today is the 27th and the package is still sitting in customs. And it cost $75 to post it!!!! What a joke!
Mary Kelly says
Have you ever tried looking at a Canadian postage stamp? You can’t see it without a huge magnifying glass and yes, they’re slow, but USPS is pretty slow too. Plus where I live all my international mail must be posted only with an international (yawn) round stamp! I love to show off our stamps, but must drive out of my town to mail them! If not they’ll cancel and return my mail! Very discouraging and annoying because they don’t follow the rules, but I want to get my mail too. Packages USPS is good at delivering!
As an Israeli, Israel should be here number 1.
Guatemala has no mail service. El Salvador has mail service one day a week.
Philippines is the worst
Joseph Mengele says
C’mon… Germany is the worst ever!!!