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Tuesday 28 April 2020
UPU News : New maritime route enables Iceland to receive European mail deliveries
28.04.2020 - With around 90 percent of postal operators reliant on passenger flights for their international mail delivery, the near standstill of planes due to the pandemic has led to further innovation in delivery methods.
Post Danmark has extended its sea transport operations to include mail to Iceland.
Already providing a maritime mail service to the Faroe Islands, Post Danmark is now delivering mail by sea to the Nordic island country cut off from mail services due to flight cancellations.
Long bound together by history, Iceland and Denmark are now connected via a mail route that sees mail trucked to the port, transported by ferry and then trucked again from the port to Icelandic post.
Since the first ferry journey, volumes have increased seven-fold, as other European countries have trucked their mail bound for Iceland to Denmark for onward transportation. Mail is loaded on the ferry on Friday and arrives in Iceland on Monday.
“With no flight or road route possible, we looked for a possible transport route by sea and contacted Posta Logistics, the Faroese postal operator’s subsidiary in Denmark, who we work with to transport mail to the Faroe Islands,” said Mette Boisen Post Danmark’s International Process Manager.
Asked about the operations, Ms. Boisen acknowledged there were a series of challenges to be overcome. “Now in week three we can say it works. We have a reliable transport to Iceland, but of course with a longer transit time than usual,” she said.
The new sea route to Iceland is further proof that Posts are becoming increasingly creative in delivering the mail, and seeking to clear up the backlog.
According to Jan Bojnansky, the Universal Postal Union’s Transport Programme Manager, “UPU’s role is to encourage Posts to find new ways to move the mail and to assist in overcoming administrative and legal procedures.”
“We are pleased to see so many designated operators looking at news ways to deliver mail, including by sea transport,” he added.
On 26 March, UPU sent a message to all postal operators urging them to contact their surface cargo providers, and to share any information on available transport capacity, including rail, sea and road.