Pricing & Classification DMM Advisory

Message board to keep postal customers informed of changes to mailing standards, services, and prices.

April 23, 2020

International Service Impact: Alternate Transport – Air to Sea Diversion in Effect

Effective April 20, 2020, the Postal Service™ will utilize sea transportation to address the issue of limited air transportation resulting from widespread flight cancellations and restrictions due to COVID-19. This option will remain in effect until sufficient air transportation capacity becomes available.

The first sea transport departed from the JFK International Service Center on April 20, 2020 and is estimated to arrive at the Rotterdam (Netherlands) port on May 7, 2020. Sea route arrival dates are not exact and may vary depending on weather related events and queuing at port of arrival. The vessel is carrying 6,036 receptacles in 5 containers weighing 32,768 kilograms. It is serving mail destined to:

  • Austria
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Hungary
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

When calculating estimated delivery times, additional days required for unloading, customs clearance and road transit should be considered. The table below outlines a typical sea transit delivery cycle that begins upon arrival to the destined port:

Rotterdam Port

Rotterdam Port
Custom Clearance /Clear Customs

Rotterdam Port
Transit to Den Hague OE

Den Hague OE
Acceptance & Sorting

Den Hague OE
Road Transit to Delivery Address

1-2 Days

2 Days

1 Day

2-3 Days

1-4 Days

OE – Office of Exchange

This transportation alternative will be used for the following mail classes; Priority Mail Express International® (PMEI), Priority Mail International® (PMI), First-Class Mail International® (FCMI), First-Class Package International Service® (FCPIS®), International Priority Airmail® (IPA®), International Surface Air Lift® (ISAL®), and M-Bag® items.

The Postal Service is closely monitoring the situation and will continue to update customers until the situation returns to normal. Please visit our International Service Alerts page for the most up to date information: