Posting a technical process

I write in response to the letter Roger M. Davies published on 22 June in the Caymanian Compass.

First, I would like to thank Mr. Davies for caring enough to take the time to test postal delivery standards.

That said, I must also correct the claim attributed to the Post Office. What I actually said was that our target goal is to deliver by the next day, 95 per cent of the local mail that is posted by 10am. I did not claim that we delivered 95 per cent.

It would have helped if Mr. Davies had included what time(s) he checked his post box before he found the letter. Furthermore, his letter travelled much farther than the 40 feet he mentioned.

But it would require much more than one letter in this medium to detail the technical intricacies of mail processing that each item of mail must traverse before delivery. It is a process that is often assumed to be much simpler than it is by those not familiar with postal operations.

Obviously, Mr. Davies’ test letter fell in the percentage of mail that did not meet our 95 per cent target during this time.

He reported finding it in his post box on Tuesday, which is one day later than our delivery target and I still say that is not bad for only 15ยข postage.

It would be unfair of me to try to invalidate Mr. Davies’ experience with the postal service.

But he is talking about the mail he receives and sends, which I am guessing is a very small percentage of the mail handled by the Post Office.

On a positive note, Mr. Davies’ letter to the editor prompted some customers to call the Post Office and disagree with his comments about poor mail service.

But that is their experience, which is also valid. At the end of the day, the quality of postal service ranges between the two experiences, which would be the case for any postal service worldwide.

In 2005, the Post Office processed over 4.41 million letters posted within the Cayman Islands.

In addition, we received more than 3.12 million letters from overseas for local delivery.

So far this year, we have processed over 2.56 million letters posted locally and more than 1.46 million letters received from overseas for local delivery.

This is all done manually, with all the inherent challenges and errors that accompany such work.

Add to this the time postal staff spend on poorly or improperly addressed mail, including what is mailed within the Cayman Islands. This type of mail adds to the amount of time spent processing properly addressed mail.

I commend Mr. Davies’ test initiative. I have passed on his letter and comments to my sorting staff as reinforcement of my own repeated message that no matter how well we may do or think we are doing, we cannot afford to be complacent.

In closing, I extend to Mr. Davies, my personal invitation to come and observe the mail processing that takes place out of public sight and see for himself, the path his letter travelled between posting and delivery. He can contact me at the General Post Office to schedule his tour.

Sheena Glasgow
Postmaster General