When will DPO and Pouch resume?

Happy Holdiays, Everyone!  I know it doesn’t feel like the holidays when it’s still quite warm and sunny, and you aren’t opening Amazon boxes and parcels from loved ones back home.  We are continuing to monitor the opeations at the new airport and rest assured we will resume DPO and pouch deliveries as soon as it is prudent to do so.   The new airport has only been open for one week and they are doing an amazing job, especially resolving passenger issues; however, there remains some work to be done regarding cargo and non-passenger related operations.

We know everyone is eager to get those holiday items, and we’ll get services resumed as soon as we can, keeping you informed along the way.   Thank you for your patience and understanding –everyone has really been great about the delay, and I’m honored every day to call you my colleagues and friends.   Happy Holidays!


Two pouch shipments have arrived!

We are happy to report that the two pouch shipments that were delayed have arrived in Dakar!  There is one final shipment that we may receive prior to the suspension of pouch services, but no guarantees from Washington at this point.

Delayed Pouch Shipments

There is a delay from Washington on the delivery of the November 10th and November 17th pouch shipments.  The items are being held in Washington for an unknown reason at this time.  IRM is working closely with our Washington contacts and will provide updates as they are available.  We understand that you are anxiously awaiting your holiday purchases and we are working as diligently as possible to get these items delivered to Dakar prior to December 2nd.

There is no delay on incoming items via DPO, this notification is specific to pouch.

Letters to Santa Box is back!

You know it’s time for Christmas when the letters to Santa special mailbox has returned to the Package Room!  I know everyone is hard at work getting those orders in to beat the mail and pouch suspension date of 12/2, so I *know* you’ve already asked the little ones to write out their letters to Santa. Now, help them mail those letters at the package room!

Your letters will make their way by special delivery to the North Pole, and thanks to the mailroom elves, will be placed disceetly-and fully covered-back in your own mailbox so you can chreish them forever. Each child will also receive a special letter back from Santa.

So, if you just arrived this summer and have little ones worried that Santa won’t find them, or are just a big kid at heart, write a letter to Santa and drop it in the Package Room!

Temporary Suspension of Mail & Pouch Dec 2 – 13th

We have been coordinating with the authorities at the new airport and the freight forwarders who handle our DPO mail and Pouch to coordinate the transition to the new airport, opening December 7th.

Much of the ground handling equipment, used to load and manage cargo (your mail) will need to be moved from the old airport to the new one. Personnel will also transition. A few interruptions to cargo handling are anticipated in the days immediately preceding and following the opening of the new airport.

To minimize risk of loss or damage to our customers’ personal orders – to protect the items you’ve spent your hard- earned money on and care about most– we will be temporarily suspending mail and pouch deliveries as follows:

  • Unclass Pouch arrives once per week. We are asking Washington to hold the delivery of pouch starting December 2nd, and resume delivery on December 15th.
  • DPO usually arrives five times a week. We are asking the US Postal Service (USPS) to hold DPO deliveries from December 2nd through December 13th.

We understand the impact this will have on your holiday preparations, and we are not taking this action lightly. Opening a new airport is a herculean undertaking, and it is only prudent to anticipate a few issues.

Please follow the guidance in Dakar Management Notice 17-062, and have your holiday parcels enroute by Monday, November 13th to avoid delays and disappointment.  Please reach out to family and friends and ask them to ship your parcels early.  The health unit would also like to remind the community that this will impact delivery of mail order prescriptions as well and to plan accordingly.   And please, we’re here to help — reach out to me at richardsonkc @state .gov or DakarMailroom @ state.gov

Friday holiday – Pouch will go out Thurs

Good afternoon everyone!  Just a quick heads up — because of the Friday holiday this week for Veterans’ Day, the outgoing pouch will go out on Thursday instead of Friday.  This is for official outgoing, as well as personal flats (letters, or flat rate mail).  Drop them off by 9:00 a.m on Thursday morning, please.   Thank you!

Nov 1st – Got Christmas Done Yet?

For some of you, this is your upteenth Christmas overseas, but for many of you, this is new.  I’ll let you in on a little secret — there are ALWAYS mail delays, every holiday season.

  • Weather delays — snow in Chicago or Europe delays or cancels flights, cargo gets bumped
  • There isn’t always enough space on the flights for all the mail — more passengers means more luggage, which means less room for mail cargo
  • More mail means more missent items – and longer delivery times
  • Seasonal help means more mistakes – at the retailers, the postal processing centers, the airlines.

Fewer flights + less cargo space per flight + increased mail volume + missent mail + seasonal help  = HOLIDAY MAIL DELAYS.

What can you do?  Order Christmas NOW!!  Seriously, you need to have all your Christmas gifts, and holiday items ordered and on their way to you by Nov 13th.  Yep — that early.  Take some time over the long Veterans’ Day holiday weekend to put in your online orders.  Order now, get it in before Thanksgiving, then relax and enjoy December knowing you’ve got Christmas all taken care of!

New Airport? – Order Christmas Now!

As you have probably heard by now, Dakar is getting a new airport. They are planning to open the first week of December. It looks nice, and it’s obvious a lot of planning has gone into it.  But, as with anything new of this scale, there could be some issues in the first few weeks.  We don’t want any last minute mail and cargo wrinkles to affect Christmas!

So plan ahead — order now!  Seriously, tell family and friends they need to have holiday packages on their way to you in the next few weeks. Hold the Halloween candy hostage until the kids give you their wish lists.  Plan to put the Christmas tree up over Thansksgiving weekend AND put all the presents under it, because you’re going to be ready early this year!

I know – what about Black Friday sales?! What about all those great last minute bargains?  Please, by all means, take advantage, and have yourself one heck of a Valentine’s Day.  Mail already has issues over the holidays: bad weather elsewhere causing flight cancellations, full flights bumping cargo to accommodate passengers, temp help sorting mail while drinking too much egg nog — all the reasons mail is slow and stressful during the holdiays — don’t add a new airport to that list. Order now!

And don’t forget the wrapping paper, bows, and scotch tape!

What’s for Thanksgiving Dinner?

The Halloween event is still a week away, but it’s not too early to think about what you’re going to make for Thanksgiving dinner.  If you are planning to ship in grocery items so you can make your famous pecan pie, green beans, sweet potatoes,  whatever it is that you and your family look forward to every year — please keep a few rules in mind:

  • Pop top cans are prohibited–anything with a pull tab to open. They can not be shipped via DPO or Pouch.  The lids pop open in shipment due to pressurization changes.
  • Pressurized items — like Pam Cooking Spray, cheez whiz, — can not be shipped via air.  (prohibited for both Pouch and DPO)
  • Cooking oils, or any liquids— liquids can be shipped via DPO (zip 09808).  But they must be packaged to prevent and contain spillage.  Liquids are prohbitied in pouch. And remember, anything that assumes the shape of the container it is in is considered a liquid.
  • Knives and anything resembling a weapon can not be shipped via Pouch. Cooking knives (but not weapons!) can be shipped via DPO- Zip 09808.
  • Flammables — if you are ordering candles, do not order matches or lighters to go with them.  (You might want to wait a few more months before ordering candles unless you don’t mind them a little wonky from the heat).  No buffet fuel canisters.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.  Richardsonkc @ State.gov
Good luck and happy Thanskgiving preparations!

Perfume, not DPO — think PJ

Good afternoon!  You may have seen the CLO’s recent announcement about PJ orders being due 10/21.  If you are someone who traditionally gives or gets perfume for Christmas, please remember that perfume is flammable, considered hazmat, and can not be shipped via DPO or Pouch. (The shipping rejection notices are already starting to come in!)  But– you can get perfume via PJ.  (Please understand I am not endorsing one vendor over another, merely pointing out a purchasing alterntiave).  PJ ships via sea, not air.

It’s not too early to start thinking about Christmas. I’ll be posting lots of notices, tips and tricks — encourage your colleagues to sign up for the blog!

It’s October — Ordered Halloween Yet?

Happy Monday morning, everyone!  And it is now officially October, which means that you need to order your Halloween costumes, treats and decorations THIS WEEK.   Wait too long, and it’ll get scary!    Scroll down for more Halloween ordering information.