Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

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If you follow the news, you probably have heard about the Icelandic volcano that recently caused a major disruption on Europe’s air traffic. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano (don’t worry, we don’t know how to properly pronounce that either) caused huge delays on passengers hoping to fly on the days after its eruption on April 14th.

But why is this relevant here? Because not only passengers got grounded – cargo flights too, and this obviously included mail delivery services; any mail arriving or leaving the affected parts of Europe got delayed. But how much did this really affect the postal services? We couldn’t find any hard data on it, so we decided to measure it ourselves and share it with you.

Below you can see a graph of number of Postcrossing postcards received per week of 2010.

Volcano effect in mail delivery
Postcards received per week (2010)

It’s easy to spot when the Eyjafjallajökull did its thing, isn’t it? We estimate a 26% hiccup on mail delivery because of the volcano. Quite amazing how powerful nature can be.

However, the good news is: mail delivery is back again to its normal speed, judging by last week’s numbers. It’s quite possible that postcards traveling to more far away places might still be affected by this, but the worse part seems to be over, so keep posting! :)

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