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KOMMERSANT (Russia)

Worldcrunch

MOSCOW - Russians have long griped about the time it takes packages to arrive in the mail, complaining about government bureaucrats and not-always diligent postmen. But blame for a recent deepening of postal delays falls squarely on the shoulders of...the Internet.

Due to an explosion in online purchases - especially those e-purchases shipped from out of the country - the Russian post office is dealing with a serious backlog, with more than 500 tons of international packages sitting at customs points and airports in Moscow alone, Kommersant reports.

This backlog has international reverberations, as the German post office has send their Russian counterparts official complaints about the excessive wait times for German trucks handing over mail to the Russian post office, Kommersant reports.

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A Moscow post office (A. Savin)

Part of the problem is the boom in Internet shopping. In 2009, there were approximately 2.3 million packages ordered online in Russia, while in 2012, there were 17 million. The post office has not been able to keep up. It doesn’t help that the customs service, where much of the delays take place, is supposed to reduce the number of personnel by 20 percent between 2011 and 2013.

What is the solution for those waiting for packages to arrive? Patience, the Russian post office says.

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