Lost Packages to the Russian Federation


Being the leading provider of shipping insurance coverage gives us unique insight into possible problem destinations when shipping worldwide. We want to alert everyone to the growing amount of lost packages being sent to the Russian Federation. We are seeing a growing trend of lost packages shipped via the United States Postal Service (USPS)  to this destination over the past 6 months. Whether this is a customs issue, general delays, or packages being lost in transit, the smart shipper should take these details into consideration.

Our stats for shipments to Russia for 10/1/2012-4/1/2013:

  • There is a 205% increase in the amount of lost claims from the same time period last year.
  • During this time period, the dollar amount of lost claims increased by 220%.
  • Insured shipping volume has only increased by 33%.
  • 98% are lost packages while 2% are damaged packages.
  • 88% of these shipments were sent via First Class Mail.

These statistics are alarming and are pointing to a trend of lost packages to Russia. In order to improve these numbers, we suggest using the USPS Priority Mail or Express Mail service. We prefer the limited tracking of Priority Mail to the minimal, if any, tracking of First Class Mail. If possible, DHL, FedEx, and UPS are great options as well, although much more costly.

UPDATE (4/17/2013): This seems to be a large part of the problem, although a more recent issue: http://postandparcel.info/54989/news/companies/delays-and-disruption-as-russian-post-struggles-with-e-commerce/

16 Comments+ Add Comment

  • Wow!! That’s quite an increase in lost packages. I wonder what’s going on? Thanks for the info!

  • I am no longer shipping to the Russian Federation. I just changed my listings on Ebay within the past two weeks.

  • There is a huge backlog of shipments in the Airport in Russia. Here is the article:


    This link was posted on the eBay forum here:


    • Thanks for the link!

  • Effective 06 April, ebay is now banning Media sellers from selling items to a list of countries including Russia. They are adding these restrictions to sellers listing involuntarily, even if you do not exclude shipping locations. Not sure if this is the reason….as they have refused to explain this policy. There is an article on this topic on ecommercebytes.com.

  • You can’t expect people to use Priority mail when First Class mail is so much less expensive. The cost of a small flat-rate priority box to other countries went up $6 in January, an astonishing increase. Because of that, I had to immediately stop sending priority boxes abroad. Everything one pound or less now goes First Class.

    • At this point, if you are sending packages to Russia and you want them to get there in a timely manner, First Class is a bad choice.

      • So is Shipsurance going to modify their policy with FCI mail to Russia? I was going to upgrade to Priority Flat Rate but see it is not available on-line to print a label.

  • The latest scam involves items paid by PayPal through eBay. Item value about $1000. We ship by USPS Express per PayPal requirements.

    The buyer in Russia asks the Russian post to hold their shipment at the post office. Tracking reads undelivered for over 4 weeks. Buyer files PayPal dispute, then chargeback.

    The USPS won’t go forward with a claim, as they can tell from the Russian post that the item is on hold at the post office.

    After the chargeback goes through, the Russian buyer picks the item up at the post office. The status reads delivered. We can’t file a claim with the USPS.

    We are on our second PayPal charge back appeal with this method of fraud.

    Just be aware that USPS Exrpess with tracking isn’t going to solve the problem.

    • So the seller protection refunds the buyer and they get the parcel? Why can’t PayPal use the USPS status to keep this from happening or am I missing something?

      • The PayPal seller protection is only provided when the tracking status reads “delivered”.

        • bubble, I, too, ship >1k parcels to Russia via Express Mail (no claims to date…luck?). Is PayPal making this ‘right?’

  • Registered Mail is the best form of shipping to RUSSIA…..Never had a problem and custumers love it. It is less expensive than Express mail and is the safest way to ship to this country. Any other postal methods from USPS is not very wise

    • Jackie, how do you ship via USPS registered mail? I don’t see that option on the USPS web site. I realize you have to personally bring your packages to the post office, but the services offered should be on the USPS web site with the following disclaimer “not available online.”

  • How come Flat Rate Envelope is not allowed to purchase on-line? Used to be able to get from eBay labels. @Jackie, what are the weight/size restrictions for Registered and cost?

  • How to deal with claims from lost USPS packages…..Use UPS! Seriously though…. we’ve had the opposite experience. We REGULARLY have USPS packages go missing in transit. All of our items are less than 6 pounds, and most fall between 1-3 lbs. Also, the vast majority of ours are sent via UPS… but we offer USPS as an option to those who may not wish to have them left on their doorstep, or who may not be home. The larger of these, we send with a signature required.With automatic insurance of $100, UPS isn’t a big deal…. not to mention customers being able to track their orders. We’ve had 4 claims with UPS in the last year – the claim service is now web-based, so it is a little easier. Our products are also manufactured by us as well… so depending upon the size of the order, we go the “self-insure” route, and just reship the order without bothering with the claims process. For USPS pacages, we use the Endicia insurance option instead of the USPS options. But, we also use Endicia’s Galaxy Ship program, which makes adding it quite easy. We can also switch back and forth between that and WorldShip.With all of this said however, we are about to do the “Stone Edge” thing. So, then we’ll be using the ShipRush plugin – all of this will change.

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