CTT (Correios de Portugal) postal service has been facing crisis since 2018, with postmen striking regularly due to the lack of personnel which affects the efficiency of mail delivery across the country.

Due to the pandemic, reports of mail not being delivered in the time that CTT typically promises were emerging, with reports of cases of mail taking more than 15 days to reach its destination.

The Portugal News contacted CTT to discover the extent that the pandemic has affected the mail delivery service.

A source told The Portugal News that there are no registrations of any kind of delay regarding mail delivery and stated that “distribution is working the way it should.” However the pandemic may have contributed to some problems in mail distribution simply because of the adaption to a new reality for the service and attempting to do everything that the health authorities asked for to be a clean and safe service.
Some Local Distribution Centres were closed in cases when any of the workers had a positive test for Covid-19, stated the same source. In these cases, measures were taken to ensure the security of all the other workers, as well as the security of the people that were receiving mail.

Foreign mail often comes by plane, normally in passenger aircraft. Since the pandemic obligated air companies to reduce the number of flights, therefore the mail that comes from abroad will not be delivered as fast as before. The source admitted that “CTT used all the alternatives available” to them in these cases.

CTT offers a variety of different delivery systems. There is Correio Normal, where letters and other products that weigh no more than two kilos take about three days to reach their destination. Correio Azul is the fastest way of sending mail. Usually, it takes one day to be delivered in mainland Portugal and two days to be delivered to the islands of the Azores or Madeira. Correio Verde takes the same time as Correio Azul to be delivered, but it has no weight limit and does not require any kind of stamp. Correio Registado is a delivery system in which the sender can track the sent product to know exactly when it will reach the destination.

The prices change according to the chosen delivery systems. Normally, it is not required to buy a stamp, but just an envelope bought in one of the CTT shops. Sometimes a box is required, depending on the size of the products.

CTT also delivers letters and parcels to foreign countries. Inside Europe, mail can take three days to reach the destination in Correio Azul and five days for the rest of the world. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the promised delivery time might not be met.