New normal on deliveries not acceptable
On February 19, 2021, two packages weighing nine kilograms and containing documents and photographs were sent to me via DHL from England. They arrived in Bermuda on February 22. Having the appropriate Caps number, I was glad to see the DHL tracking site listing the packages two days later as “Released by Customs. Delivery by end-of-day Friday [February 26]”.
Not having received the packages on Friday, I went to the DHL in Hamilton on the following Monday and was told that whatever is on the tracking site “is something generic; it doesn’t mean anything”. I was also told that Customs was questioning the weight and declaration of “documents” and there would be an inspection by Customs. I explained both verbally and in a follow-up e-mail that the photographs and documents related to Bermuda in the Second World War and were about 80 years old.
After many more visits to DHL, they were finally released on March 22 — 28 days after arriving in Bermuda.
This is not an isolated case. Four books sent to me from New York via DHL on November 23 last year, shown on the tracking site as “Estimated Delivery Date 30 November by End of Day”; they were finally delivered on December 24.
By the way, the 500 photographs in those two packages were taken by British censor Victor Haag during his Bermuda stay from 1940 to 1944 and are a fascinating record of Bermuda during the Second World War.
Tourism, then Bermuda’s only economic pillar, vanished overnight when the war started, just like last year when Covid-19 struck. After the war, Bermuda recovered successfully. Can we do that again? Probably not if it now takes four weeks to process a courier package.