Mail service in Ecuador is nothing like the U.S. Postal Service. There are no door-to-door daily deliveries by postal carriers in mail trucks. You can get home deliveries in some areas, but you’ll have limited options and several obstacles to overcome.
We use a mail service back in the United States called TravelingMailbox.com for all our US-based mail. They have lots of physical addresses in different states so we have all our mail delivered to them. Then they scan it and post it to their secure portal where we review it and either download it, forward it to our parents, or have it shredded and deleted. We’ve been using them for many years, even before we moved to Ecuador, and love the service.
Correos del Ecuador
Correos del Ecuador was the official national mail service, but they went into full liquidation in May 2020 and were scheduled to be completely shut down in November 2020.
However, that date was pushed to February 2021 when the Moreno government officially shuttered the mail service by executive decree and transitioned it to a new entity called Servicios Postales del Ecuador (Postal Services of Ecuador).
This new service essentially privatizes the postal service by engaging “strategic partners” such as DHL and Servientrega to provide mail delivery.
Servientrega Courier Service
DHL, FedEx and UPS do not offer home delivery in Ecuador so you’ll need to use a service called Servientrega for home delivery. This is the most popular courier service in Ecuador that’s used by banks and businesses to deliver documents and packages.
When our Toy Poodle left us, the vet took her remains to Guayaquil for cremation. The crematorium in Guayaquil shipped her ashes back to us in Olón via Servientrega. Since we didn’t have an exact address in Olón, the delivery driver messaged us when he arrived at the park in the center of town and we walked up to meet him.
Exact addresses are uncommon in Ecuador, and most streets don’t have signs, so home delivery is quite challenging. You’ll need to provide detailed directions to your home with the nearest cross streets, and even then, you’ll likely get a call from the driver asking where you live and you’ll need to go out and meet him on the street.
Couriers will not leave packages outside your gate or door so you’ll need to be home in order to receive delivery. Or you can go to the nearest office to retrieve your package.
Here in Manta, our address is the neighborhood where we live plus the condo building name. Amelia ordered some beauty products from a store in Guayaquil and the package was successfully delivered to the guard desk about 3 days later. Shipping was included in the purchase price so we don’t know what the cost was.
We haven’t directly paid to mail any packages using Servientrega, but we’ve heard documents cost between $1 and $3, while package cost is based on size, weight and distance.
Mail service in Ecuador has a long way to go before it’s anything like the U.S. Postal Service or the home delivery offered by UPS and other parcel services. The entire country would need to adopt a universal addressing system, as well as install street signs in standard formats and locations so they’re easy to see. Since this would be a costly and massive undertaking, we don’t expect home delivery outside the major cities to improve anytime soon.
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