By Nawara Fattahova
KUWAIT: A video has gone viral on social media showing huge plastic bags with parcels for sale, with a caption reading “sale of people’s parcels”. After visiting a post office, an employee clarified that the video is of parcels that belong to a private postal company and not the public post offices. There are unclaimed parcels at public post offices too, but only a few at each post office. There are 61 post offices in various areas of the six governorates.
At public post offices, a parcel stays for two months without being collected. “If the receiver doesn’t collect their parcel within this period, the post office will return it to the sender,” Ahmad Al-Sahaf, an employee at Salmiya Post office told Kuwait Times. “In case that the carton is damaged for some reason and the address is not clear or visible, the parcel will be taken to the Beit Al Mal of the Customs Department. After collecting unclaimed parcels from different post offices, they are sold at an auction. This auction only takes place a few times a year as almost all parcels are sent back,” he added.
Public post offices provide PO boxes for an annual fee. People can also receive their parcels at the post office in their area. To make it easy for receivers, the post office staff will send them a message or call them to inform them that their parcel has arrived. Depending on the type of postal service, some parcels will only arrive at one post office no matter the receiver’s address, such as the Hiteen or Siddiq post offices.
According to Sahaf, the video of the parcel sale is of a private shipping company. “The parcels in the video were stolen by employees from the company, but they were arrested. Also, there are many parcels which receivers refuse to collect. These parcels are sold in bulk,” he explained.
Most of these parcels and goods are sold on social media platforms. “There are also many shipments at the airport not collected by businesspeople or companies that ordered them for various reasons. Some goods will be destroyed, such as banned products. Others will be sold in an auction, as the of returning them is more expensive than the value of the goods,” concluded Sahaf.