The Black Hole Where Missing Packages Sent to Israel Are Idling

Israel Post is struggling with a sharp increase in volume from Amazon, causing waiting times to balloon

Hadar Kane
Hadar Kane
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, November 5, 2019.
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics centre in Boves, France, November 5, 2019. Credit: PASCAL ROSSIGNOL/ REUTERS
Hadar Kane
Hadar Kane

Israelis love to complain about the postal service, which has a reputation for not delivering packages, and the situation worsened in November with a surge in international deliveries, driven in part by Amazon’s offer of free shipping on many orders topping $49.

International ordering was further boosted by the major international shopping days at the end of the year such as Black Friday and China’s Singles Day.

It turns out that in recent months, Israel Post has been renting warehouse space in the town of Zeitan near Ben-Gurion International Airport. The site is used for storing packages that arrive from abroad, amid the sharp increase in Israeli orders from foreign websites.

This, however, would appear to violate Israeli customs law, which obligates the postal service to keep packages shipped from abroad at warehouses subject to customs supervision that also meet specific standards.

The Israel Tax Authority told TheMarker that it would look into the matter.

A day later, after TheMarker contacted Israel Post for a response, the tax authority said it had conducted a review and found nothing inappropriate. Israel Post declined to respond, as did the company that owns the warehouse, Y.R. Dabush.

A senior logistics executive who has seen the Zeitan facility said the postal service was in breach of regulations.

“This is all because the postal service doesn’t know how to handle the volume of packages that arrived in November, so they went looking for storage,” the source said. “They found it in this town, and it’s essentially the black hole for packages.”

Some sources say Israel Post is teetering badly under the weight of the excess volume.

Customers complain of frequent delays and missing packages, and corporate customers have accused the postal service of prioritizing Amazon packages at the expense of those from other companies.

In December, sources told TheMarker that to meet its terms with the U.S. giant, Israel Post seemed to be prioritizing Amazon packages at the expense of others, and possibly also at the expense of other international commerce websites. As a result, packages from other sites were being delayed, with delivery times taking weeks and sometimes even months.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:

Comments

SUBSCRIBERS JOIN THE CONVERSATION FASTER

Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN

ICYMI

United Arab List chairman Mansour Abbas in the Knesset on Monday.

Arab Voters Will Decide if Israel's Far-right Wins Power

נתניהו עם כיפה שחורה על הראש נשען בשתי ידיו על הכותל

Israel Is Heading for Its Most 'Jewish' Election Ever

An El Al jet sits on the tarmac at John C. Munro International Airport in Hamilton, Thursday, in 2003.

El Al to Stop Flying to Toronto, Warsaw and Brussels

FILE PHOTO: A Star of David hangs from a fence outside the dormant landmark Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood in 2021.

American Judaism Is in Decline. That's Great News for American Jews

Crowds at Israel's Ben-Gurion International Airport, in April.

U.S. Official: West Bank Entry for Palestinian Americans Unrelated to Israeli Visa Waivers

Haaretz spoke with several people who said they had fled Ukraine, arrived in Israel,  and were asked to undergo DNA tests in order to establish paternity.

'My Jewish Grandmother Has a Number on Her Arm, Why Does Israel Greet Me This Way?'