Life in Amman is great; you’ve settled in, found Cosmo, a couple of English language bookstores, and even a good yoga class. You can find nearly everything you want in Amman, but not quite. A few things are a little scarce about town. As it turns out, you really miss that loose leaf gourmet white tea you used to drink every Saturday morning. Perhaps there’s a new book out by Cheryl Richardson that you can’t find over here. You need care packages! So, how does this work exactly? How do you get things shipped to Jordan? And, of course, how do you send cool Jordanian souvenirs back home?
You may have noticed that, despite street names and numbers, you haven’t seen any post boxes anywhere. That would be because there aren’t any. Street numbering is a relatively new phenomenon, and there is no residential postal delivery service. However, there ARE post offices where you can lease a PO Box as well as parcel companies like DHL and FedEx.
For a PO Box, simply go to your closest – or most convenient – post office, and sign up for one. Bring your passport and residential address and, for a reasonable annual fee, you’ll be good to go*. That’s all it takes and now you can let your family know where to send homemade cookies. If your family sends you too many cookies, in a package that won’t fit in your box, the post office will put a card in your box that you can give to the postal worker and he will retrieve your package. There is one thing to keep in mind; incoming packages may be rerouted to a post office that includes a customs department. For example, if you have a PO Box in Jabal Al Luweibdeh, you may find yourself being sent downtown to pick up your package. The customs office will have you open the package in front of them so they can ensure you’re receiving legal goods and also so they can charge you a customs tax. The tax can vary from a few coins to a significant chunk of dinars, depending on what you’re receiving or, more accurate, depending on their perception of the value of what you’re receiving.
If people send things to you by FedEx or DHL, they will need to put your residential address on the package, whether the courier will deliver to your door or not. The sender will also need to provide your phone number. The number is important, because when your package arrives, the courier will call you for directions to your home or – quite possibly – a nearby landmark where you can rendezvous. Once you find each other, you sign for the package and you’re good to go.
One glitch you may run across is that many online shops don’t ship to the region. If this happens, you can have things sent to your mom – or another helpful friend or family member – and then have her forward them on to you (perhaps with the promise that you’ll send her a great Bedouin rug). The other option is to open an account with an international mail-forwarding service. These companies generally offer a choice between a monthly service or a per-order service, and some specialize with one or the other in mind. A quick search on the internet will allow you to investigate various companies and decide which one provides the most suitable options for you.
As far as sending packages, you can send them by post or by carrier. The cost of post is significantly lower and postal delivery service in recent years appears to be reliable.
rdan Link: http://fedex.com/jo/contact/
DHL Jordan Link: http://www.dhl.com.jo/en/contact_center.html