Shipments to Cuba: an endeavor that deepens with the pandemic


Many Cubans outside the island want to send their relatives items of different kinds, but in recent times, doing this has become somewhat of a challenging endeavor when it comes to making shipments to Cuba.

Many Cuban families are waiting for a package from a loved one outside the island and there are different options to meet this demand. However, shortages are commonplace and along with the added interruption of international disputes. 

Shipping packages to Cuba remains a hot topic during the pandemic. Facing flight restrictions, Cubans abroad have increased shipments of packages by sea, which makes the process of shipments to Cuba much more inefficient.

These obstacles caused the waiting time for shipments to Cuba to range between 100-200 days from their departure to their arrival at the recipient. In addition, there are also difficulties in sending money to Cuba through international money transfers that family members can make to their relatives on the island.

Cubans, along with family or friends abroad, explore alternatives and the options that various stores offer, to try to identify what is the safest and most effective way to get their shipments to Cuba today. Key qualities that are sought after are speed and the lowest cost, a difficult ask in these trying times. In a climate of scarcity and endless lines at stores, the outlook is bleak.

Many Cubans seek to provide their relatives with addresses or places where they can buy items online that in many cases are missing items or very expensive. Faced with this, many sites on the web are gathering the addresses of stores that offer these items in order to facilitate a way to make shipments to Cuba.

Of utmost necessity

2020 was a profoundly difficult year for Cubans, beyond the structural crisis that is being experienced on the island, the effects of a global pandemic generated a social and economic impact that will reap both short and long term effects. In this context, food, medicine and hygiene are what stand out the most in the shipments to Cuba made by those in exile to their relatives on the island.

The limited supply, monetary reform and the devaluation of the Cuban peso have resulted in an increase in prices that is quite unforgiving. Faced with this reality, those in exile who wish to help from various countries around the world face a difficult task. The shipment of these products is generally carried out through online stores or agencies that are saturated with orders. 

Moreover, at times, the store front may not carry a certain product or they only offer limited geographic coverage and they are not able to distribute all over the island. Added to these challenges is the difference in prices and delivery times. Shipments to Cuba appear to be in “limbo” and the lack of access to essential products is not only worrisome, but also distressing for all Cubans.

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