We mailed a package from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria and tracked it to Durban six months later

MyBroadband has been waiting for an ordinary Post Office parcel in Centurion for more than six months. After making its way to Pretoria, it was somehow dispatched to Durban and has now been sent back to Port Elizabeth.

MyBroadband tested the Post Office’s parcel delivery services by sending IoT GPS trackers between Centurion and Port Elizabeth.

The fastest parcel arrived in 6 working days using the registered mail service from Port Elizabeth to Centurion.

The registered and ordinary parcels from Centurion to Port Elizabeth took 32 and 57 working days to arrive at their location.

The ordinary parcel sent from Baywest Mall Post Office in Port Elizabeth on 21 February 2022 to Centurion is yet to arrive and now seems to be travelling the country.

As it was sent as an ordinary mail parcel, we received no tracking number and must rely on the destination Post Office contacting us to collect the package.

The parcel made its way to the Tshwane hub in Gauteng in only seven working days, giving us hope for quick delivery.

Trip from Port Elizabeth to Gauteng

Unfortunately, the parcel was stuck there for weeks, until it travelled to Delmas and then Centurion on 26 April.

Trip parcel took to Delmas before coming to Centurion

From this point, the tracker has struggled with GPS signal, and we can only get a rough estimate of the location with network triangulation.

This may be due to the tracker being loaded under other parcels or simply being inside a metal vehicle blocking the signal from GPS satellites.

After a long wait without any notice from the Post Office to collect our parcel, we tried finding it ourselves.

As we did not have the exact location, we tried all three closest Post Offices but had no luck, as no one could look for it without a tracking number.

Following this, the parcel was sent back to the Tshwane hub on 19 July, from where it travelled to Johannesburg on 25 July.

It first stopped in Braamfontein, where it spent two days before ending up in Germiston on 27 July.

Trip the parcel took in and around Johannesburg

It was here where the parcel had its coldest temperature recorded at only 13 degrees.

The warmest it got was 34 degrees on the day after it was posted in Port Elizabeth.

The parcel returned to the Tshwane hub on 16 August, where it remained for a few days.

Map showing all the different location estimates around Tshwane Mail Hub

On 24 August, the parcel took a surprise trip to Durban.

This trip stopped in a few towns, including Villiers, Harrismith, Ladysmith, and Pietermaritzburg.

The trip the parcel took to Durban

At the start of September, the parcel was in the Greyville area in Durban.

Unfortunately, the rough location estimate prevented us from determining at which Post Office it was, or whether it was simply with a Post Office employee.

Estimated location in Durban

There was also a chance that the parcel was stolen, and we are tracking a thief’s vacation at the coast, but the stops along the way to Durban seem consistent with someone delivering mail in each town.

The theory that the parcel is still in the postal system is supported by the fact that by the time of publication, the parcel had made its way back to Port Elizabeth.

We are very excited to see where the parcel ends up next, as we are confident it won’t be at its intended destination — our office.

MyBroadband contacted the Post Office for comment, and it said it would investigate where our package has got to.


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We mailed a package from Port Elizabeth to Pretoria and tracked it to Durban six months later