Mail Forwarding for International Assignees

One of the myriad details employees must attend to when going on assignment is how they’ll handle postal mail. This can often be overlooked during the pre-departure phase, especially for highly complex assignments with many moving parts, but handling this before deployment, rather than after, can help smooth the transition to the new location.

A practical solution that can be recommended, which many expats use, is a professional mail forwarding service, or CMRA (Commercial Mail Receiving Agency).

In addition to forwarding mail and packages, CMRAs can offer other options like check deposit services. Many also allow customers to choose how often they want to receive mail and which items to forward or exclude (like junk mail).

Some CMRAs also enable customers to manage mail online by providing instant email notifications and scans of each item. Once these are reviewed, the customer can indicate what should be forwarded or discarded. Additional services can include taking care of customs declarations and paperwork, etc.

CRMAs have other benefits as well. Those who want to order products that can be shipped to their home country but not to the host country (due to warranty issues and manufacturer restrictions, for example) can receive them via mail forwarding. If the United States is the home country, for instance, items can be shipped to a U.S.-based CMRA, like Personal Mail International, which would then send the item(s) to the customer in the host location.

CMRAs can also forward packages from multiple delivery services like FedEx, DHL, and UPS, not just the postal service. It can consolidate several packages from different vendors into one shipping package, which results in much lower shipping costs. Further savings can be realized by a CMRA’s ability to leverage its volume and offer lower rates.

Beyond this, some CMRAs enable customers to retrieve their mail from a physical facility.

So unless an employee is on a very short term assignment, this simple, efficient, and generally affordable service is often well worth the expense.

Susan Brown

Personal Mail International Inc.