How to ship to the Basra Airport?
May 8, 2012 11:00 AM   Subscribe

How can I mail/ship a manila envelope directly to the Emirates office in the terminal at Basra International Airport (BSR) in Iraq? I'm looking for address info and shipping methodology.

Mildly convoluted: Small school in Northern California has accepted Iraqi student for the fall, and needs to send packet of information including I-20 visa forms (needs to be sent physically). We would like to avoid physical loss of this envelope, as it would require cancellation/reprocessing of said documents.

Through spotty communication, student requests that packet be shipped to his place of employment for safest arrival (the Emirates office in the terminal at the airport in Basra).

He indicates that addressing the packet

"Name of Student
c/o Emirates Airlines Office
Basra International Airport

will be sufficient for its delivery. I can't find any information to the contrary (or in support) anywhere; conversation with Emirates has been unhelpful. If needed, I could try calling the Basra city office of Emirates (not in the airport), but for a variety of reasons including horrific time-zone work-office alignment, it's difficult.

So, there are really two questions embedded here:

1) Is this a good enough address to get the package to the man? and

2) What's the best way to get it there? USPS Priority mail seems like a good option (provided that the address is correct) from here, but perhaps folks with experience with Iraq mailing can advise.

We're not near a DHL office, FWIW (he'd recommended such).

Thanks much, you all.
posted by eyesontheroad to Travel & Transportation around Basrah, Iraq (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
DHL really is your best bet for this type of delivery. Call them, they should be able to come to you for a pick up.

You can't send US Priority Mail out of the country, you would be sending International Mail.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:08 AM on May 8, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, Ruthless Bunny.

I should have said: DHL does not provide service where we live, and won't do a pick-up.
posted by eyesontheroad at 11:21 AM on May 8, 2012

That's probably a sufficient address to get to him via USPS/international mail (and it's the best choice, since mail delivery to Iraq is spotty at best), but DHL would be the better choice. Do you have an alumnus who lives nearer a better DHL place who would be willing to take the delivery and forward it?
posted by Etrigan at 11:27 AM on May 8, 2012

If you guys happen to be near enough to SFO, you could look into sending it directly through Emirates. You could try calling their Skycargo office. It might be possible to mail the forms to an Emirates location in the US for forwarding.

DHL has dropboxes and contract locations spread pretty darn far through Northern California. They may be able to arrange a pick-up (for a fee presumably) as well. If you're way far out, maybe someone is driving toward a major city soon and can drop it off.

If you do go the USPS route, apparently Express Mail International is available to Basrah. That might be prohibitively expensive, but could be more reliable and faster than first-class mail.

Obviously, keep copies whatever you do.
posted by zachlipton at 11:28 AM on May 8, 2012

FedEx and UPS will both deliver to Iraq. You want to go to your local delivery station, NOT a retail store though -- the people who work at the delivery stations are much smarter. They will have official documents on proper addressing for shipments to Iraq. This will be EXPENSIVE -- think $100 -- but far faster and more reliable than international mail.
posted by miyabo at 11:48 AM on May 8, 2012

I have experience shipping packages of materials (business related, books and forms, so similar to what you're talking about) to Iraq and around the world.

USPS and UPS are useless for shipping internationally. (Priority Mail took seven months to send a form to Kampala; never made that mistake again.) My current company uses FedEx, but we don't work in Iraq or similar countries. I would get to a DHL office if at all possible, because it will save you so much headache. Otherwise, FedEx. It will be pricey regardless of which comapny.

Emirates won't ship it via cargo (I tried doing this two weeks ago; you have to work through an expeditor or other ground company).

The address should be sufficient. DHL once delivered something to "White House On Left of Pharmacy, MinisculeVillage, Madagascar", so I imagine they can find the Basra Airport. FedEx probably can too. If you go into an office, they'll be able to help you. Cursory research says you may need a postal code. (I haven't shipped to Iraq for at least a year, sorry.)
posted by quadrilaterals at 7:24 PM on May 8, 2012

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