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Overland Mail Baghdad Haifa Pages

Postal Rates and Overland Mail Surcharges


Westwards bounded rates from Kuwait

Postage Rate Kuwait to Europe and USA (surface mail):
(Date Format dd.mm.yyyy)


So far only 6-7 covers from Kuwait, sent thru the Overland Mail, are known. However, the few known covers indicate that the rates had been as per the below table:


Overland Mail Surcharges 

From Till Surcharge
First 20 grams
each additional  20 grams
unconfirmed, no cover seen / known
30. August 1923 30. March 1927 3 Annas 3 Annas
1. April 1927 1 1/2 Annas
Before 15 November 1931 N/A No more surcharge required  


Incidentally, Commercial and Printed Papers, Books, Pattern and Sample Packets were charged at 1a for every 50 grams while Postcards were charged at ½ as. The Iraqi Postal Administration abolished the Overland Surcharge on 1 March 1929 where after Overland mail was charged as normal Surface mail. The Armitage/Johnson’s book mentions the need to endorse letters using the service “Overland Mail” something that remained a requirement after the surcharge was abolished.


Postage Rate (Surface Mail)

From Till First 20 grams Each additional  20 grams Every additional 10 grams
30. August 1923 30. March 1927 3 Annas 3 Annas
1. April 1927   1 1/2 Annas


Registration Charges 



First 20 grams

September 1922 1 March 1932 3 Annas

1. April 1932

23. July 1940

15 Fils (3 as)

24 July 1940   20 Fils (4 as)


Here is such a rare cover, It travelled from Kuwait to  UK overland.  The rate is 3As surface mail, 3As registration and 3As payment to the Nairn Brothers for the Overland Route. The cover went from Kuwait (28.12.25) to Basrah (7.1.26).  It then went overland to Haifa, where it picked up the railway to Cairo, then by ship to London (17.1.26).  It has to go direct to London, because there was no direct route to Germany.  From London it went to Berlin (19.1.26 - and was carried by the railway post - Bahnpost).  Finally ends up in Forst on 19.1.26. The dates of the transit post offices are manifested on the reverse of the cover. On request I will show the reverse side as well. (courtesy Khaled Abdul-Mughni.)


Another such rare covers. It travelled from Kuwait to Sweden, rate again 9 As as above, postmarked Kuwait, 4th. February 1926  


Cover dated 19. July 1928 via Basrah / Iraq (Transit pmk on reverse) to UK,  franked with a total of 4 1/2 Annas, in addition Overland Mail label.

 (Ex Alan Parsons Collection)