ePacket, a must-know shipping choice for Dropshippers, insights from Shoplazza
Table of content:
- A status-quo of present situation
- What is ePacket at all?
- How des ePacket shipping work?
- What is the size requirement for ePacket?
- How does ePacket tracking work?
- How long does ePacket take to deliver to your doorsetp?
- How do I get ePacket service when dropshipping?
- Any duties or taxes to pay with ePacket?
- How does ePacket work on AliExpress?
- How to use ePacket services at Shoplazza powered stores?
A status-quo of present situation
Whether you are eCommerce store merchant or an eye-for-global Dropshippers, maintaining a sustainable and competitive cost of product sourcing is strategic and critical to your success. Nevertheless, we all must turn our heads to AliExpress for products sold at reasonable factory price in order to create a profitable margin. Thanks to the fully developed and complete manufacturing supply chain in China, we can benefit the cheaper and quality-consistent products through this stable source.
What is ePacket at all?
ePacket is a shipping option offered by third-party logistics providers (3PL) in China and Hong Kong. It allows merchants to provide a fast and affordable shipping option for light packages.
As many of our Dropshippers claimed, China EMS was probably the only affordable choice to ship smaller quantity consumer products overseas to customers of outside China, especially before and during the global pandemic. We experienced the longer shipping period that may take up over a month or even longer for customers to actually receive them. Other than EMS, any express courier services are way too expensive, no one intends to spend twice the cost than the product selling price.
But the good news was, in 2011, USPS (United States Postal Service) announced its ePacket service, it was a new shipping service that collaborated with Hong Kong Post service and eBay China to fulfill the packages sent from mainland China and Hong Kong to receive USPS first class mail services, also trackable with the end-to-end delivery information.
How does ePacket shipping work?
As the letter ‘e’ indicates, ePacket shipping service is designed for eCommerce order fulfillment purposes. Basically, it allows customers to receive their purchased items faster and much more economic than conventional shipment methods where you order items from marketplaces or from a seller based in mainland China or Hong Kong.
More and more Chinese merchants display ePacket shipping service option on their websites or their storefront from certain marketplaces, as eBay China, AliExpress. Therefore, if you need to place your orders to any merchant based in China and Hong Kong, they can fulfill those orders by using EMS ePacket service as long as your packages meet the basic requirements for an ePacket delivery.
What is the size requirement for ePacket?
What is the weight limit for ePacket packages?
Each package, including boxes and filler material, should not be greater than 2 kg. The only exception to this is when shipping to Israel — packages to Israel can be up to 3 kg.
How big or small can ePacket packages be?
MINIMUM PACKAGE SIZE:
Regular packages should not have a length less than 14 cm and width less than 11 cm.
Rolled-up packages should have a minimum length of 11 cm. Additionally, twice the diameter plus the length should be more than 17 cm (2d + l >= 17).
If your packages are smaller than this, it’s not usually an issue as we can use a larger box and add in filler material.
MAXIMUM PACKAGE SIZE
The longest side of a regular package should not be more than 60 cm. Additionally, the sum of the length, width and height should not be greater than 90 cm (l + w + h <= 90).
The longest side of a rolled-up package should not be more than 90 cm. Additionally, twice the diameter plus the length should not be more than 104 cm (2d + l <= 104).
Another example for illustrating international ePacket size from Japan Post.
To be noted, the USPS has its own requirements for ePacket. The maximum length of a package is 24 inches (60 cm) and the total length, height, and thickness of the package cannot be more than 36 inches (90 cm). To qualify for ePacket delivery, the package cannot weigh more than 4.4 pounds (2 kg), and the merchandise being shipped cannot exceed $400 in value.
How does ePacket tracking work?
From feedbacks of our merchants, ePacket tracking feature enables both merchants and customers end-to-end shipping and delivery tracking without additional costs. Customers can monitor the entire process during shipment, from EMS, UPS and other carriers, it also displays the estimated delivery data and time. Regarding aftersales, with any product return or unsuccessful delivery caused by whatever reason, customers will seamlessly get refunded from merchants with all tracking details as prove for further evidence.
Now, ePacket delivery service has covered more than 40 countries around the world, such as USA, Canada, Australia etc. The last mile delivery is usually handled by a local carrier, for example, in Canada, it is handled by Canada post. Local carriers refer to the ones who operate within the country of package destination. In most cases, the package will be delivered to your doorstep. However, it may vary in certain cases. Also, there plenty of websites offering tracking services. It is recommended that you visit AliExpress, USPS, EMS to check your tracking. For a third-party tracking, our recommendation is following.
How long does ePacket take to deliver to your doorstep ?
Here, we are talking about the average processing time during order processing, shipping and delivering stages. On average, a package shipped from China and Hong Kong takes 10–20 days to arrive at customers doorstep from the moment the seller receives the order. During pandemic, it takes longer. Depending on the destination of the package, customs, holidays, and other delays, shipping times can vary.
To be faire, the shipment period is quite impressive if you consider the challenges and the number of stops that a parcel may encounter during the entire process, such as holidays, shipment delays, carrier handling time, transportation, traffic, custom check etc. The great thing is that the technology nowadays permits our merchants and customers monitor and and act based on the information we automatically receive from tracking page.
How do I get ePacket service when dropshipping?
If you place an order on AliExpress or through Ali Dropship plugin, make sure to check order details. Locate logistic information, usually at left side of the order detail page, find shipping method under international shipping company, it should display ‘ePacket ‘ with a valid tracking number.
If you order through other websites or marketplaces, make sure to communicate with the seller. A simple tip to verify if you do get ePacket service is to check the initial letter of the provided tracking number, it usually starts with ‘L’.
Any duties or taxes to pay when using ePacket?
This express shipping, nevertheless, goes through conventional custom clearance process. In some cases, customers or the merchants who will receive the package are required to pay certain duties or taxes depending on the tax regulations of each destination countries. However, in most cases, even when your package stagnates at custom and you get a panicking message, such as ‘pendant at custom clearance’. Don’t worry, contact the ground delivery company, they will have in-house or third party custom clearance agency to help you go through all paperwork’s and get your product cleared. You just have to pay the required duties online or at a specific place nearby.
How does ePacket work on AliExpress?
AliExpress is one of the most popular commercial B2C platform where you can avail products at discounted factory prices. There are mainly two types of ePacket options available on the platform where you will find a seller offering ePacket service. You need to download the official application of AliExpress then manually check out the delivery option of the seller.
For Dropshippers who trade on conventional dropshipping business model, shipping time obviously is a determining factor for customer satisfaction. Therefore, a reasonable fulfillment timeframe is essential to win your customers hearts and retain them. Let your customer stay in control of their own orders is a great assurance and proven formula to many successful Dropshippers.
In recent years, ePacket is offered as an inexpensive option of shipping methods, this allows Dropshippers to provide free shipping option and still be able to maintain a reasonable profit margin while empowering customers with order tracking.
Merchants are able to send 4.4 LBS product within a few days, checkout the vital information offered through ePacket shipping services. We took the example of ordering goods from China to USA.
How to use ePacket at Shoplazza powered stores?
The ePacket service is ideal for merchants who sell and ship lower or medium valued items at smaller quantities to local or international customers, if you try to save costs and time. Some of Shoplazza fulfillment partners also provide ePackets services, but you need to communicate and opt for this service with your seller or supplier who are based in China or Hong Kong.
Afterall, we all face emerging challenges in cross-border business. Finding a reliable and cost efficient way to get your goods to the end users is essential. Let us know how your experiences with ePacket.
Which countries have ePacket shipping available?
As of April 2020, 44 countries support ePacket deliveries:
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
Stay tuned with SHOPLAZZA blog!