The Ultimate Guide to ePacket Shipping

There was a time when visiting brick and mortar stores was the only way for persons to get the goods they needed...

Adam Eleiko
Adam Eleiko
Published
Share:

The Ultimate Guide to ePacket Shipping

epacket shipping

There was a time when visiting brick and mortar stores was the only way for persons to get the goods they needed. Over the years, however, we have seen a rise in the number of businesses that are incorporating e-commerce into their commercial model. Some of them are even entirely based online. According to Shopify, more than 2 billion people will have sourced goods and services online by 2021. Between 2020 and 2023, the revenue earned on a global scale would have moved from $4.2 trillion to $6.5 trillion.

With the number of e-commerce businesses growing, the market has become very competitive. In fact, there is even the concern that certain markets may even be saturated. This is why it’s essential for business owners to look for ways to stand out in their current markets and expand into other markets when they can. One of the ways you can do this is to focus on adding other delivery options to your business.

This article will focus on a certain type of delivery that is known as ePacket shipping or ePacket delivery. By using this option, you can expand your supply chain past your store’s physical limitations. When done right, you’ll be able to reach more customers than before and possibly dip into a market that’s less saturated than the one you’re currently occupying.

If you’re looking into ePacket shipping as a way to expand your business, then there’s a lot you need to know. When you read this comprehensive article, you’ll learn more about this type of shipping and how it can help to grow your business.

How to Define ePacket Shipping

epacket countries

ePacket shipping comes into play when persons source products from China and Hong Kong with the intention to have them delivered elsewhere in the world. As the name would suggest, it’s a service that’s reserved strictly for e-commerce transactions. That means anyone who is ordering products from an online store.

Before the creation of ePacket delivery in 2011, persons who ordered products online from China or Hong Kong had two options. They could pay for fast, expensive shipping or wait a long time for the more affordable delivery by the Chinese Express Mail Service. This made the prospect of running an e-commerce business less attractive.

Fortunately, the United States Postal Service stepped up ad reached agreements with postal services in China and Hong Kong. Through this agreement, persons ordering from these countries get subsidized access to faster delivery services. While this was mostly used by individuals in the earlier years, more businesses are taking advantage of it.

usa and china handshake

With ePacket shipping, you can grow the e-commerce segment of your business by sourcing goods online for your customers and delivering them wherever they’re needed. Using this delivery option may also grow your customer base significantly as you wouldn’t be limited to serving the persons closest to you.

Before you get started with that side of your business, however, let’s look at the ePacket shipping service more closely.

What to Consider When Choosing ePacket Shipping

As with any other addition to your business model, it’s best to assess your ePacket shipping options thoroughly before making your move. This would include making note of all the pros and cons that come with the practice. In this section, we’ll look at some of the good and not-so-good elements associated with this form of delivery. Once you have all the information that’s relevant to your business, you’ll know how to move forward.

Pros of ePacket Shipping

epacket countries woman recieving package
  • Faster Delivery – ePacket shipping offers a faster delivery time than traditional postal shipping options. Before this service was available, deliveries often took months. If you utilize ePacket shipping you have the advantage of getting your products to the customers much faster.
  • More Affordable Rates – As mentioned before, shipping fees are subsidized when you use ePacket shipping for delivery. That means you can get products to your customers at lower rates and have lower prices overall. This would make your business more competitive in the e-commerce market.
  • Comprehensive Product Tracking – While your customer waits for the product to be delivered to their address of choice, ePacket shipping offers complete transparency. With a unique tracking number, everyone in the supply chain can locate the package at any point in time and estimate a delivery date.
  • Free Returns and Refunds – This can be an important selling point for your customers. If a package was not delivered, they are entitled to a refund. In many cases, there are also approved dispute or complaint routes for customers who are not satisfied with their order.
  • It’s supported by Popular Dropshipping Companies – There are a number of dropshipping sites like AliExpress and Oberlo that have a system in place to support ePacket shipping. This works out great for you because you have options when researching potential suppliers. Better yet, in some cases, you can filter out products that aren’t available with ePacket shipping so you don’t have to worry about advertising a product in error.

Cons of ePacket Shipping

  • Package Limitations – To use ePacket shipping, you will need to comply with the regulations that are in place. These will be discussed in the next section, but simply put, it means that not all products can be sent using this method.
  • Destination Restrictions – Similarly, not all countries are open to this type of delivery. While the list continues to grow, it still means you won’t be able to provide a service to customers in every single country.
  • Sourcing Restrictions – Since the origin of ePacket shipping comes from an agreement with the US, China, and Hong Kong postal services, it shouldn’t surprise you that you can only source products from China and Hong Kong. Depending on what your customers are interested in, that could put a significant limit on your product options.
  • Possible Custom Duties for Customers – With this type of shipping, your customers may have to pay set fees with certain items. This will be discussed in detail further in the article but it’s worth noting here.
epacket countries tariff

Important Requirements and Regulations

Even ePacket shipping is open to many business owners, there are still rules that need to be followed. If you’re going to offer this type of delivery option to your customers, it’s essential that you get things right. The last thing you want is poor customer service reviews for your new service. That means you need to know everything about ePacket shipping requirements and be compliant at all times.

Main Requirements for ePacket Shipping

Generally, the requirements that qualify a business owner to use ePacket shipping are set by the US Postal Service. The standard deals with areas like the size and weight of the packages. The price or value of the packet is also important.

Minimum and Maximum Packet Dimensions Allowed

The size of a package is determined by its measured dimensions. At the minimum, a regular or flat package should be 14cm long and 11 cm wide. Packages that are rolled should be at least 11 cm long. When you double the diameter of the package and add the length, you should get at least 17 cm.

epacket size

When it comes to the maximum measurements, the longest side of regular or flat packages must not be more than 60 cm. If you add up the figures for the length, width, and height, you shouldn’t get more than 90 cm. For rolled up packages, their longest side is limited to 90 cm. If you add the length to twice the packages’ diameter, the figure shouldn’t be more than 104 cm.

For products that are too small to meet the minimum requirements, it’s customary to use fillers and larger boxes to meet the limit.

Weight Restrictions for ePacket Shipping

When determining a package’s weight, both the product and packaging materials are considered. The weight limit for most ePacket countries is 2kg or 4.4 lbs. Currently, the only exception is Israel, which allows packages up to 3kg or 6.6 lbs.

Value or Price Restrictions for ePacket Shipping

Any packages that are being delivered through ePacket shipping must not value more than US$400.

Countries That are Open for ePacket Shipping

While you can’t deliver to every corner of the globe, there are currently 44 ePacket countries that you can choose from. Of course, just because a country is on the list, it doesn’t mean that every kind of product can be delivered there via ePacket shipping. When shopping, make sure to confirm which countries are available for that particular product. The countries that support ePacket shipping are:

    1. Australia

    2. Austria

    3. Belgium

    4. Brazil

    5. Canada

    6. Croatia

    7. Denmark

    8. Estonia

    9. Finland

    10. France

    11. Germany

    12. Gibraltar

    13. Great Britain

    14. Greece

    15. Hong Kong

    16. Hungary

    17. Ireland

    18. Israel

    19. Italy

    20. Japan

    21. Latvia

    22. Lithuania

    23. Luxembourg

    24. Malaysia

    25. Malta

    26. Mexico

    27. Netherlands

    28. New Zealand

    29. Norway

    30. Poland

    31. Portugal

    32. Russia

    33. Saudi Arabia

    34. Singapore

    35. Spain

    36. South Korea

    37. Sweden

    38. Switzerland

    39. Thailand

    40. Turkey

    41. Ukraine

    42. United Kingdom

    43. United States

    44. Vietnam

Bear in mind that even though a country is on the list of those that support ePacket shipping, there may still be some limitations on deliveries within the countries or their respective territories. For example, while you can deliver to all states in the U.S., there are restrictions when it comes to France.

If you’re using ePacket shipping, you can only ship to areas in mainland France that have zip codes from 01 to 95. You also won’t be able to deliver to certain French territories such as Martinique, Corsica, and Guadeloupe, among others.

The aim is to have an increasingly global reach, though so the list is being continuously updated. It’s a good idea to keep checking for updates so you can inform your customers when more locations have become available.

Important Custom-Based Taxes or Fees

It’s essential to note that custom-based taxes and fees are not only associated with ePacket shipping. As long as packages are being shipped internationally, there could be fees attached. These fees are to facilitate the necessary steps that are involved in clearing packages that have come into the country.

While any applicable customs fees or taxes would need to be paid by the customer, it’s helpful to let them know when they might need to make those payments. The actual amount of money that could be owed depends on the package and the country so do your research. For example, some products will attract no fees when shipped to the U.S. On the other hand, countries like Canada may have higher fees than other countries.

If the product you’re interested in is popular, your supplier may already have an idea of what the fees or taxes are. It’s recommended that you ask them so you can be upfront with your customers as well. Similarly, it would be good to keep your own database of fees and taxes on hand so you can be informed.

You might be able to get the information from online sources or you could ask the persons you communicate with along the supply chain. As the number of e-commerce businesses on the market grows, it could be interesting to set yourself apart by providing this kind of useful information to your customers.

The Importance of Packet Tracking

epacket countries epacket tracking

Since you’re providing an online-based service, it’s imperative that you know how to keep track of the packets your customers have ordered. This information will guide you on how long it takes for the package to leave its source and get to your customer. It will also give you the opportunity to accurately update customers on the status of their packages.

When it comes to your customers’ orders, the more information you can provide the better it will be for you.

How to Track Your Packages When Using EPacket Shipping

Tracking has been mentioned several times throughout this article and it’s fairly easy to do when you use ePacket shipping. Once you place an order, a unique code will be generated that represents your purchase. You can use this number to check the status of your order until it’s ready to be shipped.

At the point of shipping, you should receive an official tracking number. With this number you can track your package using the different postal services. Generally, the number includes a reference to which postal service will be involved in delivering the package.

Even with this service, however, you might have trouble pinpointing the exact location of your product depending on where it is in the process. Postal service websites may only tell you that the package has left its country of origin, is on route or has reached its intended country.

Some ePacket-friendly websites like AliExpress have found a way to help customers with this issue. They usually provide more comprehensive information when it comes to where packages are. You might see additional information such as that the package has left the supplier’s warehouse, has been handed over the airline, is being cleared by customs or is on its way to its final destination.

If you’re not using a website that offers that kind of guidance, you may find third-party tracking platforms to be helpful. A few of the resources you can look into are PackageTrackr, Track-China Post, 17track and AfterShip. By using the tracking number you received when the package was shipped, you can use these platforms to get more detailed information on the status of your package.

The good thing about using websites or third-party platforms that offer detailed tracking is that you don’t have to keep checking the sites. They usually offer updates via email or text message. In some cases, you can use the information they provide to analyze trends in your purchase deliveries.

Persons who are just starting out with an e-commerce site like Shopify will also benefit from using third-party tracking platforms. Generally, they integrate well with these sites to provide added assurance to you and your customers. Before you get started, however, make sure you confirm which platforms work well together so the process can be seamless.

Average Worldwide Delivery Timelines

The time it takes for a package to reach its destination varies according to the country. In general, though, packages should reach their intended address within 20 business days. This of course, is based on the assumption that nothing has happened to delay the movements of any section of the postal services.

A customer’s delivery may face delays during busier times such as Christmas or local celebration period. If your package is being ordered during a public holiday, you can expect things to take a little longer as well. Should there be an emergency situation in the country of origin, it’s best to reach out to the supplier so you can know how to proceed.

epacket shipping usa

When it comes to the United States, packages should arrive between 10 – 20 business days. Other countries like Vietnam may receive a delivery as early as 7 business days after the order has been placed.

Customers in Mexico should get their delivery within 20 business days, while those in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Ukraine can expect deliveries between 7 and 15 business days. Currently, Brazil has the longest delivery time which is 30 business days.

To ensure your customers aren’t disappointed or frustrated by delivery times, it may be best to give a generous range. It would also be good to let your customers know that orders placed at a particular time of year might have a longer delivery time. Just in case, it’s a good idea to develop a back-up plan, especially when it comes to more affordable products.

If a package is taking much longer than expected to reach its destination, consider ordering another in its place. At all times, communication is the key to maintaining excellent relationships with your customers. Keep on top of tracking packages so that you are proactive in your approach. Even though the customer is able to track their packages online, as the supplier, you might be able to provide more in-depth information about why a package has been delayed.

Delivery Services That are Similar to EPacket Shipping

While ePacket shipping is popular, technically it’s not the only option. Since you’re investigating whether this type of shipping will work for your business, it makes sense to find out what other options exist. One example is eExpress, but shopping sites like AliExpress and Oberlo have their own options as well.

When checking out the alternatives, it’s vital to point out where they are similar and where there are differences. That information will help you come to a decision more easily. In this section we’ll look at how other delivery options stack up to ePacket shipping.

How Other Services May be Similar

  • The other options may offer similar delivery times, and affordable shipping fees for packages of set sizes. This may only be for certain countries, however.
  • In a few cases, you may be able to track the packages, though not always as comprehensively as with ePacket shipping. This would be problematic when you’re trying to update your customers.
  • You still have access to a number of countries for delivery. Depending on the type of service, the list of available countries might be larger or smaller. It’s important to do your research before adding different types of shipping options to your services.

How Other Services May be Different

  • Some of these delivery options are only used by a set company or website. For example, AliExpress has its own standard and express shipping options. In that case, you might not have as many options as you do with ePacket shipping.
  • Other delivery services have a much longer delivery time and so you wouldn’t be able to get products to your customers as quickly as you’d like. This is because they might not have the same agreement with the postal services as ePacket shipping does.
  • While certain delivery options may allow you to deliver larger packages, the shipping fees won’t be as affordable. This is especially true of eExpress, which has wider weight and dimension limits than ePacket shipping. Using this method would adversely affect your ability to provide products at a desirable price point. If the customer is willing to spend the money, however, eExpress might be a viable route for your business.

How Businesses Have Benefited from Using EPacket Shipping

epacket countries

When experts suggest business ideas for first-time entrepreneurs, e-commerce is usually high on the list. The same is true for businesses that are looking to expand or diversify in order to increase their sales. Easy delivery options like ePacket shipping is one of the reasons the online business idea continues to be considered profitable.

Whether you’re an established business owner or just starting out, this delivery service makes it easier for you to satisfy your customers’ needs. Many businesses are able to offer more affordable delivery options and products because they’re using ePacket shipping.

Additionally, having access to products from China and Hong Kong allows you to offer a wider range of products to your customers. Some items even have wholesale prices so it’s a great option if you’re getting significant traction from particular items. This could help to expand your customer base as buyers may be loyal to certain brands.

Another area that’s been appealing to business owners is private labeling. While it’s not for everybody, it’s certainly a great alternative for persons who want to sell products with their own brand. If you find a reputable company in China or Hong Kong, you can move from there. The same rules for ePacket shipping would still apply. The only difference is that you would just be focusing on your own line of products.

Conclusion

epacket shipping

This article has covered quite a lot of information so there’s no doubt that you’ll need time to take it all in. If you’re still not 100% sure how ePacket shipping will work for your business, make sure to do your research before you call it quits. Many business owners are using ePacket shipping successfully and so could you.

Remember too that starting something new can be daunting until you get used to it so take things slowly. Always double-check that you’re complying with all the important regulations and use helpful apps or third-party tracking platforms when possible. It’s better to move carefully and accurately so you don’t disappoint your customers. When customers feel they have been ‘burnt’ by a company, it’s very hard to get them to return.

Finally, while there are some limitations to what you can ship using ePacket delivery services, you still have quite a few options. The key might be focusing on the particular items that are available to you and expanding from there. Delivery options and products are constantly being improved so what presents as a limitation now might not be that way a few months from now.

Now, that you have the information you need, you can move forward with starting or expanding your business.

Dropshipping guide

Get the best tips & insider dropshipping secrets delivered straight to your email

Adam Eleiko
Adam Eleiko
Published
Share:

Latest Posts

Catch up with our dropshipping blog

Get top dropshipping articles

Delivered straight to your inbox