ePacket delivery is one of the most popular shipping methods. It is offered by merchants from China and Hong Kong and is one of the fastest delivery methods that allows you to ship internationally. You can use China Post to monitor your ePacket tracking numbers for your customers.
Formerly, products purchased from China were shipped by sea. This meant delivery could take 8+ weeks. This also meant that your customers had to wait longer to receive their products. Or, you’d have to purchase the product at a higher price from a US based supplier which can eat into your profit margins.
Fortunately, ePacket tracking shows that most orders come within 30 days. When you check your ePacket tracking data, it’s likely that you’ll notice many packages arrive sooner. There are several considerations to make regarding using ePacket delivery. For example: ePacket regulations, the location of your customer base, and how to track ePacket deliveries. This guide will cover these topics and more.
What Is ePacket Delivery?
ePacket delivery is a shipping option offered by merchants in China and Hong Kong. It is an agreement between the US Postal Service (USPS) and Hong Kong Post. The goal is to increase international ecommerce sales for China. It allows for faster ePacket delivery of products coming from China and Hong Kong to a number of different countries. Merchants can send small packages weighing up to 2 kg (4.4 lbs).
The value of the package also needs to be less than $400.
What Are the Requirements to Use ePacket Delivery Method?
Based on the information provided by USPS, there are some requirements that need to be met when it comes to the package or parcel being sent using ePacket delivery. Most of these requirements have to do with the weight and dimensions of the product.
The weight of the package being shipped cannot exceed 2 kg (4.4l bs). This weight includes the weight of the product, the filler material, the shipping box and any other packaging material. The only exception to this weight rule is for Israel, where the packages can weigh up to 3 kg (6.6 lbs).
The value of any product being shipped, cannot be more than $400 (US Dollars), and must be shipped from China or Hong Kong to one of the countries that is eligible for ePacket delivery.
Minimum Package Size
A regular packet should not have a length less than 14 cm and width less than 11 cm.
A packet that is rolled up should have a minimum length of 11 cm. Additionally, twice the diameter plus the length should be more than 17 cm. If your packages are smaller than this, it’s not usually an issue as you 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. 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.
What Are the Benefits of Using ePacket?
As the name “ePacket” suggests, the shipping service was formed for ecommerce purposes, in order to make it faster and more affordable for customers to receive their purchases from online stores and marketplaces that shipped from China and Hong Kong.
ePacket became so successful within the US that they began expanding internationally. The list of countries that have access to ePacket is constantly growing. Let’s go through the advantages of using ePacket delivery:
- Faster: Standard methods of shipping from China to other parts of the world usually take months. But, with ePacket delivery you get much faster delivery times. Of course, you’re still no match in comparison to Amazon’s delivery times, but you can expect your delivery to reach your customer in the span of 10-20 days.
- Cheaper: ePacket offers cheaper delivery options so you can use this to your advantage. With cheaper delivery options you’ll be able to price your products competitively.
- Door-to-door China ePacket tracking: The ePacket delivery provides customers the option of end-to-end tracking, without paying any additional costs. This is a huge benefit for them to be able to monitor the location of the package. The ePacket can easily be tracked on official websites such as EMS and USPS.
- Free returns on any undeliverable items: Another benefit to the customers is the sense of security they get knowing that any undeliverable item is returned, without any additional expense. This in turn, improves the customer-merchant relationship, as the online merchants will be able to provide refunds on any packages that were not successfully delivered to customers.
- Payment of postal customs: Any customs, duties, and/or taxes must be paid by the recipient of the shipment. As the ePacket delivery goes through regular custom clearance, customers might be required to pay any applicable taxes and duties.
Prior to the introduction of ePacket, the China EMS was the alternative that was relied on for affordable delivery of customer products. The downside of this however was that it would often take more than a month for the customers to receive their orders. Any other alternative option available was far too expensive, especially considering the price of the product.
Keep in mind that it’s not possible to offer free shipping on all products. If the package is under 24″ x 36″ and less than 2kg, it qualifies for ePacket shipping. Notably, this type of ePacket delivery method must be shipped from either China or Hong Kong. Thus, if certain dropshipping vendors have products shipping within the US, customers cannot benefit from ePacket shipping in that specific case.
Which Countries Have ePacket Shipping?
There is a growing list of countries that are able to benefit from the affordable China Post’s ePacket service. Updated: December 2017.
- Hong Kong
- Indonesia (currently in a trial run)
- Kazakhstan (currently in a trial run)
- New Zealand
- Saudi Arabia
- United Kingdom**
- United States***
- Vietnam (currently in a trial run)
* France: Packages can be shipped to mainland France with zip codes that start with 01 to 95. The packages cannot currently be shipped to overseas territories, including Corsica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Reunion, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Mayotte.
** United Kingdom: Packages can be shipped to mainland UK as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
*** United States: Packages can be shipped to all states, territories and military addresses within the United States.
Average ePacket Shipping Times
Brazil: 20 to 30 business days
Mexico: 20 business days
Vietnam: 5-7 business days
Russia, Ukraine and Saudi Arabia: 7-15 business days
All other supported countries: 7-10 business days
ePacket Tracking – How to Track ePacket Delivery from China
One of the greatest perks of using China post’s ePacket shipping service is the ePacket tracking facility. It may be a bit tricky to keep track of all your parcels, especially when shipping a large amount at once. Customs, foreign postal services, and other barriers might hinder the tracking of any single item, let alone a large number. The tracking information can be very valuable to the customers so that they can know the location of their delivery. This also helps prevent any customer concerns regarding scams, if say, their package is not delivered within the given time frame.
It is important to learn how to track the ePacket. ePacket shipping also features ePacket tracking and delivery confirmation in the US Postal Service network.
You can find a tracking code by going to Oberlo > My Orders, and you’ll see the tracking code next to all of your fulfilled orders.
If you’re subscribed to the ‘Basic’ or ‘Pro’ Oberlo plan, you’ll be able to click on the product and you’ll see the shipment status instantly. This is what you’ll see when you click on the product:
However, if you’re subscribed to Oberlo’s ‘Starter’ plan, you’ll need to track your order manually using an external website — we recommend using 17track.net.
ePacket and Dropshipping
When it comes to dropshipping, most products are manufactured in China or Hong Kong. Naturally, many suppliers are also based in this part of the world.
The ePacket China post is one of the reasons why dropshipping products are relatively inexpensive to source. Many have asked themselves, “why buy a cheap product if shipping fees are high and wait times are long?”. A lot of times online shoppers are lured into products due to their affordable price, but once they’re about to checkout they are greeted with high shipping charges, or a long shipping period which might make many reconsider their purchase.
ePacket delivery drastically cuts down the shipping time for dropshipping orders. This allows your customers to get faster delivery, which maintains your business’ positive relationship with them. Increased customer satisfaction means that you have a higher chance for future orders, as well as higher profits from lower shipping costs. Due to the increased efficiency in delivery times, a customer in the U.S. might also be more willing to do business with a China or Hong Kong based supplier, which increases the likelihood of potential business.
With the undeniable benefits that ePacket shipping has for your dropshipping business, it should be one of the main considerations for you when deciding which products to dropship. Not only will you benefit by lowering the costs, but you will also be able to keep your customers happy with a reasonable delivery time. ePacket is offered as a free or inexpensive shipping option. It’s a very reliable option for both merchants and customers, as any other shipping options may not be as reliable, or way out of budget. If the majority of your customers are based locally, you will have the speed of delivery to use as an advantage. Reliable and timely delivery is a very important factor when starting a dropshipping business, which cannot be overlooked if you aim to gain the trust of your customers.
The ePacket delivery is offered by merchants as a shipping option from China on websites such as eBay, AliExpress, and Oberlo. However, the ePacket shipment is not limited to just the aforementioned. If a package that is being shipped meets the requirements for an ePacket delivery, it can also be shipped with China Post’s ePacket service. A product delivered with ePacket shipping is typically delivered within 7-30 days. The delivery method to the US is typically faster than other countries around the world. This is likely due to high order volumes from the US due to the size of their population allowing for more frequent trips. Yet, compared to standard ePacket China Post deliveries (sometimes up to 60 days), countries around the world receive their packages much faster when using ePacket shipping.
Pro Tip: Using Oberlo, you can quickly find products that have an ePacket delivery option available using an overlay filter:
People want instant gratification, so reducing shipping times will help you to make more sales. A core reason why Amazon has dominated other retailers is the ease of purchasing a product and low shipping times. Fortunately, you can still meet the needs of your customers with ePacket tracking and delivery. Thus, customers will still receive products quickly but at a fraction of the cost of an American made product.
The lower your shipping time and costs, the more likely customers are to buy from you. Your business will also have higher the margins from low business costs. Luckily, even if you have to pay for ePacket delivery, with the right product price, your business can easily absorb the cost of using ePacket China post tracking and delivery. Fortunately, most ePacket deliveries are either free or only a couple of dollars.
In addition, using ePacket tracking and delivery changes the game for ecommerce entrepreneurs who want to buy products from Chinese suppliers at a low cost, while maintaining quick shipping times for their customers.
Customs with ePacket Shipping
Customers may have to pay for customs or taxes on their products. This isn’t an ePacket shipping issue but an international shipping one. The ePacket delivery goes through regular custom clearances, which is the reason why the customers might require to pay any applicable taxes and duties. For best-selling items, you may want to contact your suppliers to find out about customs fees.
Additionally, it may also be beneficial to ask the shipping merchant if they are aware of any duties or taxes owed on arrival to the destination. They might have an idea beforehand of the regular shipping taxes/duties that may incur.
Notably, products with ePacket to Canada, or other international countries, may have slightly higher shipping fees and lengthier delivery times. Often, free ePacket shipping is only for the US. You need to look up the countries you serve manually to ensure that ePacket tracking and delivery is available internationally. Hence, if you always target the same countries, you might want to check if they have ePacket before importing them into your store. This helps to ensure that every customer who can benefits from the ePacket China post delivery option.
You now have a strong understanding of ePacket — congratulations! Now, you’re ready to incorporate this delivery option onto your ecommerce store. Doing so is likely improve customer satisfaction and boost your conversation rates. For more tips and tricks for improving your dropshipping process, feel free to have a look around our blog.
ePacket Shipping in 2019
With the United States announcing plans to exit the Universal Postal Union (UPU) treaty, there are some questions about how this will impact ePacket shipping and delivery.
Even though the official withdrawal cannot happen for at least one year – which would mean Q4 of 2019 at the earliest – you might wonder about the impact on businesses that are relying on ePacket delivery to mail small packages to the US at cheap rates.
So, what does this mean for dropshipping and ePacket delivery? It’s not 100% clear yet. The US says it will try to negotiate better rates. These new rates might make shipping products from China to the US more expensive, but again, it’s impossible to tell for sure at this point.
We know how important shipping costs and regulation are for dropshippers. We will continue to monitor the situation as more information becomes available. In the meantime, we encourage Oberlo users to prepare for possible increases in shipping costs on Chinese products by exploring US-based suppliers.
Want to learn more?
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- Case Study: International Dropshipping Vs. Dropshipping in the USA
- Dropship international
How do you plan to use ePacket China post delivery in your dropshipping business? Leave your answer in the comments below, as we read every response.