What is ePacket shipping?
ePacket is a shipping option offered by merchants in China and Hong Kong. It allows these merchants to provide a fast and affordable shipping option for light packages.
In 2011, the United States Postal Service formally announced the new shipping service and agreement with Hongkong Post and eBay China, allowing packages from China and Hong Kong to receive USPS First Class Mail Service along with a delivery confirmation service.
As the name (“e”Packet) implies, the shipping service was designed for ecommerce, to make it more affordable and quicker for consumers to receive their purchases from online stores and marketplaces that shipped out from China and Hong Kong.
In the past, China EMS was the only affordable and reasonable option to ship consumer products overseas to customers. However, it would often take over a month or longer for customers to receive their purchase. Other quicker options were too expensive, especially for small inexpensive products.
ePacket delivery began as a quick and affordable shipping solution from China and Hong Kong to the United States. Over the years, ePacket has expanded into 30 other countries such as Canada and Australia.
Lastly, ePacket delivery gives customers end-to-end tracking at no additional cost, allowing them to easily monitor and locate their package on official websites such as EMS and USPS. Any undeliverable mail is returned for free as well, which means merchants will have no issues refunding customers that never receive their purchase.
You will often see ePacket offered as a shipping option by merchants from China. Any merchant in China and Hong Kong can offer ePacket shipping if the package meets the requirements for an ePacket delivery.
What are the requirements to use ePacket delivery?
According to the United States Postal Service, there are some requirements when it comes to the package or parcel being sent with ePacket. The maximum length of the package can only be 24” (60cm) and the total length, height and thickness of the package cannot be more than 36” (90cm).
source: Japan Post
Additionally, the package cannot weigh more than 4.4 lbs (2 kg) to qualify for ePacket delivery and the merchandise being shipped cannot exceed $400 in value.
The package also must be shipped from either China or Hong Kong to one of the 30 eligible countries.
Which countries have ePacket shipping available?
As of February 2017, 30 countries support ePacket deliveries.
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United States
How long does it take for ePacket shipping to arrive in my home country?
Depending on the destination of the package, customs delays, holidays, and other delays, shipping times can vary. However, ePacket shipping seems to be a much more consistent option in terms of average shipping times, compared to other economical shipping options out of China and Hong Kong.
On average to the United States, a package can take 10-20 days to arrive from date of shipment. Other countries may see a similar or slightly longer average shipping times. Around half the time is spent reaching the destination, while the other half is spent being routed to the proper facilities before making it to the customer in the destination country.
It’s important to consider that this is pretty fast considering the amount of packages that are processed in bulk every day along the way to the destination, as well as the amount of stops processing one package goes through.
Fortunately, all of this can be easily monitored thanks to the tracking service included with ePacket deliveries, giving customers peace of mind while their package is trying to reach them.
How do I track an ePacket delivery?
There are a few ways to track your ePacket delivery.
Alternatively, you can use third party tracking services if you’re having a difficult time using the official websites:
If you purchased your product at Ashante Stores, viewing the Order Details will usually show you the status of the package.
How do I know if my shipment will be delivered in due time across Africa, the Middle East or the Caribbean?
If you’re in Africa, the Middle East or the Caribbean and ordering through Ashante Stores, we shall email you within 48 hours and send you details when your order will arrive. Our website is fitted with an intelligent automated software which will determine an ideal air carrier or LCL shipment based on your address, size and weight of your order. We consolidate your shipment in our warehouses in China. and will keep your products upon your request for 90 days FREE of charge. Consolidating your products simply means that we shall group your products into one shipment to enable receipt at one time. The product SKU is necessary for tracking your order online. When looking under Logistics Information, the shipping method used will be under International Shipping Company. It should show your tracking number. We have a partnership with a reliable order fulfillment company who will deliver your orders anywhere in the world and swiftly.
You can also determine how the package was shipped by looking at the tracking number. ePacket tracking numbers usually start with “L”. If there is no tracking number, it’s likely the package was not shipped using ePacket.
Will buyers have to pay customs/duties/taxes with ePacket shipping?
Most light packages DO NOT attract customs duties when shipped with the likes of EMS, DHL, UPS or FEDEX. This is due to an arrangement that these global giants have with many countries across Europe, Africa, North & South America and the Caribbean.
ePacket deliveries go through traditional customs clearances which may require customers to pay any applicable duties and taxes on arrival. It’s also best to check with your local Customs office to determine whether you are required to pay duties/taxes on imported purchases and for what kinds of items.
In most cases, our suppliers are able to facilitate us with information from experience regarding duties or taxes required on their products to certain countries. They might have some experience shipping to your country already and have a better idea of whether or not duties/taxes will be owed on arrival.