There are many businesspeople in the world who travel to China to buy goods to resell in other countries. Thus, there is a growing need for secure and cost-effective transport options for these commodities.
To facilitate the export of Chinese goods, ePacket was launched. But if you’ve never used the service before, the way it’s delivered may appear strange and complicated.
Here, you’ll find all the information you need to determine whether or not ePacket is still the best shipping choice for your company, including how it operates, how much it costs, and any other relevant facts.
What Is ePacket?
Early Chinese online retailers relied on China EMS because it was one of the few convenient shipping options available. Shipping packages by sea was time-consuming and expensive, but it could transport packages anywhere in the world.
Since then, ePacket has emerged as an alternative to China EMS packages. The agreement between the Hong Kong Post and the USPS led to its establishment (USPS).
In brief, the agreement specifies that parcels originating in China and Hong Kong will be shipped to the United States, and that final mile delivery will be handled by the United States Postal Service. (We elaborate on this point further below.)
At first, only China and Hong Kong were included in this deal with the USPS. It’s important to note that postal systems in other nations have also formed agreements.
Since packages are flown to their destinations, this method is typically more rapid. In addition, packages can be tracked from the moment they leave the warehouse all the way until they are delivered to the consumer.
The term “ePacket” originally referred to electronic transactions. This is because Chinese parcel exports are dominated by online retailers.
However, it’s important to note that ePacket has strict limits on package dimensions, weights, and values. Therefore, this may not be the greatest delivery option if you frequently make large purchases from websites like Alibaba.
How Does ePacket Work?
The ePacket delivery system is one of a kind since it utilizes a network of couriers that coordinate their efforts to deliver packages to their intended recipients.
Here’s how it operates:
The order is received and packaged by the retailer/dropship supplier.
They turn it over to the China Post or Hong Kong Post for delivery.
The package is handed off to an international airline by the China/Hong Kong Postal Service.
Once the package reaches the customer’s country, it is processed by local customs and handed over to the local postal agency, which may be the United States Postal Service (USPS).
After an order is placed, the parcel is delivered to the recipient using the country’s standard postal service.
ePacket Shipping Requirements
The requirements for ePacket shipment are quite specific. Among them are:
ePacket packages are weighed upon receipt, and any shipment weighing more than 2 kilograms will be refused (4.4lbs). There is a higher limit of 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) per box for ePacket shipments to Israel.
Make sure your dropshipper’s branded packaging is lightweight if you require it.
There are strict size requirements for ePackets, both in terms of minimum and maximum.
To send an ePacket, a package must meet these minimal requirements:
If you want a boxy packaging, then:
Size restriction: 14cm
Minimum width of 11cm
A rolled bundle consists of:
Length Requirement: 11cm
The length of the roll plus its double diameter must be longer than 17 cm.
However, there are restrictions on how large something can be:
In the case of a standard delivery:
Size limit is 60cm
The sum of its dimensions (length + breadth + height) must not be more than 90cm.
A rolled bundle consists of:
In terms of length, 90 centimeters is the absolute maximum.
The sum of the roll’s length and double its diameter must be less than 104 centimeters.
From China and Hong Kong, ePacket shipments shouldn’t exceed $400 in value.
What Destinations Does ePacket Shipping Cover?
In 2011, USPS and the Hong Kong Postal Service formed a partnership to offer ePacket service. ePacket was initially designed for domestic US shipments exclusively.
As of the year 2022, a number of more postal services, including the Royal Mail and Canada Post, have signed on to the ePacket system.
Find out which nations can use ePacket right now by reading this list.
Kingdom of Great Britain
Hungarian Hong Kong
A New Zealand
Defined as the South Korean peninsula,
States of America
Currently, e-packet delivery in Spain is only available in select cities.
Thailand; it works, but it’s still in the testing phase.
Vietnam: it works but is currently in testing stages
How Long Does ePacket Shipping Take?
The average ePacket delivery time is less than 30 days. The delivery schedule is dependent on the final destination and, in some cases, local customs clearance procedures.
The Chinese New Year and the end-of-year dropshipping rush are just two examples of the kinds of events that might create significant delays in delivery times.
It usually takes about 20 days for packages to reach their destination in the USA. They were the pioneers in ePacket shipping, therefore they had a good start in simplifying the service. The delivery times in these nations may be much longer than in the United States because of the widespread adoption of this practice.
ePacket Tracking: How to Use ePacket Tracking Provisions
It is crucial to have shipment tracking capabilities in e-commerce, and in the dropshipping business model in particular, because:
Allows you to track how your dropshipping partners are handling customer orders.
Allows clients to check on the whereabouts of their packages and allay any fears they may have about your online store being a scam.
ePacket packages may, thankfully, be tracked at any point in the delivery process.
Tracking Using Postal Service Websites
Your order will be assigned a tracking number after your dropship provider transfers it to the Chinese or Hong Kong-based delivery service. The two of you can then pass the information along to the customer.
Enter the tracking number on China Post’s website to monitor the shipment’s progress. When your parcel has been transferred to a local postal service such as USPS, you will be able to track its progress online.
If you want to see where your package is, after it’s been handed off, you can use the website of a local courier service. This could provide you with more timely input.
Tracking Using Oberlo
If you use Oberlo to keep track of your orders from websites like AliExpress, the app may also be used to locate your tracking information.
Opening the Oberlo app
To view your current orders, select the corresponding tab.
Each completed order will include a tracking number.
For those who have upgraded to a paid plan on Oberlo, such as the Boss plan, clicking In the order will take you to a page where you may monitor its progress.
Tracking Via Third-Party Tracking Apps
Tracking packages sent via ePacket is a breeze with the help of third-party apps and systems like 17Track. To check on the delivery’s progress, all you need to do is enter the tracking number into the app.
The advantage is that you only need to download one app to monitor your shipment from the time it leaves the warehouse until it arrives at its destination.
How Much Does ePacket Shipping Cost?
Size and location are two factors that determine how much it will cost to mail a product with ePacket. However, the prices are typically under $10.
Some vendors on online marketplaces like AliExpress even throw in free shipping if you choose ePacket shipping. Since the vast majority of your potential buyers value free delivery, this is great news for you as a dropshipper.
Customs and ePacket Shipping
Import charges and other forms of taxation are commonplace in the customs clearing operations of most countries. Customs charges are different from country to country and from product to product.
As soon as an ePacket arrives, it is forwarded to the country’s standard mail carrier after passing through customs. After customs and other clearance procedures, any additional costs, such as tariffs and taxes, will be the responsibility of the client.
Customers should be made aware that they may be responsible for such charges when their shipment is delivered. You can mention this in both your shipping policy and your price ps for your dropshipping business.
How Does ePacket Compare to Other Methods of Shipping?
E-commerce sites relied on ePacket as their primary payment processor for a while. Other delivery options, such as YunExpress and Yanwen, have developed and grown in popularity, nevertheless.
You may be wondering how ePacket shipping stacks up versus the other available choices. So, let’s take a quick look at the advantages of these alternate delivery methods over ePacket.
The YunExpress shipping process consists of three phases.
The YunExpress platform is used by suppliers to send packages.
YunExpress uses a major airline to transport them.
YunExpress agents manage all customs formalities upon arrival.
When the package reaches the country’s final destination, it is given to a local courier.
In the United States and Europe, YunExpress packages typically arrive between seven to fifteen days. International orders usually arrive within a month.
YunExpress has more than only national postal partners, in contrast to ePacket. It commonly employs FedEx for final mile deliveries in regions such as the United States and Europe. You may check the status of your shipment at any time on the website.
There are cases where this provision can improve delivery reliability, especially in countries with inefficient public postal services. On top of that, private couriers can occasionally reach more areas than regular mail carriers.
In addition, YunExpress provides services like Duty Delivery Paid. In contrast to ePacket, clients will not have to pay any additional import levy taxes upon delivery.
YunExpress may have more total coverage in the future, however for the time being, ePacket has broader international reach. A higher price tag is possible. However, in the end, it may come down to selecting the choice that provides you with the greatest value and dependability.
Yanwen is a formidable competitor to ePacket. There are over 200 countries and regions it ships to, as well as over 50 cities in China. However, it also collaborates with local courier services in those nations to ensure timely and accurate final-mile delivery.
This shipping system gives retailers the ability to select between standard and express shipment methods. The turnaround time for the latter is typically a week shorter than the former.
When contrast to ePacket, the various shipping alternatives provide greater leeway in terms of weight constraints.
When delivering to the United States and Canada, Yanwen estimates a delivery time of two to three weeks. Depending on the country, international shipments can take anywhere from 15 to 30 business days to arrive. Each package will be assigned a tracking number that may be used to monitor its progress.
Advantages and Disadvantages of ePacket
With our understanding of ePacket clearer, we can evaluate its benefits and drawbacks.
Competitive pricing; ePacket’s $10 flat rate for international delivery was unrivaled. It was still a steal, even after the added cost of customs. However, with the increase in transportation costs brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, this benefit is now mostly null and void.
Delivery confirmation is a useful feature for both you as a dropshipper and your customers.
Reduced risk of financial loss for both sellers and purchasers thanks to ePacket’s free return shipping on undeliverable packages.
Customers are more likely to quit a shopping cart if they are confronted with unexpected costs, such as those associated with customs clearance. Therefore, most purchasers may be put off by the need to pay customs taxes upon delivery.
As a result of its size and weight restrictions, ePacket can only be used to ship small, lightweight items. Because of this, you can’t dropship anything that weighs more than 2 kg when bundled.
Posal services in some nations are not as efficient as those in others, causing delays in deliveries. When compared to private courier services, this can cause ePacket delivery delays.
Before, ePacket was crucial in facilitating China’s e-commerce interactions with the rest of the globe. It’s astonishing how many places it can take you for how little money.
However, in 2022, rivals such as Yanwen and YunExpress have already surpassed ePacket in terms of shipping time consistency and cost-effectiveness.
Compared to ePacket, they have some advantages that are special to themselves. All the more so if you need wiggle room with your shipment dates, locations, and maximum loads.