Everything You Need to Know About ePacket Shipping: ePacket Delivery Explained
More businesses from all over the world are moving online, and more and more customers are making purchases from stores outside their country.
As a prebuilt Shopify store owner, you should stay up to date on the changing competitive landscape. And one aspect of business that is constantly changing is shipping.
ePacket shipping has made buying products from China a lot easier. To maintain a competitive advantage over merchants in China, it’s important to understand what ePacket shipping is and why it has become a popular shipping method from China and Hong Kong.
If you’re using Oberlo or Aliexpress to source and dropship products to customers, this article will be even more beneficial to you. We'll explain how ePacket shipping works, as well as answer the common questions regarding ePacket delivery.
What is ePacket shipping and tracking?
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.
In 2011, the United States Postal Service formally announced the 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 e-commerce, 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 for Chinese merchants and merchants selling from Hong Kong to ship to the United States. Over the years, ePacket has expanded into 35 other countries such as Canada and Australia.
Which countries have ePacket shipping available?
As of February last year, 35 countries support ePacket deliveries:
How long does it take for ePacket shipping to arrive in X?
Depending on the destination of the package, customs, 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 the date of shipment. Other countries may see similar or slightly longer average shipping time. 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 number of packages that are processed in bulk every day along the way to the destination, as well as the number of stops 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 know if my shipment is an ePacket delivery?
If you’re ordering through AliExpress, look under Orders and click View Detail. When looking under Logistics Information, the shipping method used will be under the International Shipping Company. It should have “ePacket” along with the tracking number if the package was indeed shipped using ePacket.
If you’re not purchasing on AliExpress, 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.
What does this ultimately mean for me if I use AliExpress to dropship?
ePacket shipping should be one of the main factors, if not the most important factor when deciding which products to dropship from AliExpress. ePacket shipping allows your customers to receive their purchase in a reasonable timeframe while allowing them to track their order while they wait.
It’s also the most consistent option for merchants and customers. Other shipping options may not be as reliable unless you consider more expensive shipping options from China and Hong Kong.
Lastly, ePacket is generally offered as a free or inexpensive shipping option, this allows you as a prebuilt dropshipping store owner to offer FREE shipping.
Ultimately, what's the benefit of the ePacket service?
If you ship locally, your competitive advantage will always be the speed of delivery. There are customers who will not tolerate a few weeks delivery time for the product to arrive. These are your customers.
Remember that competition is always changing.
It’s important to maintain perspective on why customers choose you and figure out what your customers really want. Once you know that, you will be better equipped to serve your customers better than competitors can.