Using E-Packet Shipping For Your Shopify Dropshipping Business
If you’re doing any dropshipping with Shopify, you’ve likely heard of or even used e-packet shipping. It’s the only delivery method that will get your items from AliExpress coming from China to your customers in a fair amount of time with tracking information.
But what exactly is epacket?
E-Packet shipping is a delivery method based on a formal agreement between the United States Postal Service and the Hong Kong Post that allows packages from China and Hong Kong to to be sent with USPS First Class Mail + Delivery Confirmation for greatly reduced rates with expedited shipping times.
Before e-packet, there were very few (if any) good, affordable shipping options for small items from China to the USA. Excessive costs and 30+ day delivery times ruined any other method before e-packet came along.
This began as an exclusive relationship between China/Hong Kong and the United States, but as of February 2017, 30 other countries including Canada and Australia have expanded into e-packet shipping as well!
Now… there are some requirements for using e-packet.
– The maximum length of the package can only be 24” (60cm)
– The total length, height and thickness of the package cannot be more than 36” (90cm).
– The package cannot weigh more than 4.4 lbs (2 kg)
– 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.
What Countries Are Eligible For E-Packet Shipping?
30 countries use e-packet shipping as of February 1, 2017, and they are:
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong
- New Zealand
- United States
How Long Does It Take For E-Packet Deliveries To Arrive To Your Customers?
This really depends on a lot of factors like the final destination, custom delays, holidays, processing times, and shipping workload.
The USPS says 10-20 days on average. I’ve seen this number range from as low as 8 days to as high as 25 days depending on the time of year and speed of the supplier to process the order.
Once an epacket item is actually shipped, it’s pretty consistent to take about 3-4 days to leave China and 3-5 days to be delivered to your customer in the USA For the other 29 countries, it’s typically a few days longer.
How To Find E-Packet Tracking Information
The ability to have full tracking with e-packet is a huge advantage for sellers. Not only does it allow your customers to track their items, it gives you full delivery confirmation which is essential for dealing with returns, exchanges, chargebacks, and disputes.
Ems.com.cn (use the english version of the site) and USPS.com would be where you’d track the item. You’d know your shipment is an e-packet shipmentbecause it usually starts with the letter L. If there is no tracking number, than its not epacket!
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