“Covid-19 killed ePacket International postage!”
That’s the truth, right!? The slow speed of ePacket got slower in March, April, May and June of 2020 and destroyed so many dropshipping businesses in the process. There are reports of packages sitting in China waiting to depart for over 2 months, leading to 3+ month delivery times. Let’s face it, even the most patient customers won’t stand for this. Here’s a live example from a shipment to Australia (still not delivered after 10 weeks!), but this was happening in all countries – USA, Canada, UK, all of Europe:
Okay, so Covid-19 caused havoc on these shipments, but let’s face it, ePacket has been doomed for years. You can’t use it during the busiest time of year, November/December, as shipping times increase to 5+ weeks in certain countries.
Add to that the increased cost of cross-border shipping via traditional post (including ePacket) since Donald Trump threatened to pull out of the Universal Postal Union (UPU), but relented at the last minute thanks to an agreement to increase terminal dues.
Terminal dues are the fees that a national postal service is charged to have packages delivered in another country. The US has increased its terminal dues from July 1, 2020 with a further increase due on 1 January 2021. The rest of the world will also follow suit in 2021.
This is bad news for sellers shipping from outside the country they are shipping to. ePacket rates across the globe are going to increase over the next 12 months, to the point where the slow and inconsistent shipping times are going to make ePacket obsolete.
So what are the alternatives?
You could store you products in the country that you sell to, in many cases this is the largest Ecommerce market in the world, the USA. This seems like a great idea and works well if you have a strong brand that’s already selling well, but it makes it difficult to test new products or sell small volumes of lots of different products. It goes against the dropshipping model. There’s also bulk shipping fees, duty, taxes and storage fees in the countries that you’re selling to.
You could find suppliers and wholesalers in the countries you want to sell in who will dropship products for you. This is a good idea as it provides fast shipping to local customers who expect it, however you’re normally paying a premium price for these products leaving not much for your marketing or profit margin.
Finally, there’s still a solution to dropshipping from China. There are several shipping methods that bypass the standard shipping routes altogether and import in to the country of choice quickly and efficiently with no tax or duty. These packages are delivered directly to your customers via fully tracked services, normally within 6 to 10 days delivery – reliable year around.
Here at Merlin Logistics, we have our own proprietary shipping methods that can get orders to your customers quickly in almost all countries around the globe. Let’s take the USA for example, our Merlin Express product can have orders in to your customer’s hands within 7 to 10 days, fully tracked. It also gives your customers the appearance that you’re shipping directly from the USA. We look after import customs requirements. We do all this so you can take care of marketing and keeping your customers happy!
We have services to:
- All of Europe
- New Zealand
On top of that, we can source products from all Chinese Aliexpress suppliers so you’ll always have access to fresh products.
Contact us today to get started.