A trilateral agreement was formed in 2011 between eBay China, the Hong Kong Post Office and the US Postal Service that provided an alternative low-cost shipping option to sellers. The program dubbed ePacket Delivery Service, was designed to save users up to 50% off traditional shipping sources and even included additional services.
Customers can complete customs declarations more quickly, print labels, have packages picked up locally and even track deliveries from the comfort of their own homes. Additionally, a 7-10 day delivery period is guaranteed.
About ePacket Delivery Services
The ePacket program was the brain-child of OSM Worldwide in an effort to increase efficiency, minimize costs and gain control of operational requirements by utilizing OSMART technology as it relates to postal services. According to James Kelly, CEO:
We started this business because we saw a need in the market for a shipping company who not only gets the packages from A-to-B economically, but also gives the client a sense of security in knowing that their packages are cared for and delivered on time.
As a result, a trilateral agreement was formed to address the growing interest in international trade.
The agreement between the US, eBay China and the Hongkong Post was designed to allow packages arriving from sellers in China to acquire First Class mail service once the package reached the United States Postal Service (USPS). Along with that service, delivery confirmation was also guaranteed. The e-commerce service allowed shipping that was quicker and more affordable to consumers. It also allowed online stores and marketplaces based in Hong Kong and other areas of China to better serve buyers based in the U.S. and around the world.
ePacket Delivery Areas
Since its inception, ePacket Delivery has expanded its service to include over 30 countries. As of 2017, service is now available in the following countries:
- Great Britain
- Hong Kong
- the Netherlands
- New Zealand
- the United States.
ePacket Delivery Time
ePacket Delivery times may vary based on delays in customs, holidays, the destination of the package and the like. Since 2011, however, it has proven to be more consistent that comparable economical shipping alternatives that ship out of Hong Kong and elsewhere in China. An analysis of ePacket indicates that parcels are received on average within 30 days rather than the 8+ weeks it used to take.
The way it works is that sellers in China ship parcels that weigh 2kg (4 lbs) or less with shipping labels marked China/Hong Kong Post and USPS. When the package arrives in the United States, it is then switched to a first class mail service. Delivery confirmation from the seller to the buyer makes it the top contender for many eBay sellers.
ePacket Delivery Fees
The list of fees are available through the Hong Kong Post Office website. To view the information in English, you can open the webpage with Google Chrome. Following is a comparison that should help clarify the fee schedule.
eBay USPS 1st Class Parcel
USPS Priority Mail Retail
As can be seen, the benefit of utilizing ePacket Delivery Service can be easily seen especially at the lighter weights as well as in the one pound range. However, it’s important to remember that the ePacket Service also includes local labeling and pickup, quicker deliveries and delivery confirmation guaranteed which is not included in the price of the other two options listed.
It should also be noted that since ePacket deliveries are required to go through traditional custom clearances, customers may be required to pay additional duties and taxes upon arrival. By checking local laws regarding imported items, surprises won’t accompany an expected parcel. A first question to potential sellers should relate to whether or not duties and taxes will be due upon arrival. Additionally, experienced sellers that have been using the ePacket service may already know and may be able to share the information.
Additional Information About ePacket Delivery
Here are some additional facts and figures that may be of interest to those trying to decide if they are interested in taking advantage of the ePacket system.
- Between 2010 and 2011 the number of parcels sent with the service increased from 9.5 million using traditional mail options to 26.8 million using ePacket.
- In 2012, the USP got, on average, $0.94 for each package shipped that originated in China.
- Many Chinese sellers provide free shipping because of the low cost.
- Package tracking is done with barcoded labels that can be read by both the HongKong Post and USPS.
- Undeliverable parcels will be returned to the seller for free.
- ePacket has a 4-9 day average overseas shipping time.
- OSM Worldwide is working hard to improve their 90%+ delivery scan rate.
- Currently the delivery service is not available to sellers in the United States but is being reviewed at the highest level.
Commercial ePacket Requirements:
- Maximum length is 24″;
- Minimum size is large enough to fit needed postal features such as labels, postage and custom forms;
- Length + Height + Thickness cannot exceed 36″;
- Maximum weight is 4.4 lbs (2 kg).
Commercial ePacket Cylindrical Requirements:
- Maximum length is 36″;
- Maximum length + 2x the diameter combined is 42″
- Minimum length + 2x the diameter combined is 6-3/4″;
- Maximum diameter is 4″;
- Maximum weight is 4.4 lbs (2kg).
OSM Worldwide has worked diligently since 2011 to design and deliver a mailing service option that is affordable to both sellers and consumers. Since the trilateral agreement between eBay China, Hong Kong Post and the United States Postal Service, great success has been seen. Although there are certain size and weight requirements, sellers in China and buyers in the U.S. and throughout the world are seeing a significant decrease in shipping time and costs.
The best way to evaluate the success of an organization such as ePacket Delivery Service is to read and post experiences on a social network site such as facebook, twitter, Instagram or one of the many others so popular today. If you’ve used ePacket lately, you should add your voice to the many others aready talking about this exciting service.