The ultimate Guide to ePacket shipping to Australia
Establishing ePacket shipping was an innovative response to the growing necessity for global shipping within the eCommerce industry. Online retailers and buyers needed a time-efficient delivery option to support the thriving eCommerce business, so ePacket helped regulate the shipping industry.
Sellers from China and Hong Kong benefit most from the less expensive shipping option, and buyers appreciate the expedited shipping times. The ePacket shipping system has unified the world in terms of selling, shipping and delivering goods.
But even with the novel technological advancements, eCommerce offered only one cost-effective way to ship internationally — and that was by organising huge, bulk orders in an attempt to get the most from expensive shipping costs. Once shipped, you then had to wait weeks, or even months, for your goods to arrive. Not an efficient system, to say the least.
Thankfully, this is no longer the case. The nature of eCommerce has had a direct impact on more efficient and effective shipping options around the world. Now, for smaller packages, ePacket shipping is an available option to improve shipping times and costs.
In this article, we explore what ePacket shipping is, how it works and its positive impacts on eCommerce businesses like yours.
What is ePacket shipping?
In response to the high-demand eCommerce industry, ePacket shipping was created to assist eCommerce businesses with international shipping logistics.
In 2011, as an alternative shipping option for small, less expensive items, ePacket shipping was intentionally designed as a bid to optimise logistics between China and the US.
Over the past decade, ePacket delivery has expanded to 44 countries — which means we’re now able to accept this advanced shipping method in Australia.
Particularly influencing businesses in Australia, ePacket shipping has established a more consistent and timely delivery option for eCommerce products. Despite Australia’s stern shipping restrictions, ePacket to Australia made international shipping to the country simpler.
While shipping times can vary depending on the destination, on average, shipping takes 7–10 business days to reach another country. Specifically, Australia’s customs clearance processes can often delay deliveries for up to a month, but items usually arrive within 20 days.
ePacket services provide multiple advantages:
An innovative shipping alternative specifically designed to be a quick, cost-effective solution for smaller, lightweight packages
Online tracking — typically reserved for larger items — so you can keep tabs on exactly where your product is in the supply chain
An international shipping option on popular platforms like eBay and AliExpress
Faster, more affordable delivery services with subsidised ePacket rates
ePacket package dimension and weight restrictions
ePacket delivery is designed for smaller parcels, so it comes with some strict guidelines.
Size - standard
Min. length: 14cm
Min. width: 9cm
Max. length: 60cm
Max. total length + height + thickness: 90cm
Size - rolled packages
If you’re sending a rolled package (things like cloth samples or posters), different dimensions apply.
Min. length: 11cm
Max. length: 90cm OR (diameter x 2) + length <104cm
Max. weight: 2kg
Note that this includes the packaging itself, not just the item.
The total value of the goods within your ePacket cannot exceed AUD400.
How ePacket shipping works
When you choose ePacket delivery as your shipping method, there are a number of steps involved. ePacket delivery is effectively a term for the end-to-end process.
When it ships, your parcel will be sent from the merchant directly. Your parcel will be shipped internally within China or Hong Kong by their local carrier, which then changes hands and is sent to Australia by an international carrier.
When it arrives in Australia it’s then handled by a local carrier, in our case Australia Post.
But what makes it really valuable is the tracking ability that comes with the ePacket service.
What is ePacket Tracking?
ePacket tracking is easy; every delivery comes with a free self-serve tracking number. This can be tracked using any country’s domestic mail carrier, in our case, it’s managed through Australia Post.
This allows you to track and monitor, and eagerly await the arrival of your package throughout its entire journey, start to finish.
This tracking method provides you with updates on estimated arrival times and works to reduce customer queries and questions to the merchant around delayed packages. Also, if your package is undeliverable, it gets returned to the sender free of charge. This makes it a no-risk option for merchants when a customer requests a refund for a lost parcel.
How to track an ePacket
To track your ePacket, simply login to the Australia Post website, Worldwide Express Mail Service, or China Post website, and select the available tracking option. Then, input your ePacket tracking number to find out where your parcel is.
You can also access third-party tracking tools if these sites aren’t working for you.
What are the benefits of using ePacket tracking and shipping?
ePacket shipping was created to meet the needs of eCommerce merchants. It’s ideal for smaller packages—which makes it perfect for dropshipping businesses.
Here are some of the key benefits you’ll enjoy with ePacket tracking and delivery.
We’ve all been there. You order something online, and by the time it actually arrives it’s been so long that you forgot about it. ePacket shipping provides a faster delivery time, usually within 20 days. While this doesn’t match up to the platforms offering next-day delivery, three weeks for international postage isn’t bad.
ePacket shipping provides lower shipping rates than traditional shipping, so you’re able to offer better prices to your customers, which directly acts as an incentive. How many times have you gone to buy something online but the shipping turned you away?
You can also use our free break-even analysis tool to help you analyse your business costs and improve margins.
You get free returns on undeliverable packages
It’s not your fault if your customer gives you an incorrect address, so you shouldn’t be penalised for it. ePacket delivery provides you with the security that any incorrectly-labelled items are returned, at no extra cost to you. This makes it a low-risk method of shipping, with the added bonus that you can provide a full refund to that customer, with no out-of-pocket expenses incurred on your end.
You get end-to-end tracking
You and your customers are able to see exactly where your package is at every step. No more waiting around wondering, simply log on to the Australia Post website and punch in the tracking number to see where it’s at.
You get peace of mind
With free returns, tracking, and a faster turnaround, one of the huge benefits of ePacket delivery is the peace of mind you get. You can buy something from a vendor, and you’re able to use the tracking to make sure they actually post it. No more worrying that you’ve been scammed, no wondering when, or even if, it will be posted.
How long does ePacket take to deliver to Australia?
ePacket shipping times normally takes up to 20 days to reach an address in Australia. However, expect delays around holidays and peak periods. Other countries may see similar or slightly longer shipping times, depending on transit routes.
For those interested in the nitty-gritty, around half of this ‘shipping’ time is taken up by the different processing, handling, and customs steps. The travel portion is actually reasonably quick.
Customs and taxes for ePacket delivery
All goods arriving in Australia via post or mail are considered imported goods and get screened by the Australian Border Force. As such, your package will be assessed for:
Community protection risks
Any import or permit requirements
Taxes, duties, or other charges
As your ePacket delivery is going to be under $400, you won’t have to pay any duties or taxes, as the threshold for this is $1,000 or over. GST will usually be charged when you pay for your items. The only instance where you will pay any charges on delivery is for alcohol.
But to be sure, we recommend asking your vendor or merchant if they’re aware of any taxes or duties for sending to Australia.
There are currently 44 countries that support ePacket shipping, including:
Airwallex makes e-commerce easy
While Airwallex doesn’t have any specific affiliation with ePacket shipping, we are doing everything we can to simplify how you purchase products internationally and make it easy to boost your eCommerce business. With a range of tools and products designed for cross-border payments, you can buy and ship your goods at the click of a button, while keeping your costs down.
Book a demo with us today to see how we can help your e-commerce business succeed.
Related article: 4 Habits of Highly Successful eCommerce Businesses
Our products and services in Australia are provided by Airwallex Pty Ltd ABN 37 609 653 312 who holds AFSL 487221. Any information provided is for general information purposes only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs. Please read and consider the Product Disclosure Statement available on our website before using our service.
Joe Romeo is responsible for scaling our Airwallex's product adoption in the UK and the world. An all-around growth enthusiast, Joe's speciality lies in SEO, organic acquisition and making lasagna.