The ultimate guide to ePacket shipping to the US

Evan Dunn
5 minutes
The ultimate guide to ePacket shipping to the US
In this article

ePacket shipping has taken the eCommerce world by storm in recent years. Now, it’s easier than ever to effectively mail things internationally to the US. 

In the past, shipping goods internationally required big bulk orders so that you could make the most of your expensive shipping costs. After shipping, the wait for the package to arrive could take weeks or even months.

But not anymore. The nature of eCommerce has had a direct impact on shipping options around the world. Now, for smaller packages, ePacket shipping is available.

Read on to discover what defines ePacket shipping, the ePacket shipping process, and how it can benefit your eCommerce business.

What is ePacket shipping?

ePacket shipping was developed in 2011 as an alternative shipping method, mainly to optimize the process of mailing goods between the US and China. 

While previous international shipping methods were unreliable and could take several months with expensive shipping fees, ePacket shipping is quick and cost-effective. ePacket shipping is an option for smaller, lighter packages, and provides online tracking to clue the sender and receiver in on the supply chain process. 

Since 2011, this shipping method has expanded to over 40 countries, including Australia, Japan, Mexico, and Switzerland. ePacket shipping will typically be a shipping option on eCommerce platforms such as eBay and AliExpress.

ePacket package dimension and weight restrictions

Because ePacket shipping is designed for smaller, lighter packages, it comes with certain guidelines and restrictions.

Size - standard

  • Minimum length: 5.5 inches

  • Minimum width: 3.5 inches

  • Maximum length: 24 inches

  • Maximum total length + height + thickness: 36 inches

Size - rolled packages

If you’re sending a rolled package containing something like posters, artwork, or cloth samples, different dimension requirements apply:

  • Minimum length: 4.3 inches

  • Maximum length: 35.4 inches or (diameter X 2) + length >104cm

Weight

  • Maximum weight: 4.4 lbs

Note: The weight total includes the packaging as well as the item.

Value

The total value your ePacket contains cannot exceed $400 USD.

How ePacket shipping works

The process for shipping ePackets to the US involves several steps. 

The first step involves the parcel being shipped from the merchant directly. It will travel internally through the origin country via local carriers, and then is sent to the US through an international carrier. Then, a local USPS carrier will deliver the ePacket shipment to its final destination.

What is ePacket tracking?

What makes this international shipping method extra useful is the tracking ability that comes with the ePacket service.

Each delivery sent via ePacket comes with its own tracking number, similar to the tracking numbers found when you use USPS or FedEx. The ePacket tracking number, in this case, can be tracked using any country’s domestic mail carrier. For the US, it is managed through the USPS.

This tracking number gives the sender and the recipient of the goods the ability to monitor the ePacket’s journey from start to finish. The number also provides updates on estimated arrival times and notifies if there has been a delay. 

If for some reason your package cannot be delivered, ePacket will return it to the sender free of charge, making it a no-risk option for merchants when a package becomes “lost.”

How to track an ePacket

If you want to track the route and delivery schedule of your ePacket, simply log in to the USPS website, Worldwide Express Mail Service, China Post website, or any other local carrier where your package is destined and enter the tracking number. Third-party tracking tools also exist in case these sites cause any issues with tracking the ePacket.

What are the benefits of using ePacket tracking and shipping?

ePacket shipping was created to help eCommerce merchants shipping small and medium-sized goods internationally, which makes it perfect for small online businesses.

Find out more about the benefits of ePacket shipping, tracking, and delivery below.

Fast shipping times

We’ve all been there. You order something online, and by the time it finally arrives, it has been so long you’ve forgotten all about it. 

While that might be a fun surprise every once in a while, ePacket shipping ensures prompt delivery with no guesswork. Delivery time is typically within 20 days. Although that may seem like a long time, compared to traditional methods of international delivery, three weeks is quite efficient.

Inexpensive shipping fees

ePacket shipping provides lower shipping rates than traditional shipping, so you’re able to offer better prices to your customers. And better prices? That means more incentive for customers to shop your store over the competition. 

Free returns

Your business should never be penalized if a customer gives you the wrong address. ePacket delivery provides you with the security that any incorrectly labelled items will be returned at no extra cost to you. 

This makes ePacket shipping a low-risk method, with the added bonus that you can provide a full refund to the customer without paying out-of-pocket.

End-to-end tracking

From start to finish, you and your customers can track exactly where your package is on its journey. Simply log onto USPS or another third-party tracking website with the ePacket tracking number to see where your goods are.

Peace of mind

With free returns, tracking, and a faster turnaround, one of the huge benefits of ePacket delivery is the confidence you get when you send and receive using it. The tracking element gives everyone peace of mind.

How long does ePacket shipping take to deliver to the US?

On average, a package sent using ePacket shipping takes about 10 to 20 days to arrive at its destination in the United States. However, expect delays during 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 different processing, handling, and customs steps. The travel portion of your actual package is pretty quick in comparison.

Customs and taxes for ePacket delivery

All packages arriving in the US internationally are considered imported goods and get screened by the US Customs and Border Protection. They’re assessed for the following:

  • Community protection risks

  • Any import or permit requirements

  • Taxes, duties, or other charges

  • Anything illegal not allowed in the country

Since your delivery won’t be valued at over $400, you won’t have to pay any duties or taxes, but GST will usually be charged when you pay for your items. If you’re sending alcohol, however, you may need to pay charges for delivery.

Countries that accept ePacket shipping

There are currently 44 countries that support ePacket shipping, including:

  1. Australia

  2. Austria

  3. Belgium

  4. Brazil

  5. Canada

  6. Croatia

  7. Denmark

  8. Estonia

  9. Finland

  10. France

  11. Germany

  12. Gibraltar

  13. Great Britain

  14. Greece

  15. Hong Kong

  16. Hungary

  17. Ireland

  18. Israel

  19. Italy

  20. Japan

  21. Latvia

  22. Lithuania

  23. Luxembourg

  24. Malaysia

  25. Malta

  26. Mexico

  27. Netherlands

  28. New Zealand

  29. Norway

  30. Poland

  31. Portugal

  32. Russia

  33. Saudi Arabia

  34. Singapore

  35. Spain

  36. South Korea

  37. Sweden

  38. Switzerland

  39. Thailand

  40. Turkey

  41. Ukraine

  42. United Kingdom

  43. United States

  44. Vietnam

Airwallex makes eCommerce easy

While Airwallex doesn’t have any direct partnership with ePacket shipping, we are doing everything we can to simplify how you purchase and ship products internationally. Airwallex wants your eCommerce business to grow and thrive. 

With a range of tools and products designed for international transactions, you can buy and ship your goods at the click of a button while keeping costs to a minimum.

Sign up today to see how we can help your eCommerce business succeed!

Related article: Break-even analysis: the formula to calculate break-even point

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Evan Dunn
Growth Marketing Lead, US

Evan Dunn manages the growth of Airwallex's SMB business in the US through marketing avenues. Evan is a generalist with expertise in SEO, paid media, content marketing, performance marketing and social selling. He also enjoys slam poetry and waffle making.

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