Ready to move past ePacket? We explain our top choice for shipping!
During the COVID19 pandemic, we saw a lot of questions about how to solve shipping problems with ePacket. There were a lot of dropshippers trying to navigate weeks-long delays, trying to find missing products, and trying to field an avalanche of customer complaints.
It surprised many to hear that we rarely use ePacket and that we instead use a service called YunExpress. We have found it to be an excellent alternative to ePacket, generally offering faster shipping, more consistent shipping times, and overall increased profits.
Prefer to watch the video? We have our in-depth discussion posted here on our YouTube channel.
To really understand why YunExpress is able to be so much better than ePacket, it helps to understand the history of how ePacket came to be. Its origins can be traced back to 1874 to the Universal Postal Union, which was a shipping treaty between several countries to adopt a standard international postage rate. Eventually, more than 190 nations would come to accept this standard. This allowed for much cheaper cross border mail delivery, and in particular for China.
It was from the Universal Postal Union that ePacket was able to emerge.
While we primarily use YunExpress because of the benefits it offers for e-commerce shipping, you should understand that ePacket is not all bad. It still offers a lot of benefits that dropshippers can take advantage of. Some of those benefits include:
Though ePacket does have a lot of benefits, it also has some significant drawbacks, especially if you are trying to establish a reliable brand or otherwise set the foundation for long-term business. The major problems with ePacket arise from the fact that it is not designed for e-commerce shipping. It was originally designed for cross-border shipping, which leads us to our first major problem:
When delivery supply chains are healthy and shipping demand is low, ePacket usually performs well. However, if there is any kind of a shock to your supply chain, ePacket does not have the flexibility to adapt. It can’t increase passenger flights for when demand is heavy and should passenger flights become disrupted (especially with the COVID-19 pandemic), ePacket simply has no recourse.
This is why dropshippers struggle with the high demand for Q4 shipping (holiday shopping season), and why many dropshipping businesses simply shutdown when COVID-19 hit. Delays like this can also be non-transparent, so you and your customers may have no idea that shipping has been delayed.
Once the product reaches the destination country, it is transferred to the local postal system. That means if there is a shipping problem beyond that point, ePacket will have little, if any, information to give you. This can create a very poor customer experience which can impact your future profits.
This is one of the biggest factors that can impact shipping times. Each package has to be cleared by the customs office of each destination country and depending on how stringent a country’s customs process might be, it can cause unreliable shipping times.
Using Sweden as an example, anywhere from 20-30% of packages get stuck in customs because their process is so strict. This can cause huge, unexpected delays which will hurt the trustworthiness of your brand.
When packages arrive to your customers from ePacket, you can expect at least two things to almost always be present:
While the presence of Chinese writing isn’t inherently bad, if your customers are buying from a western-branded store, they may be surprised to see anything other than English on the label. Most of your customers also aren’t familiar with the customs process for international goods. Whereas you know that a low declared value works to the benefit of your customers, they may be confused to see their $20 product having a declared value of $2. Both of these problems create a poor customer experience that can impact their willingness to purchase from you again in the future.
If you are testing products or building your first store, ePacket can be a great option and resource. However, if you are focused on long-term growth or brand building, you need to be willing to invest in service that provides the best customer experience.
As we have said, we almost exclusively use YunExpress for our shipping purposes. It is affordable, reliable, and consistent. It also directly addresses the major concerns from using ePacket.
To really understand how YunExpress is able to offer better service than ePacket, it is helpful to understand where exactly it came from. Unlike ePacket, which originates from cross-border shipping in general, YunExpress was developed specifically for cross-boarder e-commerce shipping. In fact, YunExpress was started by entrepreneurs who were dissatisfied with the shipping experience ePacket provided.
There are huge benefits to using YunExpress, especially if you are serious about brand development or private labeling in a western market:
While shipping can vary, it is faster and more consistent through YunExpress. Even during Q4, you can expect the following shipping times to be consistent:
Those are fantastic shipping times, but that isn’t what makes YunExpress our go-to. It is because of how consistent the shipping times are. Even in Q4, the Express Shipping option delivers 98% of packages before Christmas for orders sent out as late as Dec 14th. The customer experience this creates is incredible.
Remember, You can’t plan your business around the best shipping times possible. Instead, you need to plan around worst-case scenarios, which is where YunExpress really shines where ePacket really struggles.
This is the big question, right? As we mentioned, YunExpress was founded by entrepreneurs who wanted to streamline cross-border e-commerce shipping. They have put several things in place that create consistent shipping that ePacket simply can’t match.
This means they can be flexible in how they can respond to customer demand. They also avoid restrictions that would impact shipping done by commercial flights (for example, the numerous restrictions set in place due to COVID-19).
YunExpress will increase prices during busy shipping times (like Q4) in order to bid higher on limited space on cargo planes. In doing so, they are able to keep their shipping times consistent. It’s also why you can ship orders well into December and still have them arrive by Christmas.
Since YunExpress owns their warehouses all around the world, they are able to increase their warehouse capacity in order to be ready for the busy holiday shopping season. Most recently, they increased their warehouse capacity by 6x to accommodate the flood of extra products during Q4.
YunExpress uses bulk shipping to streamline the customs process. For example, when shipping to Europe, they do not send each individual package to its destination country. Instead, the orders are shipped in bulk to the Netherlands, which has one of the easiest and fastest customs processes in Europe. Once packages pass customs, they are then shipped to the final destination country, never having to worry about customs again. This also means that the label will be completely in English and will not have a customs declaration.
You may have already noticed another significant benefit already. YunExpress has a hand in shipping from the time the product enters its facility from the manufacturer all the way to when it gets into your customers’ hands. The customer is able to track their product for its entire journey, reducing customer frustration as well as questions they may send to you.
This translates to consistent shipping times that will largely be unaffected by customs, which in turn creates an ideal customer experience.
Even if the benefits are clearly evident, knowing that YunExpress offers a much better shipping experience won’t do you much good if it’s too expensive. You may be surprised to hear that YunExpress will generally only cost $.15 – $.30 per package more when compared to ePacket. When comparing the Express Service offered by YunExpress, it could be only a couple of dollars more expensive.
While no business wants to increase the cost of operating, you should consider using YunExpress as an investment in long-term growth and brand building. It is a comparatively low-cost way to vastly improve the customer experience and to build brand loyalty. This is especially true if you are interested in developing a private label brand, where consistency and trustworthiness are key to gaining customers.
You can’t just jump in and start using YunExpress. There are key steps you need to follow to be sure that you are able to the full benefit of using Yunexpress.
If you feel that YunExpress is the missing piece of the puzzle you have been looking for, and you have 50 daily orders or more, we would love to talk to you about becoming your agent. We are located in Shenzhen and already have a dedicated relationship with YunExpress. Use our contact form to reach out to us, and we will respond promptly with how we can best serve you and your business!