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January 23, 2018

What is ePacket Shipping?

For those who wish to learn what is ePacket shipping we're going to answer the following questions (click to navigate):

If you still have questions in the end, please comment below and we'll give you an answer.

What is ePacket

ePacket is a shipping method designed specifically for merchants in China that sell their products online. This postal service is popular as it's affordable and relatively fast (usually takes about 2 weeks). ePacket provides tracking numbers, so dropshippers and their customers may easily track shipping.
What is ePacket Shipping? - Dropwow dropshipping marketplace
ePacket Shipping on Dropwow marketplace
You may be suspicious how cheaply China-based merchants are selling products for all with postage included. ePacket rates are cheaper than USPS First Class Rate with delivery confirmation.
“The cost to ship a one-pound package from South Carolina to New York City would run nearly $6; from Beijing to NYC: $3.66."
— Paul Misener, Amazon's Vice President of Global Policy

How does ePacket Work

In 2011, the U.S. Postal Service made special agreements with the national postal carriers of China and Hong Kong (and subsequently South Korea and Singapore) to allow tracking-enabled packages not exceeding 36" or weighing over 4.4 pounds to be sent to the U.S. for extremely low rates. They called this shipping option the ePacket, and the rates are so low that it's cheaper to ship small parcels from China to an American city than it is to send that same parcel domestically.*

On the territory of China, a parcel shipped via ePacket is sent by EMS China Post. It's delivered pretty fast for further export. Once it arrives at the destination country, the delivery is fulfilled by a local state-owned postal service as First Class Mail (which is USPS First Class Mail, if we say about the USA). Accordingly, an addressee receives a parcel in the nearest postal store.

In general shipping cost is cheaper than delivery via EMS China Post and a local postal service. In addition, delivery time is shorter. It takes about 15 days to reach the USA via ePacket.
*Source: Forbes
ePacket Delivery: Pros & Cons
Much cheaper than alternatives
Door-to-door tracking

Shipping time is longer than delivery from local merchants
State on your dropshipping store that your products are shipped from China. Here is the example how you may tell about it to your customers: "Our products are shipped from our warehouse from China". In case you cooperate with merchants around the world another example is "Our products are manufactured and shipped from warehouses all around the world".

If you tell about a country of origin and estimated delivery time before orders are placed, customers will not be disappointed.
ePacket Shipping Restrictions
Weight limits: a package should not be heavier than 4.4 lbs or 2 kg (including boxes and filler material). The only exception is a package to Israel. It can be up to 6.6 lbs or 3 kg.

Maximum package size limit:
  • The longest side of a regular package should not be more than 24" or 60 cm. Additionally, the sum of the length, width and height should not be more than 35" or 90 cm (l + w + h <= 35).
  • The longest side of a rolled-up package should not be more than 35" or 90 cm. Additionally, twice the diameter plus the length should not be more than 41" or 104 cm (2d + l <= 41).

Minimum package size limit:
  • Regular packages should not have a length less than 5.5" or 14 cm and width less than 4" or 11 cm.
  • Rolled-up packages should have a minimum length of 4" or 11 cm. Additionally, twice the diameter plus the length should be more than 7" or 17 cm (2d + l >= 7).

If your packages are smaller than this, you may discuss usage of a larger box and adding filler material with a supplier.

If a package exceeds the limits, ePacket can't be used.

Price limit: order value should be less than $400.
Note: Chinese suppliers print prices on an ePacket label. This is a must according to customs. Your consumers may ask you questions regarding the issue. So, please be informed that merchants put low prices to avoid customs charges that depend on the value of items.
ePacket Countries
Currently, there are 37 countries on the list. The list was last updated on October 25, 2017:

  1. Australia
  2. Austria
  3. Belgium
  4. Canada
  5. Denmark
  6. Finland
  7. France - packages can be shipped to mainland France with zip codes that start with 01 to 95. However, packages cannot currently be shipped to overseas territories, including Corsica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana, Reunion, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Mayotte
  8. Germany
  9. Greece
  10. Hong Kong
  11. Hungary
  12. Ireland
  13. Israel
  14. Italy
  15. Japan
  16. Kazakhstan - currently in a trial run
  17. Korea
  18. Luxembourg
  19. Malaysia
  20. Mexico
  21. Netherlands
  22. New Zealand
  23. Norway
  24. Poland
  25. Portugal
  26. Russia
  27. Saudi Arabia
  28. Singapore
  29. Spain - currently undergoing a test run and is not available for all the cities yet
  30. Sweden
  31. Switzerland
  32. Thailand - currently in a trial run
  33. Turkey
  34. Ukraine
  35. United Kingdom - packages can be shipped to the UK mainland as well as the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
  36. United States - packages can be shipped to all states, territories and military addresses within the United States
  37. Vietnam - currently in a trial run
*Source: China Postal Express & Logistics. If you follow the link, you will get to the main page. The point is that China Postal Express & Logistics does not update the list of countries but post a new one. The last list is dated October 25, 2017.
ePacket Delivery Time
It usually takes 12-20 business days to reach a destination. Shipping takes 25-60 business days in special cases like holidays, remote locations, etc.
ePacket Tracking Number
ePacket tracking number starts with two letters and ends with "CN". There are 13 characters all totaled. A sample number is LW123456789CN.

If you cooperate with Dropwow, the system displays tracking numbers in your Dropwow account in "Orders" within the next 48 hours after the order has been placed.
What is ePacket Shipping? - Dropwow dropshipping marketplace
ePacket tracking numbers in Dropwow account
ePacket Delivery Tracking
Before shipping arrives at a destination country the following services may be used for tracking ePacket:
After shipping arrives to a destination country you may use an official website of the local state-owned postal service:
What is ePacket Shipping? - Dropwow dropshipping marketplace
Tracking ePacket Delivery on
ePacket service is great for dropshipping business, as it allows to ship lightweight, low-cost merchandise internationally.

China-based suppliers can ship very cheaply to U.S. consumers with rates that are unavailable to U.S. merchants. If you dropship through platforms like AliExpress, Dropwow and eBay that use ePacket as a shipping method, you put those who work with the U.S. ecommerce merchants at a competitive disadvantage.

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What is ePacket Shipping? - Dropwow dropshipping marketplace
Victor Ikonnikov
Product Manager at Dropwow
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