Ever since I first read about the cooperation amongst China Post, Hong Kong Post and the USPS to make the ePacket service possible a couple of years ago, I’ve been trying, whenever possible, to buy from eBay and Aliexpress sellers who use ePacket for customers in the United States.
Prior to ePacket I would get lots of parcels from China, Hong Kong, and Singapore sent by ordinary air mail, which would take between 2 and 3 weeks to arrive. Of course, even back then it was a bit faster to the U.S. than to many other countries, but 2 to 3 weeks is still enough of a wait to make it so that, price being equal, I used to buy from U.S. sellers because it was faster.
With ePacket though, as long as price is equal, there’s absolutely no reason for me to buy from a U.S. seller rather than a seller in China or Hong Kong. If I get an item sent by first class mail from, say, California it would take about 3 to 4 business days to arrive here in New York. That’s assuming the seller ships immediately. Now let’s compare with this parcel sent by ePacket that I ordered just recently:
ePacket is not always this quick, but it’s not at all unusual for the item to make it here to NY in just a few days. I remember the first time I ever had something sent to me by ePacket it wasn’t much better than ordinary air mail. But over the past year or so it seems to have gotten much faster, at least to my location.
Two neat things I’ve noticed by tracking ePacket parcels is that, at least according to the tracking info, they seem to get sorted at the EMS sort facilities. The other thing, which may or may not be mere coincidence, is that I’ve never had ePacket parcels held up at customs. With ordinary air mail it’s rare for my packages to be held up at U.S. customs for more than a few days, but I’ve had items shipped to me occasionally that have been stuck for up to 14 days yet never opened or inspected in any way that I could detect. With ePacket I never even see a scan at customs. The first scan I see after the origin sort facility is always a local sort facility, rather than ISC New York. I guess ePacket must still get processed through customs like any other package, but it sure is a lot faster.