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International Shipping Using USPS Taking Forever

Discussion in 'FEEDBACK: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly!' started by LightningG, Jun 5, 2020.

  1. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    I can only second what several folks have said, shipping right now is a MESS. International shipping is a REAL MESS. Or it can be. No merchandise or goods may go through the postal service, all MUST go by common carrier like DHL, FedEx, whatever.

    DHL from Germany to the USA goes only Premium now and has added costs. These get transported over the Atlantic usually by commercial flights which are not flying. So depending where your package is going, it may take 6+ weeks instead of the usual 7-14 days. Then the packages are delivered inside the USA usually by the USPS. Again, depending on where you live, this may be another disaster, places like New York seem particularly slow. Other customers report only minor or no delays. It's a crapshoot.

    DHL shipments from Germany to Canada all go by SHIP now, not air. I kid you not. DHL.de says on their site to not even bother with Premium just use Economy as who knows when it will arrive. If you go over to DHL.de you can read the Covid restrictions stuff for yourself. English is offered as a language selection.

    DHL Express (which is a totally separate company from regular DHL) have their own planes, as do FexEx and UPS. These seem to be the best bet, IF you are willing to pay the $100+ costs per package and if you have an account with one of these shippers. Here they really only are interested in customers who ship 50-100 packages a month and even then, the prices don't really get that low. I have an account with DHL who at least pick up in my shop. My regular DHL guy says their volume of business here in Germany now is like they have the week before Christmas. But now every-frigging-day.
    annr and KELAMA like this.
  2. Lance Leon

    Lance Leon Gold Member Gold Member

    May 3, 2017
    Shipping to the US from Singapore has taken about 6 weeks, ever since March. I haven't had any issues with receiving packages from my US-based freight forwarding service though - those packages only take a week to be delivered to me in Singapore, which is the same duration as before the Covid situation.

    And I haven't experienced any lost packages or mishaps (other than the aforementioned delay) in the 10 or so items being sent to and from.

    TOMBSTONE Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 31, 1998
    It's a real gamble shipping international right now.
  4. Steven65

    Steven65 Traditional Hog Platinum Member

    Mar 11, 2008
    The vast majority of air freight is carried on passenger aircraft. The massive reduction in flights means a huge backlog.
    If you do have to ship I would go with Fedex as they have their own fleet. But its probably better to avoid it in the short term.
  5. choombak

    choombak Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 6, 2009
    I did have a package from Germany sit at the Chicago USPS International center for two months -- it simply did not move. My guess is there is a huge backlog due to COVID-19, they are slowly catching up, and it can take upto 4 to 6 months at this point in time for international packages.

    Have you tried asking your local PO to check the tracking#? The USPS backend API (application programming interface) has detailed tracking that isn't visible to consumers, but exposed to several USPS partners (like eBay), including the PO.

    Patience is a virtue, and a lot of it is demanded from us at this point -- our modern comfortable life due to incredibly efficient supply chains has been greatly disrupted. :D
  6. aji1

    aji1 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 19, 2016
    This. There have been six ships to Europe thus far; details are in bulletins at the link @Frankki provided. More than three weeks to cross the Atlantic. I have a Charlie Bell custom stuck in this mess. It departed the US in early May (last tracking update May 5th) and, with any luck, I will receive it towards the end of this month.
  7. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jan 29, 2010
    Yep two to three months from the US or UK to here (based on the arrivals I have had). As noted they are using sea freight as opposed to the usual air.
  8. laurin

    laurin Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 5, 2007
    It is slowly going to normal - I have shipped to USA from Slovakia, registered and it is like 10 days from pickup to US customs right now.
    KELAMA likes this.
  9. sechip

    sechip Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 27, 2013
    Took me almost 2 months to get a knife from China.
  10. razorburn

    razorburn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Thanks for the info.

    I just sent a knife from Canada to Germany two weeks ago.The buyer wanted the most expensive option from the post office.It arrived in 5 days but for the past week stuck in Customs.I looked up the tracking # and it seems DHL will be delivering it.
  11. Rykjeklut

    Rykjeklut Gold Member Gold Member Basic Member

    May 23, 2018
    Usual time is between a week and two weeks, in rare instances 3 weeks. Now, that is under normal circumstances, not what we're dealing with now. I haven't bought anything from the US in a while, both because of the NOK being extremly weak, and because I know shipping is very slow now.

    I'd hate to see even more dislike for international shipping just because of extraordinary events.
  12. LightningG

    LightningG Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 19, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
    annr likes this.
  13. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    I can only say it's still a crap shoot shipping from Germany to the USA. Be sure you insure the package. I have 2 orders that are overdue and in limbo now: DHL is tracing them and both are fully insured so they will either get delivered or paid for by the insurance. A friend of mine sent her son in the USA a package from here and it took almost 8 weeks to arrive, but it did get there.
  14. Jordan@DLT

    [email protected] Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Jul 22, 2014
    All USPS methods are a bit of a crapshoot right now, but AVOID USPS First class international at all costs. Before the pandemic in most places it was around 2-3 weeks delivery to customs with a time allowance of up to 45 days in some cases. During this time we have seen that delivery time-frame extend regularly to 60-90 days with frequently instances of sitting at International service centers for a month or longer before moving again.

    However Fedex has been excellent for us, highly recommend their international options.
    Retired UPS Driver likes this.
  15. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    I'm getting prices and conditions from both Fedex and DHL Express now. If they are at all doable, I will switch all my shipping to one of them. Both have their own planes and do their own deliveries.

    DHL Germany is a separate company from DHL Express. DHL Germany relies on commercial flights for their freight and the USPS does their deliveries in the USA. Normally this is fine, but now ain't normal.

    I would rather absorb part of the added shipping costs and be able to get customers the goods within a week and not have the hassle and wasted time etc. etc. of these late and/or missing shipments. Customers always hate shipping charges but they hate waiting forever even more.

    On the positive side, one of my late packages headed to Long Island, NY just popped up on the USPS tracking system and should be delivered today. It shipped almost 7 weeks ago! But better late than never. Fingers crossed!
    annr likes this.
  16. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014
    I have a Vostok Amphibia that's been stuck in Moscow PCI-27 <is that a Gulag? :p> for a month now.

    OTOH, just took receipt of a watchstrap from UK sent via Registered Mail <UK version> and the turnaround was just 7 days. It was a letter sized envelope, but not a parcel, though.
  17. rxavage


    Aug 16, 2014
    I just received a knife that shipped March 6 from bulgaria. After being received it showed nothing until June 5, then it sat without any updates until yesterday when they failed to deliver it. Since they can’t be bothered to actually knock on my door I to go to the post office and picked it up myself.

    also I recently received an item that shipped from Hong Kong mid March.

    it looks like international shipping is about 3 months now.
  18. PeteyTwoPointOne

    PeteyTwoPointOne Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Jun 10, 2014

    anybody know about the state of shipping out of Portugal and Spain currently?
  19. razorburn

    razorburn Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 26, 2007
    Just got a package in this Friday, shipped on June 3 from New York.
  20. Kevin Wilkins

    Kevin Wilkins

    Oct 7, 1998
    I'm not going to be using DHL Germany anymore for any shipments going outside of Germany. I'm in the process of setting up a Fedex account and they will be my carrier for all orders going to anywhere I sell to outside of Germany. I'm sure DHL is doing their best but right now, that's just not good enough. One order from Berlin to Long Island, NY took 7 WEEKS with DHL. The USPS does the delivery for DHL in the USA. Fedex will be under a week and trackable all the way. They are not that much more expensive than DHL either. I still have 4-5 other orders going to the USA that are overdue or getting close.

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