Business encyclopedia

Learn everything there is to know about running a business


What is ePacket?

ePacket is a global courier service that has made possible faster deliveries from countries like China, Hong Kong, and Korea to the U.S. ecommerce sellers - the biggest winners from this new shipping option, who previously had to wait weeks to receive their wholesale shipments or retail orders.

An agreement between national postal services in other countries and the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) has enabled shortened delivery timetables for lightweight – under 4.4 lbs – products valued at under $400.

In addition to faster deliveries – between 4-9 days versus 2-4 weeks - ePacket delivery also offers:

  • Lower cost than domestic first-class service from the USPS
  • Door-to-door tracking
  • Customs clearance on duties and taxes paid by the recipient
  • Free returns on undeliverable orders

ePacket History

While the shift to online businesses has pushed ePacket service into the news, the fact is that it has existed for decades as a result of a United Nations treaty. Under that agreement, national postal services around the world agree to give other countries significant postal discounts. In the U.S. that has meant effectively charging other countries less than it charges American citizens for similar shipments.

In 2012, the USPS was paid an average of $.94 for each piece of Chinese mail, which was about $1.00 less than it needed to break even. That helps explain the USPS’s $29.4 million net loss that year. It got a little better in 2014 when the USPS was paid no more than $1.50 to deliver an international package weighing less than a pound, which is still a money-losing proposition.

The goal of ePacket delivery is to boost global trade with the U.S.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

With faster deliveries comes increased customer satisfaction and a higher likelihood of future orders, as well as higher profits from lower shipping costs.

Faster delivery also improves the odds of a U.S. customer being willing to do business with a Hong Kong or China-based supplier, providing the potential for increased business.

Global Expansion

The service has quickly expanded beyond China to also include:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Portugal
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Ukraine

Rising popularity of the service suggests continued global expansion.

Learn more about ePacket: Everything You Need to Know About ePacket Shipping: ePacket Delivery Explained

You may also be interested in: