General Question

snowberry's avatar

I want to ship a package internationally. What can you tell me about DHL package delivery service? Is there a better company to choose when shipping valuable items?

Asked by snowberry (25537points) 1 month ago

I live in a small town. My first red flag was when I called and asked for a drop off location near my home. DHL sent me to an abandoned building in my town!

I called again looking for a location in a large nearby town, and when I called the phone number, it registered as being two states away. When I looked up the address DHL assigned to that phone number, it was to a restaurant in the nearby town.

Then I started searching for DHL reviews, and I found many sites with mostly horrible reviews (it appears the company has gone downhill recently).

Is there a better shipping company out there? What do I need to do to make sure my package gets there?

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29 Answers

kneesox's avatar

How about FedEx? I don’t know if they do international. I guess I would start with the postal service.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I’d choose the post office over DHL and that’s not saying much. They were almost good about 20 years ago. :)
Not sure what/where you’re sending but from my small town to Japan, was pretty high.

snowberry's avatar

It’s jewelry.

kneesox's avatar

So…small and light. I don’t suppose you know anyone trustworthy who will be traveling to that country anytime soon?

ragingloli's avatar

DHL is owned by Deutsche Post, and is the market leader in Germany.
I had no real negative experience with them.

kneesox's avatar

Good point ^^, maybe find out what’s a reliable service in the country you’re shipping to.

But you could ship your jewelry to me from anywhere in the U.S. or the world and it might make it safely all the way to my front porch—and then disappear. Nobody can do anything about that. Safest thing might be to send it to a place where it can be held and picked up.

ragingloli's avatar

Generally I think you have no control or say over what delivery service is used, once the package arrives in another country.

kneesox's avatar

I suppose that’s ^^ a good case for using a service that operates in both countries.

The postal service is set up to do that.

snowberry's avatar

Gosh. The last time I sent something there by mail, it took almost 3 months for the package to arrive. When it finally did get there we were overjoyed and surprised. We thought it was lost forever.

ragingloli's avatar

I recently ordered a mouse mat from Canada. It took a month, and for some inexplicable reason, it was first shipped to California, before it was sent here.

janbb's avatar

I’ve used the USPS to ship things to France. You can track and insure but once it hits the other country, there’s not much control. Generally, though, things got there although they sometimes got lost in the receiver’s lobby!

kneesox's avatar

@snowberry Where are you shipping to?

snowberry's avatar

USA to Japan.

JLeslie's avatar

Shipping internationally I always feel is 50/50. Sometimes people on the other end have to pay a big tax to get the package. Depends on the country, and I don’t have experience with Japan. One positive is the Japanese are OCD about delivering good customer service.

DHL used to be the international favorite, but if you are having bad service here multiple times, and have read a lot of bad reviews, I would be very wary as you obviously are.

USPS is worth checking, but as jellies said above, once it is outside of the US it will be turned over to another mail service.

I hate to say, if it’s a gift, I wouldn’t bother. If it’s something the receiver has specifically requested and wants to give it a try, then I would give it a try. If they are Americans living in Japan, I would ask them to ask other Americans in Japan what service they have used assuming they are in a part of Japan with many other Americans.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

The Japanese Post Office is extremely reliable. You can mail cash, and it will arrive safely. I would use the post office. Send it by priority.

I’m writing that without knowing the value. If it’s extremely valuable, I would hand deliver it.

snowberry's avatar

It’s a wedding present that we are sending for a friend. It’s impossible to hand deliver it. Cost is probably in the range of $1500 US.

kneesox's avatar

Wouldn’t it have been possible to order it from a Japanese supplier and have it shipped within the country?

I guess that’s not very helpful now, but maybe good to think about for next time?

JLeslie's avatar

Plus import tax, insurance and shipping I would think.

Here is the USPS calculator for global delivery.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They used to have a huge presence in the US, and then Fedex and UPS and to a lesser extent Amazon took away most of the US business.

So they are not a consumer-grade delivery service – more corporate and international.

Their tracking sucks majorly big time. They have at least two differnt tracking systems and you have to guess which one to check. Incredibly frustrating.

I would use any carrier except DHL.

snowberry's avatar

@kneesox The friend lives here in the US. They own a jewelry company, and sent us the jewlry to send on to Japan. We certainly weren’t expecting to have this problem. I guess we’ll just pick a carrier, insure it, and see how it goes.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I have a good friend who’s a fine jeweler. I’ll ask them for their advice.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

My friend owns a fine jewelry store in oil country in West Texas. The first thing you have to do is double wrap it. You thoroughly seal it in a box, and then seal that inside another box. She is going to ask about the best company to use. It will be one of DHL, UPS, or FedEx. You get what’s called outside insurance. Basically, you’re getting an insurance company to insure the package so the value of the package is not listed on the package itself so its not flagged.

She gave me 2 outside insurance companies for you to look at. One is Parcelpro, and the other is Parcel Monkey. She doesn’t know if they will do it for someone without a professional account. You will have to read what they don’t cover. She said you get an account with the insurance company, give them the shipping details like addresses involved, and they send you the label telling you which carrier to use. She said she used Parcelpro often without a loss.

Zaku's avatar

The delivery end is usually what you need to worry about (if it’s someplace notorious for losing mail). I would not worry about Japan delivering a package.

I would use USPS, UPS, FedEx, or DHL (though I have never tried to use DHL) to send something internationally from the USA.

The pick-up location does have to exist, of course, but there are drop-off boxes where there is nothing associated with the drop box at that address, as the box is often outside any buildings.

Get the package registered/insured.

snowberry's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Thank you! That’s awesome information! I saw appreciate your going to the extra work to find this out for me.

snowberry's avatar

@Zaku I agree about Japan being a very reliable country. I had forgotten about that.

kneesox's avatar

I wonder why your friend left this problem to you. Why didn’t they send it themselves? If they own a jewelry company, they will have contacts in this business who have solved this problem before. Like @Hawaii_Jake‘s friend.

snowberry's avatar

I have no idea, @kneesox . Actually, it’s my daughter’s friend, and it’s a wedding gift for my daughter who lives in Japan. it gets more complicated every time I explain a little more thoroughly! We will attend the ceremony online.

janbb's avatar

@snowberry With that further information, I’d be inclined to ask the friend if you can send it back to them for them to ship. Why should the worry be on your head,especially if they are in the business? Another suggestion would be to send your daughter a picture of it and hold it until you can see her in person – if that’s foreseeable.

snowberry's avatar

I agree, @janbb, and I would like to do that. However, people in our house have strong opinions about how this needs to be done. At one point the job was going to fall to me, which is why I posted the question.

Since then somebody else has decided they would do it. At least I am clear in my mind about the pitfalls, and what is possible. I will inform them, and not worry about it anymore. ;D

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