For a long time, I was thinking of whether I’ll be sending package through DHL or a small balikbayan box from Calgary to the Philippines.
It is cheaper to send balikbayan box (big or small) than a parcel through international shipping of courier companies such as Canada Post, DHL, Purolator, and UPS.
But it will take two months or more as compare to 3-5 business days of shipping companies.
My intention at first is to send only the documents; but by paying more, I would be able to include the gifts and letters in the package that didn’t make it into the balikbayan box.
In this post, I’ll share the costly story of the travelling parcel and the challenges it has to go through along the way.
Know How Much It Cost: DHL Shipping Rate
I asked my friends how did they send package to the Philippines. They recommended that DHL shipping rate is cheaper than UPS.
My rule of thumb, and probably for Filipinos in Canada, is to choose Canada Post for not-so-important letters and UPS for important documents (immigration-related application) in terms of domestic shipping.
For international shipping, this was the first time that I’ve chosen DHL Canada as recommended by my friends. If you have other tips, let me know in the comment.
I used the following weight to get an estimate of shipping rates (CAD). The length is left blank and so is the declared value (the total price of the items):
1 kg – $94.40
1.5 kg – $100.30
2 kg – $186.93
2.5 kg – $202.76
3 kg – $218.58
The staff informed me that the receiver might be charged of customs fee or not; it depends on the destination.
Whether a shipment is a gift or not, it must still go through an import procedure as determined by custom’s law in the destination country. The shipment is cleared through customs based on the origin country, the value and quantity, but not its purpose.
My sister didn’t have to pay anything upon receiving the package in the Philippines; although, a bit of problem happened which you’ll find out later.
DHL Express Canada Head Office
18 Parkshore Drive Brampton, ON Canada L6T 5M1
Within Canada: 1-855-DHL-SHIP (1-855-345-7447)
Outside of Canada call: 1 (905) 861-3672
Head Office Operating Hours: Monday to Friday: 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
Customer Service Operating Hours: 8:00 am – 9:00 pm Eastern Time (normal business hours)
DHL Express Philippines Head Office
DHL Express (Phils) Inc.
2306 Chino Roces Ave. Kayamanan- C, Makati City 1231
Tel. No: (+632) 8117000
Fax: (+632) 811-7001
Sending Package through DHL from Canada to the Philippines
I’ve never seen an office of DHL in Calgary. Have you?
Surprisingly, I went inside a UPS store and asked if I could send my package through DHL to which I received a positive response.
- Visit the nearest DHL Express location or UPS store and ask for a quote/estimate to have an idea of how much you are going to pay.
- Ask if the content of the package is allowed. Tell the staff what will you send. For more shipping guidelines, you can read what are the allowed and prohibited commodities for Canada.
- Use the calculator to get a quote.
- Pack the items carefully. (I used a small shoebox.) Put documents in an envelope. Wrap items and make sure nothing is loose or will get lose once the box is opened in the customs.
- Keep the receipt.
- Track the location of the package using the waybill number.
The waybill number tracks the shipment. The tracking system shows the detailed status of the shipment: custom status and arrival and departure at the facility with time and date.
What if the Address Cannot be Located?
While I’m having my breakfast (monay and oatmeal), I received an email from DHL Express in the Philippines.
I immediately sent a text message (for free using Viber) to my sister who is still awake at that time.
And before I finish my morning routine of eating and reading, my sister already sent an email to DHL Express and reminded/scolded me to add a detailed direction to our home in the Philippines.
She advised me to the do the same if I’m going to send balikbayan box in the Philippines because the courier in Manila, more often than not, cannot find the address.
The couriers have to bear with us till we find a new home located along the street, near the main road.
Clear communication is an important factor to make sure that the parcel can reach its destination; everyone has to do his part: sender (you), receiver (family, friend, etc.), and the courier company.
What Else You Might Want to Know
While the staff was busy typing something on the computer, I didn’t fight the urge to ask if I could send an iPhone in the Philippines. How much it will cost and most importantly will it reach the supposed receiver?
The shipping fee will cost more or less than $100 minus the worry of the parcel getting lost (somewhere).
Nobody complain in their company that someone didn’t receive the parcel shipped through DHL from Canada.
Hmm . . . that’s a good news but I still prefer the pwede padala way of sending small packages in the Philippines.
How was your experience with DHL or other courier service? Is it better to send balikbayan box instead?
Photo Credit: DHL Canada’s website