Shopping Discussion

Shipping via EMS or DHL from Japan (current experiences?)

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 24th, 2021 12:48 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 7, 2005
1701 posts
1361 upvotes

Shipping via EMS or DHL from Japan (current experiences?)

Has anyone here recently purchased from Japan?

If so, can you please tell me if you used AIR (airmail), EMS or DHL to have your package shipped and how long it took to arrive?

I purchased an item from japan in march that took over 2 months to arrive via airmail (it was estimated at 1 week) so I'm leery about using that service again at the moment.

Has anyone experienced any delays with DHL international shipments or EMS recently? Any delays at customs or even shipping out of Japan?
Always hungry ;)
16 replies
Newbie
Jul 6, 2020
4 posts
4 upvotes
I ordered a few things off of Amazon Japan near the end of May that shipped via DHL Express and arrived in 4 days. I also ordered some stuff from Japan off ebay that shipped via SAL that haven't arrived yet after 3 months.
Newbie
Oct 12, 2017
79 posts
50 upvotes
DHL --> usually received in less than 5 business days. Though can still be slowed down a bit in case Customs wants to inspect the package for whatever reason
EMS --> 1 week to 2 weeks (after leaving Japan). Issue with this is that sometimes it takes a few days for the package to leave Japan (just stays in the Japan Post facility). Once it reaches Canada, usually gets delivered in a week after passing Customs (though there are times when customs is slow in processing)

AirMail --> nowadays, just think of it like Registered SAL small packet (since RSAL is suspended nowadays on all countries). Delivery times will greatly vary. Sometimes you'll receive it in 2 weeks and sometimes more than a month.
Jr. Member
Mar 22, 2013
161 posts
186 upvotes
BC
Does DHL Canada automatically clear packages through customs and collect the fees later like fedex/ups/canada post does?

I used DHL Canada once in the past, nearly 5 years ago, and had a bad experience - they wanted a 1 time power of attorney to clear my package.

Fedex/UPS/Canada Post have never asked for this.
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28890 posts
14429 upvotes
randyzive wrote: Does DHL Canada automatically clear packages through customs and collect the fees later like fedex/ups/canada post does?

I used DHL Canada once in the past, nearly 5 years ago, and had a bad experience - they wanted a 1 time power of attorney to clear my package.

Fedex/UPS/Canada Post have never asked for this.
DHL Is pre pay. You enter in your tracking number in their online portal and can pay via Interac (I think) and credit card.

No power of attorney needed. I have submitted it to UPS and FedEx before as well for certain shipments.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
Jr. Member
Mar 22, 2013
161 posts
186 upvotes
BC
death_hawk wrote: DHL Is pre pay. You enter in your tracking number in their online portal and can pay via Interac (I think) and credit card.

No power of attorney needed. I have submitted it to UPS and FedEx before as well for certain shipments.
What if I don't prepay?

Will they still clear the package and collect fees at the door like everyone else?
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
28890 posts
14429 upvotes
randyzive wrote: What if I don't prepay?

Will they still clear the package and collect fees at the door like everyone else?
I'm not sure to be honest. I've always just prepaid so they deliver the first time.
Do you not have anything else to do rather than argue with strangers on the internet
Nope. That's why I'm on the internet arguing with strangers. If I had anything better to do I'd probably be doing it.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 7, 2005
1701 posts
1361 upvotes
vinelo wrote: I ordered a few things off of Amazon Japan near the end of May that shipped via DHL Express and arrived in 4 days. I also ordered some stuff from Japan off ebay that shipped via SAL that haven't arrived yet after 3 months.
pafy6285 wrote: DHL --> usually received in less than 5 business days. Though can still be slowed down a bit in case Customs wants to inspect the package for whatever reason
EMS --> 1 week to 2 weeks (after leaving Japan). Issue with this is that sometimes it takes a few days for the package to leave Japan (just stays in the Japan Post facility). Once it reaches Canada, usually gets delivered in a week after passing Customs (though there are times when customs is slow in processing)

AirMail --> nowadays, just think of it like Registered SAL small packet (since RSAL is suspended nowadays on all countries). Delivery times will greatly vary. Sometimes you'll receive it in 2 weeks and sometimes more than a month.
Thanks both!!

@pafy6285 , when was the last time you used japan EMS, may I ask? If it took only 1-2 weeks in the past month, I may choose that over DHL to save some money. For airmail, my package sat in japan for well over a month as opposed to a days days, and I'm worried that it could experience the same delay with EMS.
Always hungry ;)
Newbie
Oct 12, 2017
79 posts
50 upvotes
nintendo wrote:
when was the last time you used japan EMS, may I ask? If it took only 1-2 weeks in the past month, I may choose that over DHL to save some money. For airmail, my package sat in japan for well over a month as opposed to a days days, and I'm worried that it could experience the same delay with EMS.
I have one that left Japan June 30, passed CBSA July 3 and was delivered July 6. Though that particular one left Japan in just a day (after pickup or being received by Japan Post), while I have another one that left Japan after 3 days.
Newbie
Oct 12, 2017
79 posts
50 upvotes
randyzive wrote: What if I don't prepay?

Will they still clear the package and collect fees at the door like everyone else?
If it's not pre-paid, you can pay the duties online (https://mypayment.dhl.ca/) before delivery or you can also just pay upon delivery.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 20, 2006
1092 posts
244 upvotes
GTA
I have some stuff ordered from Japan too. But deciding on a carrier before shipping. Not really concerned about 3 days vs 7 days. But would like lowest duties possible.

What are fees and duties typically like for say about $200 worth of model kits/tools? Would it be cheaper to go with EMS or DHL?

Thanks in advance
Asrock Z97 Extreme6 | Intel i7-4770K | 16GB Kingston HyperX Predator | Asus RoG STRIX GTX 1080 | Phanteks Enthoo Luxe | LG GL83A-B| Schiit Modi 3 + Vali 2 & Senn HD600
Newbie
Dec 5, 2010
39 posts
21 upvotes
Courtenay
Last September I had a package arrive via DHL from China and paid the taxes and custom fees at the door.

Things have probably changed now with the Covid situation so it might be best to contact them and see.
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2004
593 posts
359 upvotes
Ottawa
No issues of any kind for EMS from Japan right now.
[OP]
Deal Addict
User avatar
Apr 7, 2005
1701 posts
1361 upvotes
michael007 wrote: No issues of any kind for EMS from Japan right now.
How long did your EMS shipment take to arrive to you? Was there any delay in customs?

I ended up using DHL.

@Xephy I think it will be cheaper with EMS due to lower service fees/shipping cost but the duties/customs will be the same either way. I selected DHL because they are reliable even with the covid situation and I could not risk my items getting lost.
Always hungry ;)
Sr. Member
Aug 8, 2004
593 posts
359 upvotes
Ottawa
Customs took two days. Value was $200 and no duties or taxes were charged.

Posted July 17 in Osaka
Delivered July 27 in Ottawa
Deal Addict
User avatar
Dec 20, 2006
1092 posts
244 upvotes
GTA
michael007 wrote: Customs took two days. Value was $200 and no duties or taxes were charged.

Posted July 17 in Osaka
Delivered July 27 in Ottawa
Thanks for the information. My items are of similar value. I'll try out EMS. Hope I don't get charged too much or nothing at all like u.
nintendo wrote: How long did your EMS shipment take to arrive to you? Was there any delay in customs?

I ended up using DHL.

@Xephy I think it will be cheaper with EMS due to lower service fees/shipping cost but the duties/customs will be the same either way. I selected DHL because they are reliable even with the covid situation and I could not risk my items getting lost.
Thanks for the reply. Im asking cause DHL is only $4 more than EMS. But if duties and taxes are bonkers than EMS is it. EMS $91 vs DHL $95.


Edit. Now the difference is 1 dollar. $91.xx vs 92.xx :|

Dominic must have paid an arm and a leg for that overnight shipping for those parts from Japan.

The items I ordered are most likely in a large box too..not sure if that makes a difference. Last thing I ordered from Japan shipped through japanpost and took about a month. But shipping was only 5 bucks for an 8x11 bubble wrapped envelope.
Asrock Z97 Extreme6 | Intel i7-4770K | 16GB Kingston HyperX Predator | Asus RoG STRIX GTX 1080 | Phanteks Enthoo Luxe | LG GL83A-B| Schiit Modi 3 + Vali 2 & Senn HD600

Top