International shipping from Iloilo City

DHL AND WIDE WORLD EXPRESS CORPORATION. FEDEX AND AIR 21. We’ve used both of the big international shipping firms; DHL and FedEx. We recommend FedEx.

FEDEX AND AIR21. There’s FedEx office on the main floor of the Gaisano City mall in La Paz, Iloilo City,  across the river from the Atrium.  The office is at the end of the mall away from the river. There are also FedEx offices at the Mary Mart Shopping Center and another on Rizal in Lapuz, also in Iloilo City.  We used the FedEx Gaisano office to ship our absentee ballots to the USA.  We receive several FedEx shipments per year at our Tigbauan, Iloilo residence.  The service has been outstanding.    We have also had excellent service from the domestic Air21 service.   Phone (033) 509-0810 / 083 320-8267

The DHL office we use is Mabini Street, between SM Delgado and Robinsons.   DHL ships internationally using DHL and in the Philippines with Wide World Express Corporation.  We have had variable results with DHL.  You’ll get more personalized, less chaotic service here than you’ll find at the nearby LBC office.

When we had to ship documents to my sister in Kuwait the DHL representative in Iloilo City provided absolutely fantastic service.  There were problems with the delivery because my sister is not allowed to have a cellphone and DHL in Kuwait was not able to contact her to confirm the delivery location and time.  Over several days and several problems, the Iloilo representative worked with DHL in Kuwait to make sure the problems were solved.  At first we were shocked by the $55 shipping fee, but DHL provided really superior service. Phone 033-508-9469.

But then we had a poor experience.  We use a U.S. based mail forwarding service, www.usabox.com  (See /mail-forwarding-services/) USABox receives our mail at a Miami address and forwards it to us in Iloilo.  They have been using DHL as the shipper.  More recently DHL service has been disappointing.  Although our shipments are prepaid, DHL collects additional fees such as “informal entry declaration”, “import processing fee” and “customs documentary stamps” despite the shipment being all forwarded mail with no value.   In our view, DHL is responsible for clearing our shipments with Philippine customs.  The way they performed this job was resulted in extra charges – P548.60 extra on a supposedly pre-paid shipment.  The Iloilo DHL office opened our package to confirm that the contents were documents.  They were, but it made no difference.  They insisted on payment.  Further, it was a bit disconcerting to have our mail, including investment account statements and bank statements rifled through in front of other customers.  When we contested these fees DHL threatened to declare our shipment to be “abandoned”. Since our forwarded mail included our 2008 tax documents, we had no choice but to pay the DHL fees.  Our mail was shipped from Miami on March 11 and we received our parcel on March 30 after capitulating to DHL. We won’t use DHL Philippines again. We ask USAbox to use FedEx rather than DHL.  So far FedEx services have been faster with none of the problems we had with DHL.  We’re not the only ones to complain about DHL.  See http://currentpostagerates.info/836/what-is-dhl-philippines-custom-fee-and-tax-scam/
and http://www.angelescity.com/DHL_Rip-off_Report.html

If you need to ship something larger internationally from the Philippines, DHL has a flat rate box available.  Here are examples of shipping from Iloilo, Philippines to the United States.  We assume the charges from other Philippine cities will be similar. These appear to be like balikbayan boxes in reverse! These prices are from December, 2008.

  • Junior Box 44x35x27″ is P4,000 to the United States.  No Weight Limit.  Shipping is surface.
  • Jumbo Box 48x45x35″ is P8,992 to the United States.  No Weight Limit.  Shipping is surface.

Johnny Air Cargo. This is another possibility we are investigating which may offer cheaper shipping to and from the Philippines.  When we were in Queens, New York City, we stopped by their office there.  We saw another office in Cebu City.  They also have an office in Iloilo City, on Q. Abeto Street near the old airport in Mandurriao.  (033) 321 3680.  If you can give a report on using Johnny Air, please leave a comment below.  We will leave more information once we have investigated more.  The Johnny Air web site is: http://www.johnnyair.com/index.html

UPDATE:  See our report on our experiences with Johnny Air Cargo HERE.

Comments (4) Write a comment

  1. Mike,

    This is exactly my experience with FedEx to the Philippines. DHL is just the same. I just ordered some small electrical parts for our new house. I was raped by FedEx, Air21, customs and the customs broker. I even had the same problem when I had my own personal mail of no value forwarded to me by DHL — although most often forwarded mail gets through without a problem as long as the value declaration is zero.

    I have had better luck sending things by the United States Postal Service. Then they are delivered by PhilPost. Others say to use USPS Express Mail. Again PhilPost seems to avoid the crocodiles that attack when using FedEx or DHL. I have received books via PhilPost with no customs.

    Air 21 is FedEx’s agent here, maybe to comply with restrictions on foreign ownership?

    By far the best bet is a balikbayan box shipped from the U.S.to the Philippines. Less than $100, unlimited weight, no customs.

    Your fellow sufferer,

    Bob

    Reply

  2. Hi Bob,

    A cousin sent me vitamins and mineral supplements from the US through FEDEX. The items cost around P10,000. On the 7th day it was delivered to my wife’s office by AIR21 with a bill for customs duties as follows:

    customs forms and stamps – P315.00
    Duties and taxes – P3,867.00
    Storage fee P828.77

    Total Bill – P5,010.77 (payable to AIR21)

    We refused to accept delivery until we could ask around if this is really what we have to pay to receive a gift.

    I just recently received a parcel through USPS that I had to pick up in the Phil. Postal and I paid nothing.

    Then another parcel came in from my brother and it cost nothing for me to get it from Johnnyair. The Mandurriao office never called me up though and the package was there for 3 days before I called up to check.

    On the positive side, I left my cellphone in their office and the girl (I forget her name) was kind enough to call my wife to let us know the phone was there. I f she decided to keep the phone for herself, I would not have remembered that I left it there. She could have said it was not there and that was the end of my phone, but thank God she was honest!

    Questions:

    1. Are vitamins and minerals sent as a gift taxable?

    2. Why did Air21 deliver and not FEDEX?

    I may end up paying this amount just to get the stuff I need for my health but I will instruct my brother and sister in the US never to send it through FEDEX and/or Air21 again.

    The USPS may be a longer route but at least the taxes may be nothing or less than P5,000. Storage fees???

    I would appreciate any suggestions on how I can avoid paying this amount to get my package, anyone?

    I found your blog as I was searching for AIR21′s Iloilo address.

    Thanks!

    Reply

  3. I am delighted and most appreciative for the generous and detailed help for all info you make possible helping me in my decission.
    Thank you,
    Orgelius

    Reply

  4. Just wondering if you can help me find a container company for less.I don’t have that much of furnitures just sofas,tv’s and bed and a lot of small boxes balikbayan boxes.
    And a Toyota Tacoma truck too.

    Reply

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