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Let's talk about DHL.Let's talk about DHL.Ask MFC

Anime, Figures and Manga For Less!
victorvipervictorviperIl y a 1 mois
With the ongoing pandemic, many figure collectors here in the USA have seen their shipping options become very limited. Depending on where you shop, since EMS and SAL are suspended to the USA, shipping options may be either DHL or wait out the pandemic. I'm guessing there are huge backlogs of EMS/SAL packages building up, and so even if those options resumed tomorrow, I'm guessing neither of those options would see final deliveries until late this year or early 2021.

I've now done a total of 4 DHL shipments, and I am not super impressed. I'll share my experiences here.

DHL experience 1 (pre-pandemic): About 2 years ago, I ordered a figure from Amazon Japan, and they chose DHL as the shipper. The DHL driver was unable to figure out the security gate at the entrance to my neighborhood, even though I know for a fact that DHL has been issued a code. It took a phone call to their customer service to get my package rerouted to my parents' house across town yet the same day. I was not too happy, but at least I got my stuff and the manager I spoke to was fairly apologetic. My parents reported that a DHL-branded van made the delivery.

DHL experience 2 (this June): I ordered ITEM #453909 and because that figure has a relatively small box, DHL was not too expensive (about 4000 yen, only a couple hundred yen more than EMS would have been). Package shipped on a Saturday, arrived two days later on Monday, no problem. I thought it was weird that the final delivery was made by what appeared to be a local courier (plain white cargo van and the driver was not wearing a DHL uniform).

DHL experience 3 (mid-July): I had two figures pre-ordered (ITEM #806375 and ITEM #806202) and because Skuld was a 1/4, I knew DHL would be expensive (15000 yen for the pair). I added two preowned figures to the order, and I was a little shocked to see that skyrocketed the shipping quote to 24000 yen! I wanted to get my stuff this year, so I chalked that up as tuition to DHL school. Shipping was still fast (two days), but once again final delivery was made by what appeared to be an independent contractor and even though I had put in a waiver of the signature requirement, the driver swore up and down that I had to sign for the package (on a clipboard!). Strangely, it then took 4 days for the tracking to show the package was delivered.

DHL experience 4 (today): I ordered ITEM #878495, and the DHL quote wasn't too bad (~6000 yen). Everything seemed to be proceeding quickly. The package hit DHL's hub in Cincinnati on Saturday, and so I thought the figure would arrive Monday.

However, Sunday and Monday came and went with no tracking updates, and I got the dreaded "on hold" tracking update as many people reported in this BLOG #46019 blog. Fortunately, overnight the package moved again, and it went out for delivery this morning. However, 5 pm came and went with no delivery attempt, and so I was a little pissed and debating whether to call customer service, but about 5:30, I heard something thump against the front door, and there was my package. I caught a glimpse of the driver who was wearing DHL's unmissable yellow and red uniform, and the tracking promptly updated to "delivered" about 20 minutes later.

My issues with DHL have been:

1. Quite a large variance in delivery times (some deliveries in 2 days, the last one in "on hold" status for nearly that long).

2. Lack of infrastructure. If I miss an EMS package, I drive a mile and a half to collect it at the post office. If I miss a UPS/FedEx package, I know they will honor my signature release and there are local UPS Stores/FedEx Office locations where I could redirect packages. On the other hand, DHL says the nearest service point to me is an hour away (and I live in a medium-large city!).

3. The question of who is actually delivering. Will the courier be a DHL employee or a subcontractor? The former seems fine, but I don't really like the idea of random employees from Joe's Delivery Company handling my stuff. What would happen if there was a delivery problem or damage? I can just see the merry-go-round of everyone involved in the delivery blaming someone else.

4. The tracking is detailed, but not always helpful. It's odd that when the package goes out for delivery, it appears to be not in my city but in the nearest large hub. There was also that situation where it took 4 days for a delivered package to show up as delivered in the tracking.


So, even though this turned into kind of a rant, I'm hoping people will share their DHL experiences (particularly in the USA) in the comments.

How satisfied are you with DHL relative to EMS or UPS/FedEx? Does anyone have inside knowledge of how DHL actually works (do they in fact subcontract final delivery)?
1,735 vues • 5 favoris47 commentaires

Commentaires47

I've been fairly luck with DHL so far. Sure, the boxes can be a little dented and their pretty warm because the trucks don't have AC (to the best of my knowledge), but the stuff I order has been okay for the most part. There's also the option to clear it for signature release, which has gone pretty well since usually someone is at home to bring it in.
Il y a 1 mois
My DHL experience from Canada is that they are often the most expensive option and only once, pre-COVID-19 era, did I ever use them. I wasn't impressed for similar reasons you addressed.

About 2 weeks ago, I had no choice and had to use DHL. I wasn't very happy, but the shipping cost was decent for them and delevery was fast. Done by a real DHL employee.It was positive in some sense, but the cost is becoming prohibitive.

Lately, I've been mainly using Fedex. Often the cost was similar or slightly cheaper than EMS. Generally on time too.

The big issue is every parcel I get since late March get caught by customs. It has become a number I must factor into my budget. A recent survey of my custom fees shown it accounted a big chunk of my expenses, to the point I've been slowing down seriously my purchases.

As for DHL, I suspect the surge in customers made them hire many extra employees or courriers to face the demand. It would explain the ragtag team and discrepancies in delivery experience.

I've recently used EMS on a few items. My experience was that the parcel get stuck in Japan for two weeks before it boards the plane. After that slow start, the delivery process is slightly slower, but normal given the circumstances.

However, I've got a parcel containing old 1980s anime posters stuck in the mail in Japan. The seller has been trying to reclaim it for quite a while, without success. God knows when I'll see the light at the end of the tunnel for this one.
Il y a 1 mois
I've had no issues with DHL from Japan, but when it comes to using it from the US, it's always a problem. I live in Auckland, New Zealand. Greatest country in the world. But for some reason they omit the "Auckland, New Zealand" part and simply include the postcode - and my postcode is the same postcode as somewhere in Australia.

So those stupid fucks send the thing to Australia first, then it's rerouted - every time - to NZ. I'm paying $40 USD for express courier shipping and they're arriving in 8 working days rather than 3 or 4. It's insane, and there's nothing I can do about it.
Il y a 1 mois
All things considered, I'm pretty happy with DHL. Packages have consistently arrived quickly and undamaged. I've worse luck with EMS, so DHL is a safer alternative for me.

My complaint is that DHL penalizes dimensions over weight. Because I collect gunpla, which isn't especially heavy, but Bandai often uses bad box sizes (e.g. flat and wide), DHL is occasionally substantially more expensive than EMS.
Il y a 1 mois
Not in the US, but DHL has always been amazing for me. Packages arrived in 2 days max every single time right at my doorstep, and the added bonus is that I never have to pay for customs even if the amount is usually over the max amount for customs.

The only two gripes I have are, obviously, the price - it can be double or triple EMS sometimes, depending on my order - and the fact that now, they apparently don't deliver to my area/country/city/whatever anymore because they require a 6-digit postal code... and my area's postal code is only 5 digits, lmao. I've potentially found a way to circumvent this (since I found a page where they listed the 6 digit postal codes specific for DHL), but since I have not had anything delivered via DHL since this stupid rule came about (around late 2018/early 2019), I didn't want to try it out during a pandemic. A pity, since it was only 10 yen more expensive than EMS, but at least with EMS I am sure that my package will arrive without fail and that my post office will definitely call me to come pick it up. Maybe I'll try out the service again once this whole pandemic situation is over.
Il y a 1 mois
kaitylee Kawaii Mistress
I know with the pandemic everything is backed up but before the pandemic I got a figure in 3 days from Japan.

Today I got a figure within 4 days, and the one coming on Friday will be 5 days.

I did get the on hold thing for the last two and times but they came the next day.

One of my figures was early and it was out for delivery, but it never made it to my house and came the next morning (as originally scheduled)

I get worried using DHL because I hear so many bad things but my experiences have been nothing but good fortunately (but we'll see how long it stays that way with my many upcoming preorders in these nearing months)
Il y a 1 mois
A couple of years back, much before this pandemic, I got a nendoroid shipped to my house via DHL. The box it was shipped in would have been small enough for a SAL Small Package quote. The delivery quote was fairly high, around 3000 yen but I didn't have much of a choice as I needed the package to arrive quickly because I was moving in the coming month. The package arrived 2 weeks late in very poor condition and DHL charged me 40$ extra at the door to get my damn package. Fortunately the nendoroid box inside wasn't completely smashed and the figure was in good condition. Since then, I've vowed never to get stuff via DHL again and, as such, am waiting patiently for Japan to reopen their postal service towards international countries...

Edit: I am in Quebec, Canada and we are KNOWN for having a ton of extra taxes on international imports...
Il y a 1 mois
DHL itself is nice and I haven't started using it since this March, but as someone who had monthly Amiami orders it got old fast with how expensive it is. I understand it's the only option they have right now for shipping, but I truly can't afford that every month especially since they once asked $100 to ship one figure by DHL. I had these orders placed far before covid was a thing so I assumed I would take my route of reg sal like usual. I am so glad they will at least hold items until normal shipping opens back up. I don't mind the wait if it saves me some. The good thing is there are no issues to be had with using DHL, it's quick and they communicate very well with you.
Il y a 1 mois
No issues with DHL at the two residences ive used recently. 10+ packages shipped with them in the past couple years.
Il y a 1 mois
I'd have to say that most delivery companies have their pros and cons. My FedEx delivery person never delivers to my door. UPS does. DHL does. UPS is the only one that knocks. DHL says that is requires signature but never gets my signature. UPS and FedEx drop/mishandle packages a lot. I've even had FedEx pretend to deliver a heavy package and then simply return the package to the seller. I suspect it is because our deliver person is lazy so he's rather return to seller than deliver a heavy package. I rarely use EMS but I've had packages come in the worst shape of all the delivery companies.

For most packages from Amazon JP that I've had shipped to the US, DHL has done a great job. Plus, shipping usually costs me about 1,000-1,300 yen per figure so my shipping costs have been reasonable. That's probably about 25 packages. However, the last package that was sent from Amazon JP to me was placed on hold for a couple days at the DHL distribution warehouse in Japan and then returned to Amazon JP as "undeliverable". After I reached out to Amazon JP, they checked on the reason DHL returned the package and DHL's answer was that it was returned because one of the figures violated their "corporate standards". This was the figure that apparently violated their corporate standards - ITEM #219471.

Anyway, in one blow all the goodwill that DHL had build up with their mostly good deliveries was completely erased. I haven't bought anything from Amazon JP since because I feel like I can no longer trust my packages to DHL delivery anymore. It's a freaking piece of plastic for crying out loud and not harmful to anyone. Why won't a company that is supposed to be the business of delivery do their job? It just boggles my mind. That said, I guess the social justice warriors (SJW's) that rant against anime and games were able to convince DHL to blacklist some figures for the good of humanity. As you probably know, there was a non-binding UN resolution last year that passed regarding child exploitation in media that was so unclear that most anything in media could be interpreted by the SJW's as promoting it. I know that Amazon US has also taken steps this year to purge sale listings of a number of blacklisted figures. Unless we reject these SJW's censorship efforts, more major corporations are sure to follow.
Il y a 1 mois
Anime, Figures and Manga For Less!

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Welcome to my blog.

Most of my articles are figure reviews, with the occasional loot post thrown in.

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