COVID19 shipping updates for June

I hope you're all keeping healthy out there.

In case you're not up to speed since it has been a couple months now, COVID19 is having a significant impact on global logistics.Back in the beginning of April, Japan Post announced temporary service suspensions to a number of countries impacted by the novel coronavirus. The list of suspensions grew again on the 9th and once again on the 24th, when the US was also added to the list.

Since then, there were a few improvements and services have resumed to a number of European countries.Presently, I'm able to ship via Japan Post air services (ePacket and EMS) to the following countries:

  • Canada (Please note that performance is very poor)
  • Mexico (Update July 3rd: 3 week delays expected)
  • France
  • Germany
  • UK (Update July 3rd: 3 week delays expected)
  • Finland
  • The Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • Estonia
  • Austria (resumed June 19th)
  • Sweden (resumed June 19th)
  • Spain (resumed June 19th)
  • Czechia (resumed June 19th)
  • Denmark (resumed June 19th)
  • Norway (resumed June 19th)
  • Hungary (resumed June 19th)
  • Belgium (resumed June 19th)
  • Poland (resumed June 19th)
  • Latvia (resumed June 19th)
  • Lithuania (resumed June 19th)
  • Italy (resumed July 1st)
  • South Korea
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Philippines (I don't think they're processing non-essential items through customs, however)
  • Taiwan
  • Hong Kong
  • New Zealand (resumed July 1st)
  • Plus a few others

For those living outside of the above countries, I have access to courier services (DHL, FedEx and UPS) at a reasonable discount now.I am therefore recommending people to switch if they have an outstanding order or something they'd like to ship soon .It's more expensive than an ePacket but prices are fairly comparable to EMS unless the shipment is large.I can confirm they're all working reasonably quickly (and lightning fast for some destinations and services).Large shipments are currently a bit of a problem. due to negative scaling in my shipping tables i.e. it can be cheaper to ship some kits (eg large MGs) separately rather than together.I'm working on having that changed as I continue to use their services, though.

Because of this negative scaling, I've added an option to request a manual total for shipping at checkout.Please inquire before using the option, however, to avoid any surprises.

It's also useful if you're making piecemeal pre-orders over time or if you'd like to wait to see if Japan Post air services resume before the pre-order arrives. Though, I do recommend asking for an estimate to avoid any bill shock when shipping time comes.

Also note that this is an evolving situation.While a lot of lockdowns have ended, the virus is still very much out there and could just as easily and quickly cause disruptions again like we saw back in April.If it's within your budget, I recommend choosing faster shipping options over slower ones to avoid potential long delays in receiving your kits.

For example, air services are still actually operating to the US, it's just the acceptance of new items that's been suspended.Kits shipped as far back as early April are still awaiting transit and the backlog is still projected to last another 2 months at current capacity.

And one little tip, if you're looking to optimise your shipping, the magic number for DHL shipping a combined dimensional weight of 3380g. The costs jump up quite a bit after that point.

Stay safe and let me know if you have any questions.