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Thread: Comparison of EMS/TNT/UPS fast mail

  1. #16
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    This is a subject that makes business possible or not in Russia. I have had the best luck with EMS being the fastest from the US, 11 days sending 25kg box delivered to my apartment on a Sunday morning. Still sealed and no delays in customs if sent and sealed by the post office in US. Flagged automatically if not.
    FedEx and UPS both are expensive and longer because of a minimum 4 extra days in customs if all is in order. If coming from a business, customs is smooth usually but not if from an individual.

    Mail is not bad within Russia or with a city particularly but much longer from or to the outside world. 6 weeks average.
    My office has tried a few mailing services, The current one is the worst but by far the cheapest. We use Westpost now and have had more lost mail then ever, long delays between deliveries to us after being stamped in Finland having arrived there. Generally very unreliable so we use them less and less, only using it to deliver newspapers from Finland now. Even then, we won't get a daily Finnish newspaper until they stack up and they are delivered(most of them) to the office in a batch of 6-7 editions. We are paying for daily courier but obviously are not getting what we are paying for.
    We used one that was excellent and SPb to NYC was typically 3-4 days from pickup at our office. Return was the same but the monthly subscription keep increasing in price when we really did not need daily service.

    I have has shipments of vacuum tubes from China that have been a nightmare no matter how I do it, They are small lots of 1 cubic meter, sent post or EMS and each time, over a year we still have never been able to get a parcel out of the post office. The total cost of the items are in the $200 range, just tubes used on guitar amplifiers because none are sold here, despite two factories making them in Russia. I made the mistake the first time having them sent to my name, a foreigner, and after 3 months and 100 hours of traveling back and forth to the central post office, creating documents describing them in great detail they always wanted more, until they decided they wanted $560 in fees to allow me to get them. We had them sent back, they were sent back only after weekly bugging them for 3 months. Had them sent again but to a Russian citizen, my GF, and the problem there was when they arrived, the invoice name spelling was slightly misspelled by the Chinese company, a transposition of 2 letters and the whole process started over and we still do not have the tubes. We filed every document required, notarized translations from Mandarin, certifications from an electronics specialist that they were what they said the items were. Then they noticed that the invoice was value had changed, during the wait because of the change in exchange rate so the invoice no longer stated the correct value in the many months of trying to get them out of the central post office. Finally, the just stopped taking to us and said it was lost. So I am into it about $900 for a $200 order, over a year and still have nothing. Each time they are sent back I get charged another $100 for shipping the 3.5g package. I was cheaper to fly to California and buy some there, which I just did this week. The ironic thing is that I do not even have the amplifier the tubes were for anymore.

    For regular imports I have registered a company to import and distribute a line of US made amplifiers. Using a friend's logistic's company and since the there are only 4 models and shipping from business to business, everything is much more organized. Yes, there are duties, customs brokerage fees, VAT and all but so far all is as predicted. So it matters how you send things and where.

    I just sent a piece of electronic test equipment from myself to myself from California. Packing, fees(had it professionally packed), EMS and insurance was $365 for 16kg. It should be there 11 days after it is sent. I left instructions to not enter it into the system until yesterday so I would be be there to receive it. I will report when it arrives. It is a unit I have had for 20 years so its value is hard to guess.

  2. #17
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    Another option for those who live in the northern capital would be to use Poste Restante in Finland (or maybe Estonia).

    http://www.shipito.com/lappeenranta

    There will be no customs duty if you have something posted from another EU country, because the EU operates a unified customs space.

  3. #18
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    ROYAL MAIL LONDON-MOSCOW

    Need to have a small electronic device shipped from London to Moscow by Royal Mail known as:

    “Airsure, International Signed For and Airmail services”.

    Value 50 Pounds. Has anyone tried and if so was it delivered to your home or did you have to cross Moscow to pick it up. DHL do not deliver to private addresses.

    Any advice will be appreciated.
    A woman is just a woman, but a fine cigar is a smoke.

  4. #19
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    Know nothing about Royal Mail; but DHL/FedEX is reliable - if expensive.

    By the way, what do you smoke VITOLIER? My fav is Vegas Robaina.

  5. #20
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    Best to check here: http://expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=379462

    You can read all of the posts and decide for yourself. I would only use a service with tracking, because otherwise you'll not know which post office to harass when trying to find the package. When I have things sent from abroad, Russian Post often declares "неполный адрес", and I have to collect the package from the sorting centre.

    The EMS service in the UK is operated by a company called "Parcelforce", which is a subsidiary of Royal Mail.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    Best to check here: http://expat.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=379462

    You can read all of the posts and decide for yourself. I would only use a service with tracking, because otherwise you'll not know which post office to harass when trying to find the package. When I have things sent from abroad, Russian Post often declares "неполный адрес", and I have to collect the package from the sorting centre.

    The EMS service in the UK is operated by a company called "Parcelforce", which is a subsidiary of Royal Mail.
    I agree, tracking is a must, but DHL do not deliver to private addresses in Russia. I know the "sorting centre" episode, and that I would like to avoid. Will study the other posts, but thanks for the advice.
    A woman is just a woman, but a fine cigar is a smoke.

  7. #22
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    Odd, maybe FedEX is too American. There was even a 2000 movie "Cast Away" about a FedEX employee (played by Tom Hanks) in Moskva.

    Oh well, your welcome.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack17 View Post
    Odd, maybe FedEX is too American. There was even a 2000 movie "Cast Away" about a FedEX employee (played by Tom Hanks) in Moskva.

    Oh well, your welcome.
    It's all about customs. The actual delivery part is secondary. When I receive mail by regular post, it's usually only a few days slower than I would expect with express service.

    Russian Post seems to have a simplified procedure which usually works well. However, if some duty or tax is due, it may take 6 months of running errands between the post office and customs.

    UPS must have had some good luck or spent a lot of cash to get the right arrangement with customs.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    It's all about customs. . . it may take 6 months of running errands between the post office and customs.
    Have you used FedEX; did you encounter this problem with them?

    I'd really like to know, because FedEX is the go to service in the States; but maybe EMS is the most efficient within Russia. Problem is, not many (any?) EMS outlets in the States. I didn't see FedEX reference anywhere in the thread to which you provided the link; so, just wondering . . .

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack17 View Post
    Have you used FedEX; did you encounter this problem with them?

    I'd really like to know, because FedEX is the go to service in the States; but maybe EMS is the most efficient within Russia. Problem is, not many (any?) EMS outlets in the States. I didn't see FedEX reference anywhere in the thread to which you provided the link; so, just wondering . . .
    I haven't used FedEx myself, but there were posts around 1-1.5 years ago complaining about FedEx using local contractors who weren't very reliable. Things could have changed since then - who knows.

    EMS isn't a company in its own right, it's an arrangement with each national postal company. So in the US, EMS express mail/packages can be lodged at USPS.

    The other thing to remember is that Russia is now part of the WTO, so customs will have to be reformed quite drastically. Hopefully soon because, to be honest, they're extremely anal. X-ray isn't enough for them. I know for a fact that they open my letters and read them, because sometimes they put a stamp on the envelope and write the title of the document, number of pages and some kind of code which I guess is their way of categorising which kind of letter it is.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by VITOLIER View Post
    I agree, tracking is a must, but DHL do not deliver to private addresses in Russia. I know the "sorting centre" episode, and that I would like to avoid. Will study the other posts, but thanks for the advice.
    why? i got a parcel recentely from us via dhl - the main issue is customs clearance
    if value is less then 200 euro they do it for free, if more they charge extra fees
    parcels sent via standart post go via a different customs clearance (easier one)

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    I haven't used FedEx myself, but there were posts around 1-1.5 years ago complaining about FedEx using local contractors who weren't very reliable. Things could have changed since then - who knows.

    EMS isn't a company in its own right, it's an arrangement with each national postal company. So in the US, EMS express mail/packages can be lodged at USPS.

    The other thing to remember is that Russia is now part of the WTO, so customs will have to be reformed quite drastically. Hopefully soon because, to be honest, they're extremely anal. X-ray isn't enough for them. I know for a fact that they open my letters and read them, because sometimes they put a stamp on the envelope and write the title of the document, number of pages and some kind of code which I guess is their way of categorising which kind of letter it is.
    Wow, sounds like another legacy of Stalin or even Okhrana. Achtung, Achtung! Thanks

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidB View Post
    I haven't used FedEx myself, but there were posts around 1-1.5 years ago complaining about FedEx using local contractors who weren't very reliable. Things could have changed since then - who knows.

    EMS isn't a company in its own right, it's an arrangement with each national postal company. So in the US, EMS express mail/packages can be lodged at USPS.

    The other thing to remember is that Russia is now part of the WTO, so customs will have to be reformed quite drastically. Hopefully soon because, to be honest, they're extremely anal. X-ray isn't enough for them. I know for a fact that they open my letters and read them, because sometimes they put a stamp on the envelope and write the title of the document, number of pages and some kind of code which I guess is their way of categorising which kind of letter it is.
    if they read your letters this violates your privacy and confidentiality of postal correspondance did you try to find out what is a legitimate reason for them to do that?

  14. #29
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    The thread about ROYAL MAIL now is merged with stuck thread about fast mail services. Thanks for understanding.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilya25 View Post
    if they read your letters this violates your privacy and confidentiality of postal correspondance did you try to find out what is a legitimate reason for them to do that?
    I'm not sure why customs would be interested in my mail. After all of the trouble involved in receiving the mail, I was happy enough to have my letters. The only thing that comes to mind is that I often receive documents with corporate seals attached. Maybe the wax-paper stickers show up on x-ray?

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