If you’ve ever been tempted to buy something online from outside of the UAE or GCC, the chances are that you faced a number of logistical or financial hurdles. Many US and UK websites don’t offer international shipping and the ones that do usually charge high prices for these types of orders. As a result of these restrictions, shoppers in the region are left to pay full price for products at shopping malls or rely on local e-commerce websites which have limited items in stock.
In recent years, package forwarding services have emerged as an alternative and popular option for residents in the UAE and GCC, providing them with an easier and smarter way to shop from international websites and ship their parcels back home.
How it Works
Package forwarding may sound a bit technical and difficult to grasp if you are not familiar with the concept. Yet, in reality, it’s a relatively simple process which only takes a few clicks and steps. Upon registering with a package forwarding company, you will be provided a personal address and locker number in the US or in the country where you are buying from.
Let’s say you want to buy a laptop from Amazon.com. Upon entering your shipping details, you would tell Walmart to ship your item to your new registered US address. The packaging forwarding company will receive your parcel on your behalf upon delivery and notify you as soon as this happens. It then gets re-shipped to your address in the UAE or GCC at your request. Often the case, these companies will have discounted rates with international couriers for products that are shipped globally.
Most Popular Services
Although there is a wide variety of package forwarding options available globally, Shipoala.com, Aramex’s Shop and Ship, Stackry and MyUS are proving to be the most popular companies offering these services to shoppers in the GCC as they provide access to thousands of items, merchandise and other products in the US, many of which are hard find in this part of the world. It’s worth noting that Shipoala and Shop and Shop are the only package forwarding services offered to consumers in the UAE and GCC that have local representation in this part of the world. Skypax and Forwardvia are also widely used among shoppers who buy from online retailers and eBay sellers from the UK and ship their purchases to almost anywhere in the world.
[What’s Your Shopping Saving Strategy?]
By going the package forwarding route, shoppers can access a much wider selection of retailers and products at much lower prices. They are usually given the option to store multiple purchases in their designated locker and ship them at their convenience at no extra charge.
As you can see in the table below, some of these companies offer re-packaging services which are designed to eliminate extra space and weight, thus saving you money on shipping. Since package forwarding companies typically use the top international couriers, their customers have access to state-of-the-art tracking and tracing systems, in addition to shipping calculators which enable them to find out beforehand how much it will cost to have the items shipped internationally.
Although there are many package forwarding services to choose from, the good news is that all of the information you are looking for is only a few clicks away. A little bit of research goes a long way in helping you find you the best deals. Overall, the pros of package forwarding far outweigh any cons as such services are convenient and give shoppers access to a global marketplace where they can find the products they are looking for at great prices.
|Company||Membership Fees||Consolidation/Re-packaging||Storage||Return Service||
Number of Addresses Offered
|Local Representation in UAE?|
|Shipoala.com||None (Free Premium Membership)||Yes at no extra charge||Free storage for up to 45 days||No||One US address per customer||Yes|
|Shop and Ship||$45 for Basic Membership
$119 for Basic plus Flex Membership
|Not offered||No||Returns can be made via Aramex Express at an extra fee||Addresses in 22 countries||Yes|
|MyUS||$7 per month for Premium Membership
$49 per month for VIP service
|Yes (with paid membership)||Free storage for up to 30 days||No||One US address per customer||No|
|Stackry||None (Free Membership)||$2 per package (consolidation)
$5 per package (repacking)
|Free storage for up to 45 days||No||One US address per customer||No|
|Skypax||Free Standard Membership
$127 per year for Premium Membership
|$6.7 per package (consolidation)||Free storage for up to 30 days with Standard Membership
Free storage for 60 days with Premium Membership
|$10.7 per returned package||One UK address per customer||No|
|Forwardvia||None (Free Membership)||Free consolidation for first 3 packages($2.68 per additional package)||Free storage up to 30 days||$6.7 per returned package||One UK address per customer||No|