Balikbayan Box From USA to Philippines

Balikbayan Box From USA to Philippines

Sending a Balikbayan Box: The Dread of Nobody Showing Up to Collect It

Sending a balikbayan box is an unparalleled experience, particularly when you're missing home or someone you love is sick. This box is a tangible way to express your care and support, with the exception of the nightmare of nobody showing up on your doorstep to pick it up. Despite the best intentions, things don't always go as planned. Trying out a different shipping company may not be the best idea; opting for a reputable company with a solid track record is the way to go. Unfortunately, my story doesn't have a happy ending, but I hope my experience can provide insight on how to handle it better. In addition to that, I’m also sharing 10 important tips on how to send balikbayan boxes to the Philippines. Let’s go!

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Travel Tips
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  • For accommodations, our family trusts for reasonable prices.

Trying out a new courier service

I had a frustrating experience with A Shipping Company. It can be really disappointing when a company doesn't value our time and effort. I was proactive in confirming the pick-up time and providing all necessary details, but unfortunately, the driver didn't show up. Despite the issue at hand, the driver was incredibly kind and compassionate. In fact, he even encouraged me to call the office to help resolve the matter.

It's also frustrating when technology doesn't work as it should. I encountered some issues with their app and didn't receive proper confirmation for my pick-up. This can be a major inconvenience, especially when you have important things to take care of. 
When I reached out to customer service, I didn't receive the support I needed. It's really disheartening when you make an effort to communicate with a company and they don't seem to care about your concerns. They also dropped my call and put me on hold for a long time even though I was able to keep a positive attitude.

Here’s a summary of what happened: 
  • October 5: Booked a pick-up for October 9 at 10 AM with A Shipping Company App - unreliable!
  • The shipping company replied by email stating they can only do October 10 and will call back for the time
  • October 6: No one called, I called to confirm and was told the record was not on file and the available pick-up will be on October 11. I explained the booking and was able to put it back to October 10
  • October 9: No one called, instead I received a pick-up confirmation for October 10 and was asked to verify my address. I confirmed and provided the detailed address
  • October 10, 6 AM: The driver called and advised that they could not pick up the box and instructed me to call the office.
  • After calling the office with different people, I was put on hold for a lengthy period and informed that the next pickup date was October 15, which was after their preferred cutoff date of October 13.
  • Unfortunately, the call was intentionally dropped twice, and the same thing happened when my husband called from work. Despite requesting to speak with the manager, the call was disconnected once again.
  • I went above and beyond by contacting the office, emailing various addresses, and even reaching out via Facebook Messenger (which is not something I usually do) to get in touch. It was a fruitless ordeal.
Delaying shipment isn't an issue for me, and I'm willing to comply with the company's request. However, time is of the essence, and I have personal reasons for the urgency that I'm not comfortable sharing. I asked politely, but unfortunately, my request was not heard or understood. 

The Negative Reviews on Yelp were a Warning Sign I Ignored

It's a shame that I didn't pay more attention to the numerous negative reviews on Yelp about this company. It's possible that it was just the location, but the company's customer service did not respond through email or with their Facebook Messenger.

Sadly, I have not found A Shipping Company to be trustworthy or professional. As a result, I have decided to move forward and explore other options. From now on, I won't consider working with any company that only prioritizes profit and doesn't value my time. Two chances are more than enough. However, I hope your experience with them is better than mine.

Here are some simple steps you can take to ensure that your package is picked up on time:
  1. Two days before your scheduled pickup, call and confirm your name and address.
  2.  Then, on the day before, call the office again and confirm the date and pickup. Don't solely rely on the system - take matters into your own hands!

10 Tips for Shipping Balikbayan Boxes to the Philippines

Sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines is a great way to stay connected with your loved ones and show them that you care, even if you are miles apart. Here are some tips on how to send balikbayan boxes to the Philippines:

1. Shipping Company: Reliability is Key

When it comes to selecting a shipping company, always opt for a reputable one. LBC, also recognized as the "Hari ng Padala" or "King of Deliveries," has earned its reputation for a reason. Though it may be tempting to choose a lower fee to save money, consider the value of peace of mind in the long run. Since you're already making an investment, it's important to get your money's worth. Even if a company's staff fails to meet your expectations (as every company has its flaws), you can always depend on a reliable system to support you.

If you're located in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California, you can find the nearest LBC branch at Panorama City. 
Afterwards, take some time to visit D'New Aristocrat Filipino Restaurant within the same plaza and try their authentic and delicious empanadas. Supporting Filipino-owned businesses is something I value, and to top it off, their Chicken Empanadas are the best I've ever had!

LBC - Panorama Branch
Address: 13758 Roscoe Blvd, Panorama City, CA 91402

2. Packing Tips

After picking up the box from the shipping company, it's time to pack! When sending items through balikbayan boxes, pack them carefully and choose the appropriate box size. Ensure that the items are secured properly, and check with the shipping company for prohibited items to avoid delays or confiscation. You can also use bubble wrap for added protection.

3. Double-Check Pick-Up Details - Learn from my mistake!

To prevent any mishaps with scheduled pickups, make sure to call the shipping company a few days prior to confirm the date and time. Follow up with a confirmation call the day before, verifying your name and address. Trust me, learning from my mistake can save you a lot of hassle.

4. Weight Limit - By Sea

No weight limit for balikbayan boxes. Feel free to fill your box to capacity without concern when shipped via sea.

5. How much is allowed

Per year, the highest allowed value for a Balikbayan box is PHP 150,000.00.

6. How many times a year

You can send Balikbayan Boxes to your loved ones back home three times a year without incurring any duties or taxes.

7. How much to send 

The cost of shipping to the Philippines can vary depending on the shipping company, time of year, box size, and destination. On average, the estimated cost falls between 100 USD-200 USD.

I paid 105 USD for a Jumbo Box (24"x 18"x 24") via Sea Cargo going to the Visayas. LBC Price Calculator

8. Shipping Timeline

Delivery timelines for packages are influenced by shipping methods, seasonal variations, and other uncontrollable factors. Air freight usually takes 7 to 10 days, while sea freight can take 40 to 60 days. Normally, sea freight is the most common way of sending balikbayan boxes and it's the cheapest option.

9. Customs

Avoid placing prohibited items inside your boxes, as customs are legally authorized to open the Balikbayan Boxes.

10. Track your Package

To ensure safe delivery of your package, choose a reliable shipping company with a dependable app and tracking system. By tracking your package, you can have peace of mind knowing it will reach its destination without issue.

LBC: Hari ng Padala!

When it comes to sending packages, LBC is the way to go! The app is more efficient, the system is smooth, and I can rest easy knowing that my box will arrive at its destination. That's why I'm sticking with the best! 

Balikbayan Box from California to the Philippines: Arrived Before Christmas 

On October 11th, we paid for a 24x18x24 inch box to be shipped via sea cargo for a grand total of 105 USD from California to the Philippines. The box was delivered to the Visayas address on December 19th. As expected, shipping during the holiday season takes longer than usual, but we're happy to confirm that it arrived safely.

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