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The Battle of International Forwarding Services: My Shopping Box vs. Johnny Air Cargo


battle-copy

 

To date, I know of two forwarding services for items purchased from United States stores to be shipped to the Philippines, these are: My Shopping Box and Johnny Air Cargo. Both companies offer an address in the US where purchases can be sent and then these will be forwarded to the Philippines (for an additional cost). Which forwarding service is better? Read on for a side by side comparison.

 

Round One: Rates

 

Both My Shopping Box (MSB) and Johnny Air Cargo (JAC) compute shipping rates based on this formula: (L x W x H) / 166 = shipping weight. For electronics and taxable items, JAC charges $7.50/lb + $5 handling fee. For all other items (excluding prohibited items of course) JAC charges $6/lb + $5 handling fee, for a minimum of two pounds. By air freight, MSB charges $8.50 per pound for items which fall into MSB's Air Cargo Class 2 category (i.e. merchandise that requires special handling such as electronics, notebook computers, signature items and the like) and then $5.50 per pound for all other items (again, excluding prohibited items). By sea freight, MSB charges $2.50 per pound regardless of item shipped.

 

Round Two: Reliability

 

Both MSB and JAC are known for getting your goodies to you in tiptop shape, although JAC has been in existence longer than MSB and so is understandably more popular.

 

Round Three: Shipping Options

 

MSB and JAC offer both air freight and sea freight, however, only MSB offers sea freight for small packages, JAC only allows sea freight for balikbayan boxes.

 

Round Four: Delivery

 

MSB delivers door to door, while JAC, for some bizarre reason, only allows pick-ups of packages at the JAC branches in SM Megamall or in Makati. I wonder if this also holds true with balikbayan boxes?

 

Round Five: Payment Options

 

For retail accounts from the USA to the Philippines, JAC accepts cash or credit card payments. And then for retail accounts from the Philippines to the USA, JAC accepts prepaid or collect (Note: I'm sorry but I do not know what prepaid or collect means when it comes to payments, so please don't ask me:p). Please click here for the full rates matrix. MSB requires that payments be made through credit cards.

Round Six: Taxes

 

Both JAC and MSB will pass on the customs dues to the customer (but of course!)

Conclusion

 

The runaway winner in this battle is obviously MSB when it comes to rates, shipping options, delivery and payment. For air freight, MSB and JAC practically have the same prices per pound but MSB does not have a handling fee and MSB offers sea freight for packages (not just balikbayan boxes) at a significantly lower cost. So if you're in no hurry to get your items, you're better off having it shipped by sea and saving a bundle in the process. The fact that MSB offers door to door service is also a big plus in my opinion, because coming from the dirty south, it will be such a hassle to trek all the way to Makati or Megamall just to claim a package (as is the case with JAC). However, MSB charges an annual fee of $25 for their services while JAC does not have such a membership fee. To fully maximize MSB's annual fee, you must regularly have packages sent from the US (oh the horror!), otherwise, if it's just a one time big time transaction, you're better off with JAC.

Chuvaness reports that JAC bundles up multiple packages sent and charges only one bill for them. I'm not sure if MSB does the same thing with multiple packages. If I regularly shopped online in the US and had no network of friends and relatives to handcarry my goodies, I would definitely plunk down the $25 annual fee and go for MSB's sea freight for only $2.50 per pound, since I'm a patient (and extremely stingy!) person.

But really, why must there be an annual fee? :(

Alan's picture

Yes that's right international courier services are not working properly. I am waiting for my pending items too. They are taking too much to deliver it.

markj021's picture

Hi Guys! I would like to share this webste www.galleon.ph You can buy here products that are not available in the Philippines. I am very satisfied with there service because I have received all of my orders in good condition. Thats no hassle instead of packaging a whole box and waiting for a month for your love ones to receive the package. Hope this would you :)

Anon's picture

They also double the price of everything. Calculating the cost of the item from deals all over the internet plus shipping is actually cheaper.

Darlene F. Fitzgerald's picture

Here’s a workaround I use.....

When you sign up with BPM, you get local shipping addresses in 6 countries.
Drop points include: USA, UK, Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg. You then use these for buying from whom you want, regardless of where the seller ships or not.

You then have all your purchases combined into one, even from the different countries, and use the parcel mail forwarding service to have everything sent home in only one shipment, wherever you are in the world!

Membership for renting these addresses and using the service is only 5€ per month.
You can check it out on http://www.bpm-lux.com

vinz's picture

I have a very bad experience with Johnny-Air-Cargo-PLUS b4 i avail their services i inquire first their charging and their rep gave a satisfied answer the amount of item i order online is only $169 more or less 7000php when i claim the item they are charging me $133 more or less 5000php ++ , don't know if i will claim the item parang naholdap yata ako..

DesSegov's picture

Has anyone who experienced the login problem found the fix and how was this resolved? Ben trying to log in or use forgot password to fix the invalid prompt but it doesn't work. Am sure I used correct login details because they confirmed this upon signing up.

Jillsabs's picture

Maybe you should ask either MSB or JAC to fix your password issue if the Forget Password option doesn't work for you.

Anonymous's picture

The best way to solve this issue is to report it to media. We will voice out our problems to Imbestigador(GMA 7) and T3(TV 5). They(MY-SHOPPINGBOX is kind-of-a-scam. Let's unite and make our voice heard,so we can expunge this kind-of-a-scam service of MY-SHOPPINGBOX.

Jillsabs's picture

Why do you say that MSB is a scam?

I have tried out their services twice and got my packages with no issues both times. I also personally know of about a dozen people who used MSB on different occasions and were very sastisfied with the results.

Please be careful with your accusations. And if you will throw around accusations, make sure to leave your real name and not hide behind a cloak of anonymity. That's what cowards do.

Anonymous's picture

Korek!! I just had my 34th shipment from them and everything went out smoothly, their customer service is also good!

Berx's picture

My Shopping Box DOES NOT know its business. The Christmas holidays is supposed to be the time for sending gifts, yet MSB does not maintain even a skeleton staff to handle receipts or queries during this time when they're supposed to be working double time. Had a package delivered by Amazon to my MSB U.S. address last Dec. 29, yet 2 days later this hasn't been reflected as received in my MSB account. Called up MSB's local office and who do I get to talk to? A SECURITY GUARD! He says it'll be January 2 when MSB staff will report for work. In the meantime, my package stays in limbo in the U.S. I'll raise he'll if they charge me storage fees!

Anonymous's picture

"Both JAC and MSB will pass on the customs dues to the customer (but of course!)"
Can you please explain this?
I once considered buying a cellphone on eBay, but the customs fees alone would is as much as the phone itself. If I were to buy that phone through either JAC of MSB, would it cost as much?

Jillsabs's picture

Hi anon,
 
This means that the buyer will be responsible for the taxes and the taxes will be paid on top of the shipping fee (taxes + shipping fee = JAC / MSB total delivery amount)

Anonymous's picture

Does that mean that I won't need to worry about paying custom taxes and such? If that's the case....no wonder I have to pay $50 for the shipping fee (MSB)....

Jillsabs's picture

That's right. MSB's shipping fee already includes customs dues.

Joanne's picture

hi. This may be a little late but I was just informed that JAC does not consolidate packages anymore :(  I used to pay Php 840 total for 3 bubble enveloped packages but now I have to pay Php 840 PER bubble envelope.  :(

Jillsabs's picture

Grabe naman! So much corporate greed!!

Daisy's picture

I gave MSB a try last Nov. 7, 2011. I'm supposed to purchase $100 worth of goods from one merchant.  Then I got so excited I purchased another $600 from another merchant. Nov 11, 2011 I got email from MSB that my goods arrived waiting to be shipped. To my dismay, I cannot access my account to pay for the shipment. I'm afraid i might be charged with storage fees. I'm so excited to get my purchases but its taking them long. I don't know what to do especially thoses were already paid thru credit card.  Pls help me if anyone knows what to do.  This is really traumatic experience for me. I love to shop more and hope to find a more trustworthy and worry free service.

Jillsabs's picture

Hi Daisy,
November 11 was a Friday, so I doubt anyone would have answered your email over the weekend. You'll probably get a response regarding your failure to login to your account this week, try not to worry about it :)

Anonymous's picture

In defense of My shopping box, my husband and I both use it regularly and have had no problems whatsoever. Everything arrived on time, no problem, door to door. Their rates are very good. We are a fan of Msb!

Anonymous's picture

grabe magta try pa lang ako sa MSB, juice ko, d ako makapag sign up today. it seems may bug ung site nila. frustrating. na excite pa nman sana ako. dahil jan, mag JAC na lang ako! boo!

Jillsabs's picture

JAC is really reliable, you won't get frustrated with them :)

Yo's picture

By the way, MSB charges per package received at their US office. So when I ordered like 5 items from 5 different merchants in Amazon, even if each package weighed less than a pound, I was charged $2.50 x 5. If I only knew, I would've ordered everything from one seller only.

Yo's picture

We've tried both Johnny Air's and My-ShoppingBox's services and we can conclude that JAC is much more reliable when it comes to delivery of services.

We've ordered DVDs, bags and even luxury items from JAC, everything was delivered as promised. Nothing got lost. Their customer service also replies right away to inquiries. They are very efficient and fast.

Wth regards to My-Shopping Box, I ordered some cheap scrapbooking items just to try them. Almost all got delivered too, except for this one item. I e-mailed them, got a reply 3-4 days after telling me that they'd look on it. Days passed, I received no reply. I then called their Manila office, who told me that they'd investigate on it and that they'd call me back later that day. I never received a call back.
I sent e-mails again and as usual, they replied only after a week and told me that they never received the item and that I should talk to the merchant. The thing is, I already forwarded them my conversation thread with the merchant and even attached the USPS tracking report saying that it has been delivered to them, when I contacted them! Obviously, they didn't even read and understood my message!

If I can't even trust them with a P500.00 worth of an item, how can I trust them with higher valued ones?! You guys can try their services at your own risk, but I am definitely not recommending them to anybody! It's going to be a month now and my item still hasn't been found. They said on ther FAQs that they'd pay for items that get lost under their custody, but they wouldn't. They will just tell you that they never received it, even if it has been clearly stated on the delivery report that it has been delivered to them.

Guys, I'm telling you based on our experiences, MY-SHOPPING BOX SUCKS AND IS DEFINITELY NOT TRUSTWORTHY. JOHNNY AIR IS MORE RELIABLE AND COULD DELIVER WELL.

Anonymous's picture

I agree! I have tried both my-shoppingbox and JAC. JAC is a bit expensive to my taste. But My-shoppingbox is worse! I am currently having difficulties with My-shoppingbox right now. They replied once to my queries and after that no one followed up. I can't access my account and can't even retrieve a new password! I have been waiting for their reply for 4 days now but to no avail. I don't know but after today, I most probably won't use this courier service again. Very unreliable, unresponsive, and bad support/customer service. What a waste of money and time. Very very disappointing.

Yo's picture

yes! that's happening to me right now too. the customer service rep who replied to me told me last Saturday that it's going to be up by 3PM that same day, well, look at the website now. it's still inaccessible. I also have pending items that I'm waiting for. as for the missing item that got lost under their custody, oh well, I guess I'd just have to accept the fact that I will never see it. I'm definitely going back to JAC. paying for an extra dollar but actually getting the item and getting good services is definitely way cheaper, than having your items (which you've already paid for!) get lost by an unreliable shipping company with a really bad customer service!

Anonymous's picture

Hey all, does anyone know of a reverse service-- I'd like to send ONE box to the US (with multiple packages in it) and then have someone distribute the smaller packages over there.

Jillsabs's picture

Via sea freight to an accommodating relative who will then distribute the smaller packages for you :)

talongskie's picture

Hi, I' m waiting for a package to be shipped thru Johnny Air Manhattan. They were fast to reply to emails at first. My items arrived at JA last Nov23, I know this because I was given a tracking num. But since Nov23, I haven't received any updates from JA and I have emailed many times. I've also given them my credit card details already. I don't call though, just email.
Has anyone have had a similar experience? Because I've been seeing good reviews and was expecting good service.

Jillsabs's picture

Hi Talongskie,
I'm sorry to hear that :( I hope Johnny Air steps up its game very soon.

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