Before Covid-19, we never worried about parcels not arriving when we make a purchase from our favorite go-to online shopping site, AliExpress. For the shipping method, we’d always select the default shipping option on the site. This is the free shipping option. It didn’t matter what the shipping method was for the free shipping option we’d would always go for it when parcels pretty much always came. After the Covid-19 pandemic went around the world, we experienced issues receiving our parcels. We had parcels being in transit for many months then disappointingly never arriving.
The shipping method is something we never cared to look at before Covid-19. Now, though, we make sure we take a good look at the shipping methods available and select the shipping method we know will successfully get our parcel to us. A couple of purchases that we made last year ended up not arriving helped us quickly learn to pay attention to the default shipping method and pay a few dollars extra for shipping to get a shipping service that will see our parcels delivered to us rather than one that has a high possibility of the parcel getting lost somewhere in the parcel network and therefore us never receiving it.
In these times where a pandemic is going around the world, we found two shipping methods that got our parcels delivered to us and one that didn’t. The shipping methods we talk about are all standard/economy air services for the AliExpress site.
AliExpress Standard Shipping
AliExpress Standard Shipping is one of the shipping methods that got our parcels delivered to us. AliExpress Standard Shipping parcels are standard tracked parcels with a 20-digit tracking number that start with ‘9’.
Before Covid-19, average delivery time was around one month. During Covid-19, delivery times was relatively long. The parcels coming through the AliExpress Standard Shipping method took around 2 – 3 months to get to us. (We live in New Zealand.) It is long, but all the parcels coming through the AliExpress Standard Shipping method have so far all arrived. With these parcels we had coming through AliExpress Standard Shipping, they first got picked up by Cainiao then went through UBI Smart Parcel before it arrived into the country and our postal agency delivered it to us.
China Registered Post Air Mail
China Registered Post Air Mail shipping method has never failed us. It hasn’t failed us before Covid-19 and it hasn’t failed us during the Covid-19 pandemic. China Registered Post Air Mail is always very reliable in our experience. China Registered Post Air Mail parcels are standard tracked parcels with two letters at the front with 9 digits in the middle and ends with ‘CN’ e.g. AB123456789CN.
We had two small parcels using China Registered Post Air Mail as the shipping method. Both arrived. China Registered Post Air Mail is a much speedier service than AliExpress Standard Shipping. Both of the China Registered Post Air Mail parcels took about three weeks to get to us. Before Covid-19, China Registered Post Air Mail parcels took around two weeks.
One thing we’d like to mention, though, is that these two China Registered Post Air Mail parcels were parcels for items purchased this year during when Covid-19 has already been around for a while and there are a bit more flights coming into the country (New Zealand). The amount of flights from China coming into the country is still not a lot, though. The last time we checked, it’s two flights per week which is significantly less than before Covid-19. However, we do feel China Registered Post Air Mail to be a pretty reliable shipping method. We’d always choose this shipping method if it’s affordable because it has served us well.
Cainiao Super Economy Global
The shipping method we’ve had issues with during the Covid-19 pandemic is when the parcel is solely handled by Cainiao with or without information on the parcel’s progress provided by SunYou – Sytrack. The parcels that we had going through Cainiao are untracked standard/economy parcels and comes with parcel numbers starting with ‘LP’ followed by 14 numbers e.g. LP12345678901234.
We’ve had experiences with standard Cainiao parcels before Covid-19 and we’ve had no issues with receiving them at all. They arrived perfectly fine. Not during the Covid-19 pandemic, though. We had two Cainiao Super Economy Global parcels sent during when Covid-19 was roaring around the world last year. One was sent around the middle of the year and the other was sent during the last quarter of last year. Both didn’t arrive. When we entered the parcel number into parcel tracking webpages, the last scan for both parcels showed arrival into the country and nothing else. These parcels were very small and light. We’re not too sure if it’s because of the lightness and the very small size of the parcels that they got lost. Whatever the reason is for why we never received these Cainiao Super Economy Global parcels we weren’t going to try it again after these two parcels failed to get to us. We got refunds from the sellers for these, so it was all good.
So, until air travel gets back to normal we will leave items using the Cainiao Super Economy Global shipping method. For now, it’s China Registered Post Air Mail and AliExpress Standard Shipping. China Registered Post Air Mail is the better option since, from our experience, it’s reliable and much much faster than AliExpress Standard Shipping. If delivery time isn’t an issue and it’s a matter of the parcel eventually getting to the door, then either of these two shipping methods are good from our experience.
Update 20 August 2021: we’ve since had parcels using AliExpress Standard Shipping which recently is much speedier now while China Registered Post seems to take longer than before to arrive. Cainiao parcels also arrives now.
Update 13 November 2021: Parcels using China Registered Post coming from Shanghai, China seems to be having issues getting to us before the buyer protection period is up. More often than not, these parcels struggle to get to us. We have several of these parcels still in transit and it’s coming to two months in transit in Shanghai. We’ve had a couple parcels from Shanghai now where we had to open a dispute because it takes a long while before these parcels get out of Shanghai, China. It then gets compounded by the much slower service of our postal agency because of Covid restrictions currently in place. Aliexpress Standard Shipping continues to be reliable although it is now back to a slower delivery time of about two months. Cainiao surprisingly is pretty good for us so far. It arrives within a month. We can’t recall which city they had arrived from, though.