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Severe Japan Post SAL/EMS/ePacket suspensions due to COVID-19! -> (Updated May 28)

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Das Steinkopf

I decided to cancel my preorders from AmiAmi for May and June due to the fact that DHL is the only shipping option at the moment, for a large order sometimes DHL can work out cheaper when compared to EMS but for smaller orders it can be up to 50% more which was the case for my April order. I have some other preorders still in the system from July onwards which I am hoping that conditions for shipping improve by that time as I really don't want to cancel any more orders, especially when the items I have on order from there on are all items I really want, the recently cancelled orders were mainly containers and two Greenmax 211-6000 Series sets which I would have liked to have got but given the current conditions I can wait a bit longer for them.

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Tony Galiani

I placed a small order from Model Trains Plus at the beginning of the month and it went to the PO on the 7th.  But since then, it seems to be in limbo - tracking does not show anything besides the initial drop off so no idea when I will see the package.  Fortunately, I can substitute DMUs for service into Chihiro Horikawa!

 

Cheers,

Tony Galiani

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Cat

Last night I was wondering about a SAL parcel from Mandarake, so went and checked the tracking number.  They shipped it out on 24 March; it failed to catch a flight in time; was returned to them on 20 April.  I expect to be hearing from them shortly as they work through what must be a pileup of returned packages.

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roadstar_na6

Interestingly one of the two parcels left from ZenMarket arrived today after clearing customs at the airport 300km away in probably less than 24h. Here‘s hope the final one will also be that quick 😄

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nah00

It may also be an issue that some or most shops are running short of staff right now so packaging and shipping parcels is probably lower priority. 

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Lawrence

Reading the HS advice on shipping, they say SAL is restricted so I have asked if EMS is still available and asked to invoice me the difference in cost. Normally they reply within an hour or so but 36 hrs later and no response yet. Things must be tough there just now

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cteno4

I think HS May be suspending shipping right now with the returns or are really short staffed to pack an order. I have an EMS order that’s been in like 6 days with ship what available (all were in stock when I ordered and still showing in stock) and it’s just been sitting there. Usually invoiced in a day or so.

 

ill ping them tomorrow at a week.
 

jeff

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ranger10178
34 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

I think HS May be suspending shipping right now with the returns or are really short staffed to pack an order. I have an EMS order that’s been in like 6 days with ship what available (all were in stock when I ordered and still showing in stock) and it’s just been sitting there. Usually invoiced in a day or so.

 

ill ping them tomorrow at a week.
 

jeff

Not looking good for me then... - I put an order in with them on Sunday, with EMS shipping. I was hoping that i would at least get some model kits to build whilst I'm off work! (My other orders of building kits from Plaza Japan are likely to be returned to sender...)

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cteno4

Yeah unfortunately unless you are using FedEx or DHL it seems to be a little waiting game for now. that stock delayed order from amazon.jp came thru wicked fast DHL last week in 2 days total.
 

im not sire if MTP is open but Nariichi now ships DHL and fedex as well. Hlj.com also does FedEx and DHL shipping.

 

if you are desperate try amazon.co.jp. Usually around the price of HS and their dhl shipping is really much cheaper than EMS and very fast and seems to be smoother thru a lot of customs. You can put the site into English (for the main titles and interface not descriptions) and get an account using a credit card. They offer a small point system for some items and my amazon cc in the us gives 5% back on the amazon,co.jp orders when I use it. I pay in yen and cc has no international exchange fee (if you pay amazon in your local currency instead of yen amazon throws in a small exchange fee like 1% last I checked). Also you will notice the prices go down 10% when you check out for an international order as all prices listed include 10% gst. Not all items can be shipped to your country, so look in the upper right on a page and it usually tells you if it can ship to your destination, if not it will flag items on checkout. Most third party sellers don’t ship internationally. At times there are some great deals there and the shipping can be good (it also can be bad as well with preorders for a train wanting 4900 yen to ship, but don’t know if that happens why it actually ships as never done a preorder).

 

Let me know if you want some pdf building to print out and play with in the mean time. I have a big collection of free ones I’ve downloaded from the web over the years. Some are quite nice and they are good to sort of mock up things.

 

jeff

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cteno4

Well I finally got an invoice for payment from HS at about 6 days. It will be interesting if they now send info on holding EMS for a while. I can’t see them attempting to send out more when EMS are being returned here.

 

jeff

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maihama eki
Posted (edited)

HS just posted an update on "temporary shipping methods".  They seem to be offering several options.

 

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/infodetails

 

It seems that many of these options are not currently available for dispatch to the U.S. based on testing with an item just now.  Only Surface Parcel and Surface Small Packet were available for immediate dispatch.  All other options would be "held until available".

Edited by maihama eki

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katoftw

Those option look better then the usual option.  And will probably find one or two cheaper.

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chadbag
On 4/21/2020 at 6:12 PM, cteno4 said:

and my amazon cc in the us gives 5% back on the amazon,co.jp orders when I use it. I pay in yen and cc has no international exchange fee (if you pay amazon in your local currency instead of yen amazon throws in a small exchange fee like 1% last I checked).

 

 

Your Amazon card gives you the prime cash back for Amazon.co.jp orders?  I'll have to try it again.  I tried it once a long while ago and did not get it -- I only got the normal 1% for "non-amazon" other type purchases.  So I've been using the Capital One which gives us 2% back (when applied to travel, which is easy for us)

 

And to confirm what Jeff says:  Use a CC that has no international usage fees/conversion fees and tell them to bill you in Yen on Amazon (don't let them convert it to USD or whatever your local currency is).  You usually save a few percent that way in my experience.  I've never had their internal exchange be better than I have gotten through my CC.   IF you only have a CC that has an international conversion fee or international usage fee, it might be better to let Amazon convert it for you, but I've seen international fees applied to transactions I did on CC that have international fees even when the charge was in my own currency -- the fact it originated outside of the US (my country) led to fees even though they charged in USD.

 

 

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cteno4

So I went and checked and the last purchase they only did 1%. I had called in last winter to amazon cc and they said they would get the 5% like amazon.com, but it looks like it’s not now. I’m going to go back and look and call amazon chase card to see what’s up.

 

wheni first looked at the amazon conversion rate I think it was about 1% conversion charge. Chat is right this is better to most cc international charges of 2-3% (some higher). I too use my capital one for international stuff for the same reasons as chad.

 

jeff

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disturbman
On 4/22/2020 at 2:12 AM, cteno4 said:

At times there are some great deals there and the shipping can be good (it also can be bad as well with preorders for a train wanting 4900 yen to ship, but don’t know if that happens why it actually ships as never done a preorder).


I tried once, the insane shipping costs was not recalculated and I was charged for the original estimate. I never tried again.

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bill937ca
Posted (edited)

Plaza Japan moves to DHL.

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/n-scale/

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/ho-scale/

 

April 23rd Update: To all our dear customers,

We are writing this notice to inform you that there are currently considerable delays for all shipments.

Unfortunately, Japan Post has suspended service to most countries.

 

Therefore, we have decided that all orders from today onward will be shipped by DHL Express instead, which should be faster and have reasonable delivery times. All other options are temporarily disabled.

 

For orders previously sent by Japan Post, please understand that the products will take a while to leave Japan due to the flights situation. (up to a few months).

A fully updated article regarding the current situation and the countries still accepted is available here.

 

https://www.plazajapan.com/plaza-japan-covid-19-status-update/

 

 

Plaza Japan COVID-19 Status Update

To all our dear customers,

We are writing this article to let you know about the current COVID-19 situation here at Plaza Japan and our plans going forward with the handling of your orders.

First and foremost we hope that all of you are well in these difficult times. Plaza Japan is operational as always and all of our staff is healthy, we have been working in a clean and safe environment where we also keep our products.

International Flights Situation
Unfortunately, with the current global situation and the spread of the coronavirus, Japan Post has announced that starting April 2nd, they will no longer accept packages directed to a high number of countries.

OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT LINK


April 23rd Update:

Japan Post has announced that service to the United States has been suspended for any type of mail. Furthermore, there are great delays to other countries as well. Due to this reason, we have decided to disable all shipping methods related to Japan Post. From today onward, we will dispatch orders mainly by DHL Express and there will be only one shipping option available at checkout for every country.

Service has been restored for most of the countries.

DHL should be faster and still has reasonable delivery times (usually within a week).

For any recent or pending order to the USA (not by DHL) that have not left our warehouse yet, you will be contacted and refunded the full amount of your order.

Previous Updates:

Plaza Japan on April 1st
Starting today, we at Plaza Japan are not accepting orders from the countries where service is disrupted. Below is a list of the countries still accepted:

North America: United States, Canada
Europe: United Kingdom, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland
Asia: South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Malaysia


Orders from countries outside of those in the list above will not be accepted until further notice.

Service for countries in the list above will continue as normal and all the orders will be processed as usual. Please understand however, that due to the current situation, considerable delays are to be expected and deliveries may take longer than the estimated delivery timeframe we usually provide.

April 9th Update: Japan Post has announced that service to Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Norway will be suspended. We will also temporarily stop accepting orders from these countries and the country table above has been updated accordingly.

April 10th Update: Since many countries and shipping methods are temporarily unavailable, including SAL (Economy) shipping, we are currently upgrading all Economy orders to Standard Air Mail. Please understand that shipping fees for Standard Air Mail are higher than economy. When selecting Economy Air Mail, the price will be higher than usual due to this automatic upgrade. The upgrade to Standard Air does not include a tracking number, for that option please select Standard Air Registered at checkout.

We apologize for the inconvenience.
 

Orders Dispatched before the announcement
All orders shipped to the countries affected have, for the meantime, left our warehouse as usual. However, please keep in mind that there is a chance that some of these packages may return to us in the near future depending on the flights situation with Japan Post.

We hope that everyone stays safe and thank you for your understanding of the situation.
Should you have any concern, please do not hesitate to contact us at: info@plazajapan.com
We will do our best to answer your inquiries in a timely manner.

Navigate

Edited by bill937ca
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bill937ca

Update from Hobby Search:

 

https://www.1999.co.jp/eng/infodetails

 

2020/04/23As many customers are inconvenienced due to SAL class shipping being suspended by Japan Post, we are introducing temporary shipping methods below to offer as alternative options for our customers.

Air Parcel
- Shipping Duration: Usually around 4 days to 13 days.
- Offers tracking and insurance of 10,000yen or more.
- Size and weight limitation can be checked from here

Surface Parcel
- Shipping Duration: Usually around 1 month to 3 months, maximum 6 months.
- Offers tracking and insurance of 10,000yen or more.
- Size and weight limitation can be checked from here

Registered Air
- Shipping Duration: Usually around 4 days to 13 days.
- Offers tracking and insurance of 6,000yen or more.
- Size and weight limitation can be checked from here

Surface Small Packet
- Shipping Duration: Usually around 1 month to 3 months, maximum 6 months..
- NO INSURANCE offered for DAMAGES or LOSSES (NO TRACKING NUMBER).
- Size and weight limitation can be checked from here

Please be aware that shipments are expected to take much longer than usual, due to the current global situation.
Please visit Japan Post website news page for the latest international delivery information.

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Cat

Hobby Search sent an email last night with updates on how they are trying to cope with the volume of returned mail, including the one of ours that did get sent back to them.  Ours did make it back to their warehouse, and so we got notified.  Apparently that made it back to them at the start of the avalanche.  Here is a key informative bit from their email:

**************************
Q) My package seems to be returned to Hobby Search already
 but heard nothing from Hobby Search. Can you confirm this?

A) We are terribly sorry for being unable to notify you.
 We have confirmed that all our packages returned from
 Tokyo International post office are on hold with our local post office.
 However, there are several thousand packages and we physically cannot
 have these returned to us at the moment.

 We are asking them to list up all the packages they have of ours,
 and we plan to inform customers of their package situation
 once we find out exactly which packages are there.
 So we hope you can wait while we notify you.
**************************

Good news, they are still in the process of signing on with DHL (who are rather busy these days with much increased demand).  If they get that deal inked, then the spice can flow!

Whee,
Cat

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cteno4
6 hours ago, disturbman said:


I tried once, the insane shipping costs was not recalculated and I was charged for the original estimate. I never tried again.


thanks, that’s good to know, I suspected as much. Their preorder prices are never super great, but I don’t shop there that much and searching is spotty.

 

jeff

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cteno4

I got an EMS shipping notice from hobbysearch this morning with a tracking number (package currently does not exist, probably not to the shipping agent or post). Sort of surprised with EMS being sent back to them currently. Oh well, it was dumb to order at these times on my part, just something oos everywhere else that I had neglected to order like 3 months ago.

 

jeff

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Cat

I've had a few items slip by on HS recently that have been sitting in my cart waiting til they had a viable shipping option, then they sold out terminally while I was waiting.

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ranger10178
15 minutes ago, cteno4 said:

I got an EMS shipping notice from hobbysearch this morning with a tracking number (package currently does not exist, probably not to the shipping agent or post). Sort of surprised with EMS being sent back to them currently. Oh well, it was dumb to order at these times on my part, just something oos everywhere else that I had neglected to order like 3 months ago.

 

jeff

I got the same notification, however I don't think EMS is suspended to the UK yet.... we'll see.

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Yavianice

Hopefully it will not be permanently switched to DHL, also after the crisis. Because that will be the end of my japanese train purchases because I can only accept ePacket.

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Welshbloke

Just left an inquiry with HS about the order they charged me for about a fortnight ago and haven't said anything about since. You'd have thought a boilerplate CC'd "sorry, we can't send your order but it's safe at our warehouse" would be easy enough to send out to all customers in the same situation.

 

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