SAL vs EMS shipping from Japan


millersbrm
03-03-2010, 02:41 AM
can anyone share personal experiences regarding the downside of SAL shipping from Japan to North America? Is EMS really worth the extra for single kits under ~$60?

Tibi Keke
03-03-2010, 02:45 AM
yes, definitely! EMS is trackeble, SAL not!

hirofkd
03-03-2010, 05:08 AM
It depends. There are two kinds of SAL, one is International Parcel Post, and the other is Small Packet.

Let's say your kit weights 500 gram (Tamiya Enzo, Carrera GT, SLR etc), and the box is 800 grams, which makes the total 1300 grams.
It will cost 3200 yen for EMS, 3850 yen for Parcel Post SAL, and 1380 yen for Small Packet SAL. (Yes, the faster EMS is actually cheaper than the Parcel Post!)

Small Packet SAL has the weight and size restrictions of 2.0 kg and L+H+W<90 cm. The address is directly hand-written on the box, instead of affixing a formatted label with a tracking number. You can ship 1-3 car kits in a Small Packet SAL box, so you are essentially comparing between EMS and Small Packet SAL.

Tracking and the insurance up to 20,000 yen are included in EMS, while tracking (registered mail) is optional for 410 yen for Small Packet SAL. I don't think you can insure a Small Packet SAL, but I'm not 100% certain because I haven't tried (if you can, it starts from 400 yen).

EMS typically takes 5 days from Japan to Houston, where I live, while it's 2 weeks to 20 days for Parcel Post SAL or Small Packet SAL.

I have many on-going projects, so I almost always use the slower, cheaper methods, including surface mail. However, I did use EMS just last month because I have a project I want to finish before the upcoming contest in Houston.

So, I'd say, it depends on your need and budget.

Oh, there's another thing to consider. Not in the U.S, but in many other countries, including Canada, EMS is almost always inspected (while SAL can be random), and import tax can be quite high.

BTW, Parcel Post SAL ("the other" SAL without the 2.0 kg weight restriction) is trackable just like EMS.

TurboGuru
03-03-2010, 07:55 AM
SAL can be very loooong and untrackable... its very cheap but in the end I think you'll find yourself wishing you just paid for EMS which is much much quicker and trackable.

Modelstate
03-04-2010, 03:43 AM
Small Packet SAL has the weight and size restrictions of 2.0 kg and L+H+W<90 cm. The address is directly hand-written on the box, instead of affixing a formatted label with a tracking number. You can ship 1-3 car kits in a Small Packet SAL box, so you are essentially comparing between EMS and Small Packet SAL.

I allways have Small Packet SAL (sorry I'm in Europe) but never did I have a 'hand-written' on the box.
For what I know from HLJ is that they have address stickers with the value's printed on them.

Mostly for a Small Pack SAL I do not more then 2 kits (Fujimi size).
But that is more to evade customs costs.

So read the text carefully from Hirofkd and from the HobbyLinkJapan site.

Good luck,
Arno.

TurboGuru
03-05-2010, 01:09 PM
Oh and I forgot to mention, you'll get a free truck with EMS if your lucky :p

http://img651.imageshack.us/img651/7373/emsall.jpg

millersbrm
03-17-2010, 11:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback guys. SAL from Japan worked just fine. 17 calender days from date of order to my mail box. Box was in pristine condition.

I have another order coming EMS, will see how that works out.

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