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HLJ Shipping times


protostar8
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I've been a customer with them for around 10 years now (I think, maybe more, maybe less but a long time either way). It usually takes a package 15 days to get to me from them (I live in Georgia/USA). Right now, I have two packages coming from them. They "shipped" 4 days apart and I have yet to receive either, making it 27 days for the first package and 23 days for the second. Has anyone else had considerably longer shipping times recently? I know they have disclaimers about shipping times in their faq, but with 10-ish years of experience, the longest it EVER took to get a package from them was 18 days, though I haven't ordered anything from them since the Megahouse Stick came out so it's been awhile.

And I figured this was the best forum for this kind of question since it's not directly Macross related and pretty much all the other forums are directly related to Macross, even the buy/sell forum.

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I always use EMS and my stuff gets here like 3 or 4 days after they notify me, and I'm in Minnesota. The only change I've noticed is that they seem to be skimping on the packing materials occasionally lately. My 1/60 v2 came with nothing else in the box but air.

Edited by eriku
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I always use EMS and my stuff gets here like 3 or 4 days after they notify me, and I'm in Minnesota. The only change I've noticed is that they seem to be skimping on the packing materials occasionally lately. My 1/60 v2 came with nothing else in the box but air.

That reminds me. I forgot to say I use SAL shipping. I'd use EMS, but it's just too expensive. On the two items I ordered, the EMS was double the price of the SAL shipping and I'm usually not in a big rush to get stuff, but with it taking this long I'm concerned the packages might be lost...

And I have noticed in the past year or so that they have been being skimpy with packing materials as well. I've had several things arrive with nothing more than plastic wrapped around them (the kind from the automatic machines) that does nothing to protect the thing inside. That being said, a few items have arrived in less that top shape in terms of boxes.

Edited by protostar8
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That reminds me. I forgot to say I use SAL shipping. I'd use EMS, but it's just too expensive. On the two items I ordered, the EMS was double the price of the SAL shipping and I'm usually not in a big rush to get stuff, but with it taking this long I'm concerned the packages might be lost...

EMS arrives faster and gives you a tracking number. You get what you pay for, and that extra money spent will probably give you peace of mind the next time around.

And I have noticed in the past year or so that they have been being skimpy with packing materials as well. I've had several things arrive with nothing more than plastic wrapped around them (the kind from the automatic machines) that does nothing to protect the thing inside. That being said, a few items have arrived in less that top shape in terms of boxes.

I've had a couple of things arrive crushed from HLJ, but every time I've contacted customer support and they've worked it out with me.

Edited by Roger
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EMS arrives faster and gives you a tracking number. You get what you pay for, and that extra money spent will probably give you peace of mind the next time around.

I've had a couple of things arrive crushed from HLJ, but every time I've contacted customer support and they've worked it out with me.

Yeah, but EMS was actually about as expensive as the item I ordered. :lol:

For larger, more expensive stuff, then it's not so bad.

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I use SAL from HLJ almost all the time. I actually find the shipping time shortened in a couple recent orders. Generally takes 3 weeks to arrive (Bay Area, California). But there are a couple occasions (recently) that took as short as 10 days. I think SAL shipping time is pretty random. For details, I think HLJ actually has a page talking about how SAL shipping works, explaining the randomness of the shipping time.

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I'm always willing to pay for EMS just for, as Roger said, piece of mind. Waiting for something to come in the mail with no tracking, especially from another country, just about ruins my nerves completely. I have this cartoon image in my mind of dock workers chucking every box without a tracking number straight into the sea, where they are then torn to shreds by sharks while the sadistic dock workers look on and laugh and feel a little bit better about their crappy jobs.

Edited by eriku
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Look at it this way, if it never arrives and you end up ordering another one, then you'll pay more than twice the price of one just to get one. ;p

HLJ will replace a lost order (within 6 months of the original shipping date). I wouldn't be paying for a second one, just waiting longer to get it. And I guess you guys don't know this, but the packages shipped SAL are trackable, they just don't provide you with the tracking information. The Japanese post office can track the packages within 6 months of when it was shipped according to HLJ.

Edited by protostar8
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I've ordered with hlj for about six years now....i've requested SAL all the time and have usually received them in about 10 days to 2 weeks. So far the shipments show up a little later than normal, so its not that bad for me......though i've got a different "gripe" with them, nothing to get the pitch fork and torches out, but irritating nonetheless.

Edited by Dax415
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Are you really questioning processing time as opposed to shipping time.

HLJ have got absolutely no control over the package once the truck drives away from their premises.

SAL shipping is hit and miss. I've always used SAL and have never had anything go missing (90+ orders in 2 years) but a few have taken longer than they really should have to arrive.

If you are talking about processing time then yes they absolutely suck at the moment. Since they moved into their new premises their order processing has become somewhat of a joke. The ordering system they use has never been that good and compared to their browsing system it's pathetic. I've been assured by Scott that they are working on it but I've had numerous emails from him over the past year all saying the same thing and nothing has really changed but I suppose you can always live in hope. <_<

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I always used SAL and since i don't really care when it arrives as long as it arrives, they eventually arrive in 2-3 weeks. So far no packages lost on transit either so I'll continue to use SAL.

As for longer shipping times, it might be customs taking a longer time clearing your item. Check with your local post office. As thegunny said, HLJ has no control over the package once it leaves the premises.

Though i had no troubles with order processing. My only qualms with them was they take too long to post upcoming stuff i want when all other sites already have them up yonks ago, attributed to an overworked/multi-tasking staff in purchasing dept. Apparently they already got someone else to list items up. And related to above, items get "Order Stopped" really quickly. Seems they try not to overstock a certain product unless its guranteed a sellout. >_<

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Correct me if I'm wrong please, HLJ doesn't provide SAL for items above a certain amount am I right? Or are we still able to request for SAL? EMS costs twice as much as SAL, I wanna save whenever I can. ^_^

Yes that's right but over the years I've managed to get them to understand that EMS is not the be and end all they like you to think it is and I usually don't get stiffed for it unless the size of the item is really big and then strange as it may seem EMS can be cheaper or the same as SAL.

It also pays to check the combined postage totals on multiple orders. A few months ago they tried to charge me 150Y more to send 2 items in the same box than what it would have cost to send them individually. As I said B4 since they've moved to their new site they have lost the plot a bit. New staff, not enough staff, who knows?

Edited by thegunny
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I've been with HLJ for a number of years and almost always SAL'ed (except with very expensive items). SAL is ok for me, but it depends largely on your location. I'm in South East Asia, so SAL almost always work out within 2 weeks. I've had HLJ parcels take a round trip but generally it gets in.. eventually.

For the States, I can't say much about it. SAL is "if I can squeeze it on an airplane, it goes flying, otherwise it goes by ship." Odds are good that a Stateside order is going by boat, which is long and often a bit rough. So anything sufficiently urgent and/ or fragile is a bit hit and miss there.

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Just thought I'd post a follow up that I know that HLJ has no control after it leaves their store. However, I haven't ordered anything from them in awhile and recently, the shipping via SAL may have gotten much slower in general and that's what I was trying to get at and ask about. I was just curious if anyone using SAL to the US has seen a recent slow down in package arrival speed. And since HLJ ships a ton of stuff, I figured someone else would know.

Thanks for all the suggestions, but as long as I don't have a package lost, I'll continue to stick to SAL b/c it's cheaper.

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I think HLJ's policy is working for your best interests. I would think at a certain box size, SAL's prices shoots up tremendously because its not the weight that's expensive but the size of the box. SAL is for small packages ideally and to be above the recommended size would make them charge extra. THere was a time before this policy when i ordered lots of stuff from HLJ and it came by SAL....the shippping was killer because the box was so huge. If i went by EMS, i would've got my things in slightly cheaper and faster as well. :(

Now i make individual orders for huge items....learned my lesson well. :lol:

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I think HLJ's policy is working for your best interests. I would think at a certain box size, SAL's prices shoots up tremendously because its not the weight that's expensive but the size of the box. SAL is for small packages ideally and to be above the recommended size would make them charge extra. THere was a time before this policy when i ordered lots of stuff from HLJ and it came by SAL....the shippping was killer because the box was so huge. If i went by EMS, i would've got my things in slightly cheaper and faster as well. :(

HLJ notes on their site about SAL:

Shipments over 2kg go by EMS. In some cases, two boxes may be used to ship SAL shipments over 2kg if they can be split. Shipments that cannot be packed in boxes with no side greater than 60cm in length, or with a total size (length + width + height) greater than 90cm will be shipped by EMS.

(Linky)

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However, I haven't ordered anything from them in awhile and recently, the shipping via SAL may have gotten much slower in general and that's what I was trying to get at and ask about. I was just curious if anyone using SAL to the US has seen a recent slow down in package arrival speed. And since HLJ ships a ton of stuff, I figured someone else would know.

In general, the shipping industry is facing a slowdown due to the recent economic downturn. It's not just SAL, it's generally across the board -- the ships just aren't leaving port as fast. Add to that the trend of going for bigger and bigger ships (we're into the era of ships carrying 8000+ container units in one go, much bigger than in previous generations), you can see that sea cargo is now being delayed by waiting for loading to complete, and running the risks of "eggs in one basket" during the journey.

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Update. First package arrived today. So in total, it took 28 days to get here where a year before now (actually about 4-5 months b/c I remembered I got Revoltech Gurren Lagann from them) it was only taking 15-18 days. So I guess shipping is just flat out taking longer now. I'll update if the other package arrives quicker or slower.

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Hey protostart8, I also live in Georgia, and have noticed that my shipments from HLJ that come SAL have taken much longer than in years past. But, I've always received my item. It was never lost. I have seen my time of delivery almost double from the past. Recently items have taken almost 4 solid weeks once I receive my shipping notice from HLJ. I understand that you can get anxious because it does seem to take forever. I was the same way.

My theory is similar to others on this thread in that due to higher fuel costs I believe the shipping companies are making sure that each transport container is completely full before it leaves. Also, tighter customs processing since 9/11 is typically a cause for delay as well.

By the way, SAL is Suface Air Lift which means it is not coming by boat. If it came by boat (what HLJ simply calls "Surface") it would take the 4 to 6 weeks mentioned by HLJ I'm sure. SAL ships by truck to the airport and I believe it gets loaded into those special containers for airplanes. It simply waits at the airport until they can get an entire contianer and an entire plane loaded full. Then it is flown across the Pacific most likely to a major hub in California for processing by customs. There it is put on a truck and shipped cross country to Georgia possibly stopping at major hubs along the way.

So, each time it gets unloaded at a hub sorted and loaded back on a truck I'm sure there is delay to make sure the truck or plane is full.

By comparison something shipping EMS to you in Georgia will fly immediately from Japan to a hub such as JFK airport in New York. It is then received by customs and flown to Atlanta. I've received something here in Georgia via EMS in as little as 3 days from Japan. The downside is it's very expensive due to the more people that have to handle it and the more money on fuel spent to send it on a per package basis. The good old days used to be when I would order something regular mail and if you were lucky it would get thrown in on the express container leaving Japan just because they had room.

Edited by sharky
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