Is DHL the Worst Int’l Shipping Service? I Think So

As an inveterate gadget-lover I am used to buying stuff from overseas sellers and paying to have it shipped. This is often the only way to get rare devices like the Kyobo Mirasol eReader, so I really don't mind the often weeks long shipping delay. China in particular can take up to 3 weeks, so naturally I have had to learn a little patience.

But then there are the services which seem to just sit there with a thumb up their ass, and that is when my patience wears thin. To wit, DHL.

I'm now waiting on a package which was shipped via DHL. It's an ereader which I bought from Europe, and since I don't want to embarrass the seller I won't say who sold it to me.

But I will say this. I've been tracking the package, and according to DHL it has spent the past week just sitting in some distribution center somewhere in the US. Why? I don't know. It's just sitting there, gathering dust.

On a related note, DHL's tracking service sucks. I cannot track the shipment I am getting on DHL's international website, DHL's US website, or on any site other than DHL.de. Having multiple websites and systems which do not communicate is a design decision on par with DHL's inability to process a shipment.

What's more, this is not the first time that DHL ignored a package for a week. Earlier this year I bought a different ereader from that same seller, and with that shipment DHL decided to let the package sit in Germany for a week. There was no explanation for that, either.

Some might choose to defend DHL and claim that a week's delay (even unexplained) is not bad. That would be true if not for the fact that DHL is slower than the post office. A package shipped USPS Priority Mail will make it to Germany in 9 days. I know this because I just shipped an ereader to Germany a few weeks back.

And speaking of tracking, I can use the USPS website to track shipments sent to me from Korea, China, and Europe (and probably elsewhere).  So not only is the USPS faster, it also has a better website.

Given that DHL costs more than the post office and takes longer to deliver, I have to wonder why people still use it.

Can someone explain that, please?

18 thoughts on “Is DHL the Worst Int’l Shipping Service? I Think So

  1. Almost sounds like OfficeMac which may be regretting offering $40 off a Nook HD on cybermonday as my Nook still hasn’t shipped even though the web site says 4-7 business days if you try and buy one.

  2. “… and since I don’t want to embarrass the seller I won’t say who sold it to me.”

    Shucks. I was going to ask you if you plan to test the Bookeen Odyssey HD Frontlight.

    “Earlier this year I bought a different ereader from that same seller, and with that shipment DHL decided to let the package sit in Germany for a week.”

    Ah. Then it’s probaby not the Bookeen.

    So, do you?

    LCNR

  3. DHL is the worst service I have ever seen, in fact, HK and China post work better than them, despite the fact that DHL charge exorbitant price.

  4. I agree that DHL really suck I have used them twice and both times they have failed to deliver on time – due to the fact that an employee(s) have a shakedown scam running hoping to con money out of clients who might not know the legislation!

  5. My Dad used to run a small business out of his rural Missouri home, and had occasion to receive shipments from a number of carriers. Out of all of them, DHL was the only one that had perpetual problems finding the house, even after he gave them directions.

    1. That’s right DHL is the Worst courier service. It has been 2 months my DHL mail shipped from USA not arrivred yet. I called the local vendor Dhl Express and I got no any information. They told me that Dhl Express aren’t related to the Dhl Mail. Amazing… not have any ralation! Why Dhl Mail pop up menu still on Dhl Express and all Dhl website? Delete it.
      I have searched for Dhl local vendor contact information and find nothing. Dhl Mail don’t has local vendor. What an unresponsibility courier.
      Now I only waitting for miracles
      India Post is reliable, faster, cheaper and many more.
      Keep away from Dhl.

  6. This is very true. I found that regular mail is faster than DHL. I order games and accessories from China, it takes 2-3 weeks to arrive. DHL in other and takes 3 to 4 weeks. I also experienced the problem when a package just sits in a place for weeks. I often have to call them to wake them.

  7. TNT took the half time for sending a letter from Iran to Canada.
    I think the only reason that people choosing DHL is trusting their beauty advertisements.
    thanks

  8. I order goods regularly from China and I am finding that DHL take a week or so just to collect packages there lately, with a delivery time totalling about two weeks to the UK.
    I had three letters from DHL today. One was dated 5 days ago demanding payment of an unpaid invoice within 14 days (fair enough), one saying the same invoice had now been sent on to a debt collection agency and must be paid (with additional charges) within 7 days, not at all fair given that both letters arrived in the same post. The third letter advised me of a fairly hefty unpaid VAT invoice on a different account number (which the DHL payments site says is not valid) for one specific invoice number (which the DHL payments site says is invalid). I phoned their customer service, who also kindly told me that my account number and invoice number (taken from their letter) were invalid and assured me that there was nothing to pay. Don’t think I will count my chickens on that one yet. In my experience, DHL used to be fast and generally efficient. They now seem to be doing a good job of being slow and incompetent, in my own humble opinion.

  9. No experience with the countries mentioned, but we regularly use DHL for shipments to and from US/UK/EU to several West African countries – among them some of the poorest of the Third World with almost no infrastructure – and without fail the DHL service is fast and efficient.

    Furthermore, the online tracking shows clearly that, when delays have occurred, they are down to local conditions beyond any reasonable control of the company.

  10. DHL is terrible. I reside in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and ordered an item through Ebay that ships from neighboring Oman. Logically, you would think an item shipping from Oman to Saudi Arabia would be cheaper than shipping it elsewhere, but the shipper claimed it was actually more expensive. Still, the price is up to the shipper’s preference so you can’t fault DHL for that.

    However, what was “surprising” is how the item actually got delivered (well, sort of delivered). You see, the item arrived from Oman to Riyadh in just 3 days or so. However, in its infinite wisdom DHL shipped the item to another city in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah, for “processing”. The item spent around a week there before being shipped back to Riyadh, and then I had to pick it up myself. Thanks DHL ( ?° ?? ?°)

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