How to Ship a Balikbayan Box to the Philippines: LBC International Shipping Service
My name is Lea and I am a Filipino who immigrated to the United States 17 years ago. Like most Filipinos I needed to find a balikbayan box service to send food, clothes, etc back home to my family. I ended up trying two different shipping companies here in Michigan with mixed results. One box took four months to be delivered and the other box arrived having been opened with some of its contents missing. Unhappy with both companies I decided not to send boxes until i could find a better solution.
I ended up taking a trip to Chicago to see some friends. At the dinner party that evening met an LBC shipping agent so of course I struck up a conversation with him i told him about my struggles shipping boxes. He told me how safe it was to ship with LBC and that I should give them a try. After dinner I mentioned to him i was interested in becoming an agent because their was no service in my area, He then invited me to the company office in Chicago the next day to tour the warehouse and talk to the managers about the possibility of becoming an agent. I was very impressed with the company and after the meeting I was invited to join the team. Thats is how I became an LBC associate.
What is a Balikbayan Box?
The Luzon Brokerage Co (LBC) was first established in the 1950s and is considered the leading Box shipping service in the Philippines, with over 600 branches nationwide LBC has become a trusted household name throughout the Philippines and around the globe. The Balikbayan Box, or "return to homeland box," is a large box that is filled with necessities and gifts for loved ones in the Philippines. Typical things sent home include electronics, food, clothing, toiletries, toys, and chocolates.
LBC offers guaranteed regular cargo-ship departure to ensure a timely delivery. Most deliveries are made within eight to ten weeks from the time they are shipped from the USA, Delivery areas throughout the Philippines include Metro Manila, Luzon, and Mindanao. Safe and secure agents pick up and deliver your boxes door-to-door ensuring that they are received by your loved ones safely.
As an LBC agent over the past ten years I have learned their's a huge difference in the quality of box shipping companies. There are dozens of companies that are blacklisted by DTI in the Philippines because they have failed to deliver their boxes you can find a list of bad companies on the DTI website. Some of these companies will advertise very low door-to-door rates then fail to remit the necessary funds to their freight counterparts in the Philippines, causing the boxes to be abandoned at a port and not delivered.
Many of these small shipping companies have only been in business for a few years and do not have the infrastructure throughout the Philippines that LBC does.The further away you get away from Manila the more problematic it becomes delivering boxes because they simply don't have the quantity of boxes necessary to economically ship boxes to far away provinces in the Philippines on a timely bases.
I can honestly say that in the last ten years not one for my customers has lost a box or items missing, In the rare case that a box was delayed it was usually due to consignee address errors by the sender. Addresses can be difficult to find back home so be careful to write the address correctly and clearly along with a phone number on the box.
Shipping basics info.
- It all starts with the agent who drives out to pick up your box. Make sure they are real agents, you can go to LBC Express website and find the agent locator for your state
- Boxes are then stored by the agent until enough are collected to be sent to the warehouse then put into shipping containers.
- They are then sent by rail or trucked to shipping ports where they are loaded aboard ships and sent on to their destination.
There are many things that can affect the delivery time of your boxes.
- U.S. Homeland Security and their counter parts in the Philippines have recently stepped up random searches of containers causing delays.
- Weather can affect shipping times especially during typhoon season.
- Be sure to declare and pay any necessary duty before your boxes leave the States just in case your boxes get inspected when they arrive in the Philippines. That way your family members will not get stuck having to pay customs duties to claim their boxes.
Every box you send comes with basic $200.00 insurance coverage for loss or damage. Additional insurance coverage may be purchased prior to shipping.
Shipped via Container to Port
If you want to send large items to the Philippines such as electric generators etc we can ship it. Give us a call with the exact box dimensions and we will provide you with a price quote.
Packing your box carefully.
- Put clothing and any breakable liquid containers in separate bags inside the box.
- Keep empty space to a minimum stuff pockets with bubble wrap or clothes. This will keep everything in the box from banging together.
- When sending candy, clothes, and toys to the kids, it's a good idea to put things in individual bags and label by name so when the box is opened they don't have to figure out who gets what.
- Tape all seams securely with high-quality clear box tape. Never use duct tape when the boxes in the containers get into the heat of the tropics the heat and moisture can cause the duck tape to peel off of the boxes.
- I recommend lining your box with a plastic bag, this keeps any moisture from getting in and keeps any liquid you might have put in the box from spilling out.
Ship Loading Containers
- Do not overstuff the box to the point the dimensions of the box changes. You do not want to risk the rejection of your box at the shipping center.
- Do not put prohibited items inside of the box guns, ammo, pornography, flammable or explosive items.
- You must write the complete name, address, and phone number of both the sender and recipient. Make sure they are clearly visible and not covered with tape.
- When filling out your shipping forms you are required to provide your current drivers license number.