Recently (2014-2015) the South African postal service has deteriorated considerably. There is now a desperate need for an alternative service for international mail and parcel deliveries.

Even though the postal service is still functional, there is a constant threat of a "Go Slow" or a "Strike". No business can use a partner like this while trying to provide a satisfactory service to its clients.

DHL Global Mail provides a postal service for international mail and small parcels at prices comparable to the postal service.

What is DHL Global Mail ?

DHL Global Mail is postal service that, unlike its expensive direct delivery service, provides an affordable alternative to parcels posted internationally.

Hoe does DHL Global Mail work ?

DHL Global Mail is an international service that provides one standard service worldwide for small postal items. I shall however discuss it from a South African perspective.

Parcels or mail are handed in at your nearest PostNet branch. It is perhaps possible to hand it in at a DHL branch, but I have no certainty of this.

The parcels or mail are then transported by DHL to the IMPC branch in Singapore. From there it gets transferred to the postal service of the destination countries. So in fact they land in the normal post office of the destination countries. DHL does not forward it through customs, this is done by the postal service.

Final delivery is by the postal service.

PS. I have found that at times that the distribution also can happen in different countries e.g. Canada, so the shipment does not necessarily  go via Singapore.

How long does DHL Global Mail take to deliver ?

The transit time varies. Parcels have arrived in the US in as quickly as 8 days, but this is probably exceptional. Mostly it seems to take 16 to 20 days to China and other countries. I shall give more info as it becomes available.

The actions of DHL are normally quite fast and the parcels get delivered to the post in Singapore within a few days. Thereafter it is in the hands of the normal postal service - and there is no way to find out exactly what happens. This same situation also applies to normal post.

In a sense the whole process is similar to normal post: Instead of the parcel being posted in South Africa, it now gets posted in Singapore. 

What is the maximum size and weight that can be send by DHL Global Mail ?

Size up to 353 x 250 x 30 mm.
Weight up to 200 gram, although larger mail can be posted and small parcel tariffs will then apply.

Size: Up to about shoe box size or 7 mail miser size.
Weight: Up to 2 kg (2000 gram) 

What is the price of DHL Global Mail ?

The price is approximately 50% higher than normal airmail postage. (South African pricing)

DHL Global Mail Restrictions and Exclusions

Non document dutiable items have a maximum value of R 180 per item.
No dangerous or hazardous material including shipments packed in Limited or Excepted Quantities.
No Blood samples and Lithium Batteries.
No live animals including insects and fish larvae.
No human ashes.
No currency,bullion or activated credit cards.

Please note that live plants (unlike their direct delivery service) is not included in the list. Hopefully this is not accidentally omitted and it therefore does present the opportunity to send live plants.

DHL Global Mail tracking, Insurance and Registration.

There is tracking up to Singapore.

There will be only one tracking number regardless of the number of parcels posted. E.g. if 5 parcels are posted, all 5 are put into one bag and all 5 will have the same tracking number up until Johannesburg. The same bag will go by air to Singapore and from there the bag gets opened and parcels distributed to different postal authorities. No tracking after the distribution point at Singapore.

The tracking will state that the parcel has been delivered in Singapore. That only means that it has been handed over to the post at that point and DHL has no further involvement from there. The parcel will now continue to the destination country by post. Post will take it through customs of the destination country.

No insurance provided by DHL.

Izimakana Industries will provide private insurance at 3% of the value of the order. This insurance will cover damage. This insurance however does not cover damage due to frost. Neither does it cover non-delivery or problems due to lack of certificates.  Pictures of damage must be provided by the client.

Insurance is for the value of the content alone - not the value of shipping

DHL Global Mail Security Check

All parcels must have a security check ""Passed" sticker and a green CN22 sticker.

The green CN22 sticker is the same as is used by the postal service. With the postal service plants have often been labelled as "Gift" and documentation like a phytosanitary certificate for plants sometimes omitted.

It appears that the checking of DHL Global Mail parcels is more strict and they require a more detailed description of content. It is probably advisable to have a phytosanitary certificate for plants included in the parcel.

Negotiations with PostNet in this regard is continuing.

DHL Global Mail Minimum Weight of Parcels

PostNet is charged by DHL some flat rate per 500 gram for parcels. In theory this would mean that they cannot accept only one parcel of say 100 gram as this would present a loss for them.

There is some confusion in this regard, but it seems that small branches would need multiple parcels per shipment to make it a viable service for them. This may not applicable to larger branches but I cannot give a definite on that.

For now we shall supply them with at least 4 parcels at a time. This means that orders will be executed simultaneously and clients may have to wait a while for their orders to be executed.