E-commerce Guide To Shipping From Philippines To Singapore

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Looking for ways to ship e-commerce orders from the Philippines to other countries? Shipping packages across international borders has never been easy. Before shipping a package across borders, several thoughts haunt our minds—running about to extract information about the best shipping services, which is the fastest delivery system, which would be the most trusted delivery system.

Now, as we talk about the shipping and delivery systems in this blog, we will focus on shipping services from the Philippines, what are the options when you want to ship to neighboring countries such as Singapore, and how e-commerce businesses can leverage these options and strategies to their advantage.

Philippines require a more wholesome water transport shipping services. However, this currently is not the case as the shipping industry is often characterised by high rates as it comprises 7,000 islands. 

And before we delve deeper into the shipping services from the Philippines to its neighboring countries, we must remember that the infrastructural networks in the island country are underdeveloped. Hence, longer shipping times often caused by traffic congestion are expected.

E-commerce Guide To Shipping From Philippines To Singapore

Why Ship E-commerce materials from the Philippines to Singapore?

-The price of products and the cost of production are cheaper in the Philippines.

-There’s an abundance of raw materials in the Philipines

-Only other strong English-speaking ASEAN country which makes logistics simpler.

Detailed Process Involved in Shipping From the Philippines to Singapore

The distance between the Philippines and Singapore is about 2,400 kilometers. The air distance equals 1,463 miles approx and takes about 3.5 hours.

The Philippines and Singapore are both founding members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), and ties between the nations have remained strong and vibrant through the years. Both countries also enjoy robust economic ties.

In 2017, Singapore was the Philippines’ fifth largest export market worldwide with export receipts amounting to US$3.85 billion. And in 2020, Singapore ranked as the Philippines’ sixth-leading trading partner, the fifth export market, and the sixth import supplier with exports to Singapore amounting to US$3.76 billion.

International shipment in the Philippines mainly happens via Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). It is then distributed via domestic air transport, and road networks to reach your customer’s doorstep.

A general guide to shipping from the Philippines includes — finding the right shipping partner, choosing the right shipping services, ensuring the proper packaging of goods, attaching all the details and tracking codes to the parcel, and passing them on to the shipping courier.

First Mile Shipping from Philippines to Singapore 

First-mile shipping is the step when the package leaves the merchant’s doorstep. It is the first stage of transportation in the B2C (business-to-customer) logistic supply chain. After leaving the warehouse or storage place of the merchant, the goods are transported to the customs offices at the airport or port via courier or postal services.

Ensuring a smooth first-mile delivery is crucial to any international e-commerce enterprise because it sets precedence for future steps. 

In recent years, e-commerce businesses have faced huge growth with rising competition globally. Hence, careful consideration of first-mile delivery processes is essential for online retailers. It is the need of the hour that businesses do everything in their capacity to ensure customer satisfaction is met at its highest. And that being said, as a retailer, it’s your job to ensure that the first-mile delivery is carried out without hiccups.

However, a few first-mile delivery challenges need to be considered to eliminate an inefficient shipping process.

1. Improper packaging: You should actively avoid uniform packaging as different products need different packaging and care depending on their material, weight, etc. In the race to deliver it fast, improper packaging may damage the goods, affecting the entire shipping process.

2. Lack of visibility or details: The shipment details must be precise on labels for a successful first-mile delivery. Inefficient tracking details of freight movement, en route delays, poor handling of packages, etc. can affect both mid-mile and last-mile delivery. 

3. Poor labeling techniques: Automating dispatches will help eliminate the gaps in product labeling. In manual labeling, e-commerce teams often miss out on crucial details, leading to wrong deliveries and hampering the first-mile delivery. 

With the right tools, expenses in the first-mile operation can be converted into funds for growth to help deliver efficiently. A lean performance of the first-mile delivery will ensure optimal and hassle-free truck loading along with successful last-mile delivery.

The key to optimizing first-mile logistics is automating processes. Smart retailers will always choose logistics that collate data among several operational phases to improve the speed of getting their products delivered to the customers successfully.

With Locad’s shipping-tracking tool, one can get a premium experience managing their shipments. If your e-commerce has been linked with Locad’s shipping engine, your order details will be synced every 3 minutes, updating you with the latest details.

Once you log into Locad’s dashboard, the ‘Manage Shipment’ tab shows you a detailed view of the parcel’s shipment. From date and time to change the shipment status, Locad’s easy-to-navigate dashboard will help you constantly track the shipment.

You can add multiple shipments manually. When you try to set up the shipment order, Locad’s shipping engine will recommend the most affordable carrier and package type based on the shipment type, pick-up, drop-off locations, weight, value, and even payment method of your order. This helps a retailer or manufacturer save time and money when shipping off their orders. However, one will always have the choice to override the recommendation and select the courier of one’s own choice, too, after going through the options and the details on Locad’s shipping engine dashboard.

Philippines Origin: Customer Clearance and Freight

While delivering and shipping from the Philippines, customs clearance can cause a significant delay in the services. And extra steps are needed to prepare your international shipment for customs clearance.

The official customs department of the Philippines is headed by the Bureau of Customs under the Department of Finance. The Department overlooks the day-to-day activities including directing and facilitating trade, fighting illegal trade, and other types of customs fraud. It also develops and maintains customs administration frameworks for trade facilitation.

The Philippines export clearance process includes the following steps:

1. Air waybill (AWB) preparation: Details of the shipment, delivery address, package, etc. must be filled out clearly here.

2. Commercial invoice preparation: The invoice should have a detailed/specific description of the goods. The description should align with the AWB.

3. Export packing list: This should contain all the necessary information about the package, how it has been packed, its documentation, the gross weight of each carton, and so on.

4. Prohibited products: There should be a check to ensure that the products prohibited from being exported under the Philippines laws should not be shipped.

5. Regulated products: These products have been identified as controlled by different government agencies. The shipment of these identified goods will only be granted after presenting proper export permits issued by the respective government agencies stated below before exportation.

6. Export permit requirements: Products that are ready to be shipped are put on hold for a day to process the Export Permit required by government agencies.

7. Shipments from a Customs Bonded Warehouse (CBW): In this step, the shipper must prepare the following documents for processing: 

  • Boatnote, 
  • Certificate of Identification, 
  • Certificate of Identification, and 
  • Loading Export Declaration.

8. Free Trade Zone (FTZ) shipments: Automated Export Declaration System (AEDS) documents should have the exit stamp and the signature of the  Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA).

9. Return to Sender Shipments (RTS): If there is any missing information regarding the details of the shipping address, then the shipment is sent back to the shipper.

The two commonly used freight services for shipping in the Philippines are:

  1. Air freight: For most e-commerce services, the air is the faster route and more reliable route of transportation and shipping from the Philippines. 
  2. Sea freight: Shipping done via sea freight takes place via the Port of Manila. However, shipping via sea takes more time than by air. 

Besides, the Philippines also has an underdeveloped infrastructure that impacts deliveries. They are also subject to weather disruptions in the rainy season from June to October each year, because, on average, the islands experience 20 typhoons a year, causing delays in shipments.

Customs Clearance in Singapore

To import to Singapore, one needs to make a declaration to Singapore Customs.

At first, one needs to determine whether duty and/or GST apply to the goods shipped to Singapore. And if the owner of the goods completes all the paperwork in advance, they don’t need to be in Singapore to clear the documents for the shipping.

Several documents need to be filled, and two of the most important are –the declaration of Dutiable, Restricted and Prohibited Imports’ and ‘Declaration of Facts’.

If you’re the retailer, in a ‘Declaration of Dutiable, Restricted and Prohibited Imports’, you must declare the value of your shipment for Customs requirements, whether they have any restricted goods, as well as dutiable goods such as cigarettes and alcohol.

And if your shipment has alcohol, then on the attached sheet of the Declaration of Facts, you need to mention the percentage of the alcohol the cargo is carrying. If the details are inaccurate, a customs charge will be levied on the goods later.

On the other hand, to account for the entry of one’s goods, the following steps must be followed:

1. Register for UEN (Unique Entity Number) and activate your Customs account

2. Check whether the goods are controlled

3. Apply for Inter-Bank GIRO for payment of GST/duties

4. Furnish security and obtain permits

5. Prepare documents required for cargo clearance

Also, do not forget to retain your relevant trade documents relating to the purchase, import, sale, or export of the goods for 5 years from the date of the permit application approval.

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E-commerce Guide To Shipping From Philippines To Singapore

Distribution and Last Mile For International Shipping From Philippines To Singapore

The last mile is the final stretch of the delivery and involves delivering the goods to the shipping address. With the surge of the e-commerce business in Singapore, the last mile delivery is becoming more and more critical than ever.

With customer satisfaction being a critical factor in the success of an e-commerce business, you must look into outsourcing your services to reliable service providers.

In light of the increasing demand for fully integrated omnichannel retailing, last-mile delivery has become an area of interest for many online retailers.

Comparatively, last-mile deliveries can be more complex and expensive than first-mile deliveries. Last-mile delivery problems include reducing cost, upgrading efficiency, building transparency, and enhancing infrastructure. Costs associated with last-mile delivery operations can reach or even exceed 50%.

However, if retailers engage with a dependable last-mile delivery company in Singapore, they can guarantee reliable package delivery services to their customers. In Singapore, most of these last-mile deliveries occur via their road network.

Shipping From Philippines To Singapore: Rates & Charges

Rates and shipping charges will vastly vary, given the parcel’s weight, volume, and material. And not to forget, prices will also depend on the logistics and shipping firms your e-commerce opts for.

The general formula for calculating the rate is:

Length (in cm) x height (in cm) x width (in cm)/ 5000 = Volumetric weight in kgs rounded up to nearest 0.5kg

Since a crossborder-road network cannot ship goods from the Philippines to Singapore due to their geographical location, flight freight and air freight are the only options to send goods from one island to the other.

While air freight is the safest option to avail of, due to its strict security and reliability, it is also the most expensive mode of transporting your goods. It is also the fastest.

On the other hand, sea freight is the cheapest mode of transfer but the slowest. The reliability and security of sea freight are not as guaranteed as air freight.

However, your choice of transport will largely depend on the size and weight of your goods. Partnering with a reliable shipping firm will help your e-commerce choose the best and most economical shipping services for you.

The Philippines trails behind its neighbors in various logistics performance and connectivity indices. It ranked 66th out of 157 countries in 2013. To enhance shipping services from the Philippines, efficient logistics service providers are required. They must  that will consider all factors, including weight, volume, custom charges, delivery speed, and all the other nuances of your entire supply chain requirement, before giving you the most reliable shipping solutions. 

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