Over the years I have become more and more reliant upon international parcel services or parcel couriers, that permit me to purchase the household items my family needs from American retailers, but one must be aware fo a few important details when employing a service to manage the purchases made from the American market.
Just to clarify for those who may be unaware of such a service. Parcel Forwarders are shipping services that forward items purchased from USA retailers. Items are purchased and shipped to your courier and then the courier forwards them to your doorstep.
Not all parcel forwarders are made the same and there a few points to consider when evaluating a service provider to assist with your international purchases.
Shipping internationally can be a bit daunting initially. When I began utilizing these services I felt a little uncertain if I could fully trust the services. What helped me was an open line of communication with the courier. I initially started with Stackry who offered customer service that would be considered average to poor at best. In time I found far better communication with companies like: American eBox, MyUS, and Shipito where I felt as though I was given a personal touch. The best in my view has been American eBox with Shipito in close second.
Size can be deceiving
There are only a handful of parcel forwarders worth mentioning that have the scale and ability to handle customer needs responsibly from my experience. Of the major companies it boils down to a mere 6: American eBox, MyUS, Shipito, Stackry, USGoBuy, and Viabox. Of these I feel Stackry, USGoBuy and Viabox are not as professional or delivering a service standard on the level of American eBox, MyUS, and Shipito. For example: Stackry.com and viabox.com both boast impressively large shipping numbers but on numerous occassions, items have been lost, or inexplicably shipped late despite having paid for shipments in advance.
Myus, Stackry, Shipito, & USGoBuy all charge excessively at shipping. For example, the MyUS shipping calculator displays rates for weight only which is a major misconception because shipping costs are determined by the larger of "Actual Weight" or "Dimensional Weight". The difference can be significant. The other companies bill for each and every little thing: repack, packing material, different box, and on and on.
Repack & Consolidation
Aramex doesn't bundle items into a single shipment so in other words if you buy 10 things, you must pay Aramex 10 times and the overall cost is much too high.
Additionally, their costs are much higher than all couriers discussed here. Alternatively, services like American eBox, MyUS, Shipito offer consolidation services. MyUS and Shipito add fees to the final shipping cost for the service, however American eBox doesn't at this point.
Of all the freight forwarders and parcel forwarders researched, only one appears to have any accredidation or affilation with a professional industry steward. The International Freight & Parcel Forwarding Association ( Protected content ), lists American eBox among a list of many others.
As you can see from the Wikipedia page for Package Forwarding, there are only 5 companies listed: American eBox, MyUS, Shipito, Stackry, and USGoBuy.
My overall review looks like this:
Protected content American eBox - *****
Protected content MyUS - *****
Protected content Shipito - ****
Stackry - **
USGoBuy - **
Viabox - *
Google search: "Forward Parcels to India" or "Post cartons to India"