Marcelyn

The Box Shop in David - Package Forwarding Service

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Has anyone used the Box Shop in David for inbound freight forwarding shipments? Rating?

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Marcelyn, why would you want to drive to David to pick up a package when there are shipping offices right here in Bouquete? I've used MB, etc. for nine years with nary a hitch.

On the subject of MB, I hope it hasn't gone unnoticed what a community asset the folks there are. They happily collect money for and sell tickets to events on behalf of charities and other organizations such as BCP, Amigos de Animales, Rodny Direct, and many others. Given that there are a lot of organizations and events in Boquete, this is a substantial amount of time and record keeping. I, for one, will continue to reward them with my business.

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In spite of the recent problem eShop (and the other shippers apparently too) has had with customs holding up packages, I have always received packages from them in a timely manner.  Also they don't require a monthly fee with an added expense if the package is over the weight limit, as MBE does.

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Big sorry. Didn't mean to cause a fuss.

MBE is one of our favorite business places. Use their services for incoming mail, small packages, and outgoing expedited shipments. Nice people and their customer service is outstanding.

Was trying to gather information for Box Shop in David because I heard about their ability for large and very heavy inbound shipments. Have never done business with this organization, maybe never will in the future. And yes, a drive to David adds to the inconvenience and time, but sometimes necessary. Did I hear PriceSmart?

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48 minutes ago, JudyS said:

In spite of the recent problem eShop (and the other shippers apparently too) has had with customs holding up packages, I have always received packages from them in a timely manner.  Also they don't require a monthly fee with an added expense if the package is over the weight limit, as MBE does.

It is not necessary to have a Box or account with monthly fees at MBE in order to use their services. I pay by the piece and have done so since they opened.

 

Edited by Keith Woolford
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1 hour ago, Marcelyn said:

Big sorry. Didn't mean to cause a fuss.

MBE is one of our favorite business places. Use their services for incoming mail, small packages, and outgoing expedited shipments. Nice people and their customer service is outstanding.

Was trying to gather information for Box Shop in David because I heard about their ability for large and very heavy inbound shipments. Have never done business with this organization, maybe never will in the future. And yes, a drive to David adds to the inconvenience and time, but sometimes necessary. Did I hear PriceSmart?

I was told some time ago that Airbox is the least expensive for heavy inbound shipments, which come by boat. You might want to check with them if you're not in a hurry.

Edited by Bonnie
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1 hour ago, JudyS said:

In spite of the recent problem eShop (and the other shippers apparently too) has had with customs holding up packages, I have always received packages from them in a timely manner.  Also they don't require a monthly fee with an added expense if the package is over the weight limit, as MBE does.

I don't have any quarrel with eShop as I've never used them. But, you know, I haven't heard anyone complain about missing packages for the time in question from other services and lots of complaints about eShop for this period. This seems very strange to me.

 

Edited by Bonnie
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Have not experienced any problems with either MBE or E-Shop and I use their services frequently. Both have excellent customer service, imo.

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1 hour ago, Bonnie said:

I was told some time ago that Airbox is the least expensive for heavy inbound shipments, which come by boat. You might want to check with them if you're not in a hurry.

Another alternative for very large or heavy items is to consolidate with Riba Smith and ship out of Florida via DELVI Logistics.

They will clear your goods and forward them to Boquete via Fletes Chavales. 

Rates are listed for both Air and Sea options.   http://www.ribasmith.com/rimith/images/pdfs/Form-New-Address.pdf

Edited by Keith Woolford
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We have been satisfied with Airbox Express on several large, heavy items classified as "surface freight" (via ship) when we were in no hurry.

 

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3 hours ago, Keith Woolford said:

It is not necessary to have a Box or account with monthly fees at MBE in order to use their services. I pay by the piece and have done so since they opened.

 

I get envelopes at MBE by the piece.  I didn't know you could get packages that way.  Thanks for that info.

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56 minutes ago, John R Hampton said:

 

We have been satisfied with Airbox Express on several large, heavy items classified as "surface freight" (via ship) when we were in no hurry.

 

I use AirBox when I have something shipped that is very heavy.  Their maritime rates are much cheaper than the other shops that only ship by air.  And it doesn't take much longer either.

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Myth and falacies about customs, lost packages and so on.

Some people from the expat community know me and they are aware that I am still working.  I have strong business ties with US Manufacturers and companies.  That means that I am constantly receiving things from the US.  They go from printed materials to heavy boxes with samples of products and marketing material.  I do also buy a lot of stuff in the US that I cant get in Panama and could be cheaper to buy them there for personal and family use.  My wife usually order more stuff than me from the US.

I use Airbox Express.  I got an account that did not have to pay any monthly fee.  I have never had any problem with Airbox Express and any missing or retained package.  I do received them on time and complete.  Of course that some of them are opened by customs agents randomly for checking but in general they come complete and on time.  I use to have an importing company and I know a lot of what is like to import products in Panama and what are all the paperwork and procedures you have to do with customs.  I do also receive packages through companies like FEDEX, UPS and DHL without any customs trouble.

I have read somewhere that some people are having trouble for getting their package on time and they are delayed more than a month without knowing their whereabouts.   That the company has told its customers that it is an issue with customs and place the blame on them for the delayed packages.  Those mailing packages services work as consolidators.   All the products, packages, etc arrive consigned to their name.  Their customs broker (corredor de aduana) makes a document for customs taxes purposes called "Liquidacion de Aduana"  In this document the customs broker place and classify all the products coming in that shipment and assign them a harmonized customs tariff code according to the type of product.  This code states the customs taxes the product has to pay.   Later the mailing packages service company should pay the customs taxes at the Banco Nacional and the airline, in this case, will give them a release of the shipment from their warehouse.   The mailing packages service company should have a large truck and go to the airline fiscal warehouse to pick up the shipment.  There a customs agent will review that all the products in the shipment are correctly classified and has paid the correct customs taxes.  If eveything is ok then the company could take the shipment to their warehouse and deliver them to their customers.  

 

When Customs Agents will retain a package and how long.

Customs agents will retain a package for the following causes

1.  Products in the packages are controlled goods that needs previous permits to import.  Example firearms, food, medicines, wood furnitures, etc.  The Customs agents will inform the Mailing company about this problem and the company should contact the customer and tell them about this situation.  The customers will be instructed about what to do and will have to pay a fine because he/she did not get the permits before importing.  This could take a couple of weeks depending how fast the customer gave the information requested and the Company did the paperwork with customs.  Only the package with this situation will be retained.  The other packages in the shipment will pass with no problem.  

2.  Products in the packages have an invoice stating that it is an specific product and really it is not that product.  It means that based on the information the customer gave to the company they proceeded with their broker to classify the product in one specific harmonized customs code.  Example:  you bought a taser gun and you declare it as a flash light.  If the product is not controlled then the customs broker should do an special paperwork, declare the product correctly and you may have to pay a fine and some charges for this error.  This could take a couple of weeks depending how fast the customer gave the information requested and the Company did the paperwork with customs.  Only the package with this situation will be retained.  The other packages in the shipment will pass with no problem.  

There are the two most common situation why a Customs will retain any package.  If the product is not a controlled one, if the product is not illegal, if the product is declared accordingly in the commercial invoice you shouldnt have problems with your packages.

 

When you are receiving a package through a mailing packages company they are responsible to give you a detailed information in a timely manner about the problem, if there is one with customs.   If the problem is simple they should ask you for the documentation requested by customs and with their customs broker will solve the situation and charge you with the fines and extra fees for this issue.    If the problem is a little bit complicated, by any reason, they should tell you what is the issue with customs, will have to tell you that customs is requesting any additional information about your package and it is probable that your physical presence will be required with the documents requested at the customs office.  The company should provide the "liquidacion de aduana" where your package was declared and a copy of the report given by the customs agent.   

 

It is very strange that a company giving this kind of service and being in the business for many years couldnt give you any satisfactory answer about your package.  They are in the importing business and dealing with customs everyday so they should know how to deal with them and all the paperwork and stuff needed to get the shipment out of customs warehouse quickly and without problem.  If customs retain any package they will do a report and inform the company about the situation.  It is the company responsability to solve the problem quickly and satisfactorily to their customers.  No excuses accepted.  

I know that customs agents could be so difficult some time but if the company has everything correctly and accordingly they could not do anything against the company.   It is a matter of common sense.  As an importer of products for more than 25 years I only had 4 problems with customs and I solved it quickly.  Of course it was my responsability to do what I was instructed by customs and pay the fines as quick as possible.   Remember that the fiscal warehouse belong to the Shipping Agency and they start charging the company for storage and handling.  The more days the company take to solve the problem the higher the storage the company will have to pay to the fiscal warehouse.

So my very personal opinion is that something is not clear about this issue and the company is not telling the true at a 100%.  There is something that is bad and affecting the customers of the company and they did not want to admit that probably they messed the things, the package was lost in their warehouse, damaged, etc and they are looking for some explanations blaming on customs.

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Thank you, Roger. Very useful information.

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13 hours ago, Roger B said:

When you are receiving a package through a mailing packages company they are responsible to give you a detailed information in a timely manner about the problem, if there is one with customs.   If the problem is simple they should ask you for the documentation requested by customs and with their customs broker will solve the situation and charge you with the fines and extra fees for this issue.    If the problem is a little bit complicated, by any reason, they should tell you what is the issue with customs, will have to tell you that customs is requesting any additional information about your package and it is probable that your physical presence will be required with the documents requested at the customs office.  The company should provide the "liquidacion de aduana" where your package was declared and a copy of the report given by the customs agent.   

Agree with Bonnie.  It's insightful commentary.  I quoted the part that was most meaningful to me.   I have an expectation that the mail forwarding service will do everything necessary to clear a parcel in a timely manner or advise me on a frequent basis what the status of obtaining clearance is -- especially when I am paying a monthly fee for services.  Recently, it seems that the majority of forwarders are failing in communicating status to their customers.

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I have used Eshop in Boquete and am happy with the service and I have used MailBoxes and am happy with the service and the people. Recently I heard about The Box Shop in David and wanted to test it out. The one benefit of The Box Shop is the flat rate. The flat rate is $2.50 per pound (they add a 25 cent charge to each package).

So, I had 5 packages sent to The Box Shop, some relatively heavy. I ordered some tools and had a package of 33 pounds and one of 26 pounds. All in all, the five packages cost me $229. By comparison, I saved over $130 from similar services in Boquete.

I talked with the operator of The Box Shop and he told me he would like to open a satellite office here in Boquete so he could make regular deliveries and make it easier for the people in Boquete.

I see the convenience of getting packages here in Boquete, but the flat rate of The Box Shop is something to consider. I was having my mail forwarded to another service and one small envelope cost me almost $8.00. At The Box Shop, every pound is $2.50.

Since my test, I see The Box Shop offers the same good service. I get an email when I have a package.

One thing about The Box Shop: It is located at the end of a long parking lot. You cannot see it from the street. The parking lot is across from a bakery in David. The operator said to use Google maps, because I used Waze and it got me to the right place, but I didn't know it was inside this parking lot.

Again, I'm just reporting on what I did. In my calculations, if I'm going to David anyway for Pricesmart for example, it's not too difficult to go to The Box Shop first.

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This is excellent information, Mike. Thanks so much.

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1 hour ago, Woody said:

Agree with Bonnie.  It's insightful commentary.  I quoted the part that was most meaningful to me.   I have an expectation that the mail forwarding service will do everything necessary to clear a parcel in a timely manner or advise me on a frequent basis what the status of obtaining clearance is -- especially when I am paying a monthly fee for services.  Recently, it seems that the majority of forwarders are failing in communicating status to their customers.

Woody, you're citing from Roger's post, not mine. His was the really good post on this subject.

As for communication, I actually get too much from MB, etc. I get an email when mail is being processed, an email when it's on the way, an email when it's been received in Boquete, and an email thanking me for my visit after picking it up. There may even be two "being processed" emails.

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2 hours ago, Bonnie said:

Woody, you're citing from Roger's post, not mine. His was the really good post on this subject.

As for communication, I actually get too much from MB, etc. I get an email when mail is being processed, an email when it's on the way, an email when it's been received in Boquete, and an email thanking me for my visit after picking it up. There may even be two "being processed" emails.

For some reason I'm unable to quote from OldMikeNY's post. He said, " One thing about The Box Shop: It is located at the end of a long parking lot. You cannot see it from the street. The parking lot is across from a bakery in David. The operator said to use Google maps, because I used Waze and it got me to the right place, but I didn't know it was inside this parking lot. "

Would you please give complete directions? I can tell head or tails with Google maps and I don't use Waze. $2.50 per lb is great!

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46 minutes ago, Dottie Atwater said:

For some reason I'm unable to quote from OldMikeNY's post.

...

Dottie, you can quote from as many different replies as you wish in a single posting that you create. Here is the procedure:

  1. With the first post that you want to quote, simply click on the "Quote" link in the bottom left of that posting. That starts a reply and automatically adds the entire reply as a quote.
  2. Then type whatever you want to say in response to that quoted text.
  3. Start a new paragraph (this is important), and then scroll up and click the Quote link in the next reply that you wish to include.
  4. Then type whatever you want to say in response to that quoted text.
  5. Then repeat steps 3 and 4 to your heart's content.

Hope this helps.

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I did that, Bud, but nothing happened. Must have been a temporary glitch because I've successfully quoted before.

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Sorry to hear of this Dottie. We try harder, but sometimes stuff happens. Let me know if the problem continues and I will see what I can do.

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Not sure if anyone cares anymore, but eShop got the packages yesterday from the shipments that were held up in customs.  I stopped in today and the office is full of boxes.  Mine was included, though I'm not sure about all the non-delivered packages.  I think Karinthia and Ken did all they could, at great expense to them, to overcome the problems.  Anyway, if you've been waiting for yours, the wait might be over.   Dennis

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Marcelyn and I were in David late afternoon yesterday. We made a point of stopping by the Box Shop to learn more about it and to be sure of its location. Disclaimer: we are not displeased with the mail forwarding services that we use in Boquete. However, we have been asked by some of the CL members if we can get more information about the Box Shop.

We met the owner/operator, Dario Samudio. He spoke good English and answered our questions. We asked for a brochure or business card, but he indicated that he had none. Then we explained that we operate a website, and he went to his car and retrieved a brochure that he said was never published for customers/potential customers -- for reasons which he chose not to disclose. Here is that brochure:

The Box Shop.jpgAfter looking over the brochure, we asked a few more questions. His hours of operation are weekdays 9:00AM to 6:00PM. Saturdays is 9:00AM to 2:00PM. His email is info@boxshopdavid.com. His personal cell phone is 6799-4595. His website is www.boxshopdavid.com.

We also learned that there are no monthly service charges. You pay only $2.50 per pound for your incoming shipments, plus a $0.25 service fee per item (we understood that fee as his 'cost recovery' for getting the shipments from PC to David).

We were informed that customers need to be careful about what the actual chargeable weight of a package is. There are two weights. One is the actual (physical) weight itself -- something you get by putting a box on scales. The other weight is a "size adjusted" weight. Dario showed us a package -- rather large, about 1 foot by 1 foot by 4 feet dimensions -- but the size adjusted weight was to be 33 pounds. Its actual weight was only four pounds. Apparently all of the freight carriers do this. This adjustment is not something that the Box Shop does on its own; this is how all carriers assess the chargeable weight of a shipment. I am aware that UPS and FEDEX, etc., do have size adjusted weight. There is no way to get around this "adjustment". In other words, customers need to understand everything about their shipments before they execute a purchase.

Now for the shop's location: from the brochure you can see that it is in Plaza Comercial San Francisco, Local #15, in David. That plaza is literally in front of, and across the street from Panaderia Mara Pan.

Here is my best way to describe the location: while in your vehicle in front of Hotel Ciudad de David (which is a major landmark in David), you will be on a one-way street. Go to the first intersection, which has a stop sign. Do NOT turn. Go through the intersection for one more block to the next intersection; also a stop sign. Then turn left at that intersection (that is a two-way street, so be careful), and go about 2/3 of the way down that street. Plaza San Francisco will be on your left, immediately across from Panaderia Mara Pan. That street is the one that not only has Panaderia Mara Pan, but also the Copa Airline office, the street that is between Hotel Nacional and the Bomberos, and at the far end on the McDonalds/police prison street intersection where the Mitsubishi dealer is located.

I took a couple of pictures to help those unfamiliar with the street names, etc.

2016-09-05 16.29.46.jpg 

The entrance to the Box Shop in David.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 2016-09-05 16.33.07.jpgMeet Dario Samudio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016-09-05 16.48.47.jpg

The Mara Pan business that is directly across the street from the entrance into Plaza San Francisco in David. This picture was taken from our car as we were exiting Plaza San Francisco in David.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016-09-05 16.52.29.jpg

This is a view looking down the entrance of Plaza San Francisco in David. (I keep saying in David so that people will know I am NOT talking about Plaza San Francisco in Alto Boquete.)

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