Wednesday

Shipping with USPS to NIPOST Nigeria? Beware of these DOs and DONTs



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Are you looking to ship an item or package to Nigeria from USA via USPS? Perhaps it's something from eBay, Amazon, Aliexpress or any item from your house you need to deliver through United States Postal Service to Nigeria (NIPOST), this should be important for you to read and beware of.

Forget the sugar-coated posts you had been reading elsewhere, I will reveal the reality to you, after reading this unbiased review or post you should be fully knowledgeable of ;
  1. Risks involved and package delivery problems, 
  2. What to avoid before you ship or expect an item and
  3. Best practices or right procedures to follow

This post also is a first-hand personal experience about how I was expecting an item I bought through a friend in USA, but the item got missing/Stolen on-transit via USPS to African country like Nigeria (NIPOST) so finally, somewhere before I conclude this post, I'll expose the atrocities of customs/staffs workng at the Airport cargo section (NIPOST at MMA Murtala Mohammed International airport).

I had to personally take it on myself to write and share this so you won't make same mistakes I made, or any other kind of different mistakes when you Ship an Item from USPS to Nipost/EMS Nigeria or any other African countries.


USPS to NIPOST

 Now note, if after reading this post, if you realise you made a mistake, quickly, call USPS to retrieve your parcel back ASAP.

1. Risks involved and Package delivery

USPS has about 6 mail classes and some are better than others, it also depends on what you're mailing.

Delivery duration - 4 to 10 days (Applies to all mail classes including International mails). Go here and click on Quick Compare to understand more .

  • The most used are First Class and Priority Mail classes.
First class International mail is a very bad choice even if it's the cheapest way to ship an item.
It doesn't come with tracking outside USA, and if not insured just forget about your package, it will eventually get missing on transit and USPS won't give a damn coz they will claim the item is no longer in their care (which is somehow true).

2. Best Practices - Shipping with USPS to Nigeria

a. USPS Priority Mail Shipping with International tracking and Insurance is best I can recommend for now.
b. Priority Mail Express also a good one, it is faster but still make sure there's International tracking registered on it so your packge is protected by UPU Policy, even if there's no insurance.

Those mail classes have almost 100% gaurantee the package will be delivered, the option is quite expensive  with shipping charges upto $50 or more (depending on the size/weight of your package).


c. Use some other private Logisitics - like UPS, FedEx or DhL: This is because USPS and Nipost are government properties in their respective countries. And Nipost collecting your item from USPS is even worse, the guys at Nipost are corrupt and their tactics to hunt down corrupt staffs is zero, poor.

3. Steps to take and beware of when shipping or expecting items via USPS to Nigeria (Nipost)

i. When shipping, pay for international tracking and if possible pay for insurance too. Stay away from First Class Mail international - It sucks and has 90% chances of making you regret. No guarantee your item will reach you (the receiver).

ii. If you're expecting an item from USPS, it goes to Nipost, shipping takes 4-10 days, make sure you go to the airport on the 3rd day after the item had been shipped.
To do this, move straight to NIPOST International Mailing Unit there (MMA Ikeja) or NACHO in the airport, these are the guys responsible for your packages entering the country.

And even if they tell you your item has not arrived, disturb the hell out of them, show them your tracking code to let them know till they eventually find it.

Other resources you should see to know what others are saying about using USPS shipping to Nigeria. Or shipping from Nigeria to United States via Nipost.
Also have a look at this secreenshot I got from eBay, a seller who uses USPS to ship items. If you observe below. First Class is cheap hence offered free by the Seller and he offers it only within the country, coz First Class International is a BAD idea outside USA.

USPS shipping fees

USPS FIRST CLASS MAIL INTERNATIONAL - Why it Sucks, My sour experience and Atrocities of NACHO / Nipost Airport Staffs

USPS First class mail international is an Ordinary mail. You must have noticed how much I had hammered resounding slaps on using it ship your package to Nigeria NIPOST.
How much I hate the option due to the deep shit they put me.

The Only Time USPS First class mail international (without or with tracking) can be tried is if you're sending a document (letter, paper or books) that stricly concerns only the reciever. It can't be used by someone else, it will be useless for the Customs/Airport staffs hence they will deliver it to the right post office for the receiver.
If any other kind of package is involved, then it sucks, totally a wrong idea. Do Not use this Mail class.

My sour experience

As I mentioned earlier, a friend used this First Class service as at July 2017 I had no idea about USPS or their mail classes, and I guess she was unaware too (no blames here).

When she used USPS First Class to mail my stuff to Nigeria, she showed me the receipt of payment displaying my tracking ID, I was told it will arrive Nigeria within 4 - 10 business days, now bearing in mind that I had been buying and getting gifts and far less expensive items from China's Aliexpress and UK without issues I accepted with good faith but it ended up a terrible mistake and experience after searching my missing package from USPS to Nipost for months but never found it, I guess from USPS the item got to Nipost/Customs Nigeria at the airport and that was the end of it.

Nobody called me to claim or pay import duty whatosever for my package even if my contact number/address was on the package. I won't disclose how much the package worth here but it was quite expensive.

THE MOST VULNERABLE/STOLEN USPS MAIL PACKAGES
All USPS mail classes/packages come with tracking, as we may have learnt by now, not all tracking works outside United States. The Most vulnerable USPS packages' tracking code usually starts from LA, LC, LH ******US etc
Such items having that tracking number are always vulnerable to getting stolen/missing in transit even a staff at Nipost Nigeria told me this by himself.

Atrocities of NACHO / Nipost Ikeja Airport Staffs

Yes, there are always few bad eggs (thieves), cargo thieves and pretenders working among the good staffs at airports, in this case, the Cargo section or Nipost International Mailing Unit Nigeria especially at Murtala Mohammed Airport Ikeja.
THEY SEE YOUR CONTACT NUMBER ON YOUR PACKAGE BUT THEY WILL NEVER CALL YOU to come and claim your item.
Basically, what these Customs/Cargo handlers/Nipost staffs do at the airport is to collect and keep ordinary mails (First class mail with NO Tracking eligibility) after they notice your item is valuable or useful for them. They take your item home and sell or use it as their own.

Ordinary mail (First class mail) cannot be tracked so they keep it and give you excuses or deny they never saw your package or it has got missing in transit before arriving their airport, which are all terrible lies.
They are fully aware of the weakness that your item can't be tracked outside USA and they'd say anything to make you forfeit your search for it if there is delay.


What if you insist on using USPS First Class option?

Perhaps Priority Mail is too expensive for you. If you insist on First Class then I'd repeat, pay for tracking for the item. First Class mail international has tracking but it doesn't work outside USA, so make sure you PAY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRACKING before it leaves your USPS Post office to Nigeria.
  • Avoid using ordinary mails, ensure your tracking code doesn't begin with - LA, LC, LH****
  • The most secure mail packages begin with tracking codes - RH, RC, CH etc

Make sure the mail/package is registered mail and eligible to get tracked globally according to UPU policy to protect your stuff and prevent cargo thieves on transit.





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Author: Edi Dominic Ifediri

Best described as a geek with a mixture of skills in drawing comics, Content-Writing, Computing and Mobile technology, this was due to his passion for Arts and Sciences since the age of 14 that he kicked off with the mobile web. He is the Founder/Chief-Editor at EdiTweaks which had almost been noticed as one of Nigeria's Best Tech blogs
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