Had enough of Aramex Shop and Ship? Here are some alternatives in Qatar.

Put simply, I’ve had enough. Packages get delayed in customs for weeks (with no explanation), when I finally do get them, most of the time the box is damaged (watch out if it comes in a softpack, because you’re screwed), and their location can only be accessed by helicopter (and only if you know how to zipline or base jump).

Shop and Ship could be a fantastic service but they just don’t have the basics right… I’ll work backwards. Have you seen their main pick up location? Although they’ve moved to a new location, I think that parking is actually worse! There are huge rocks, steep ditches, and unless you’re in a Land Cruiser, you’re definately going to damage your car. Even after you pass all the rubble and get onto their parking spots (I think there are around 10 by the way and they’re on the sidewalk!), you then have to suffer with the fact that they have NO queing system. That means that you’ll get either drivers with no manners or the ‘I’m better than you because I wear Chanel glasses that cover my whole face’ masters of the universe.

Can you believe that Aramex even gave me someone else’s package by mistake (like they literally put it in my post box, smsed me to pick it up, and then told me that they were sure it was mine), then told me a week later they called me saying they made a mistake and I had to drop it back. I explained that they could come and pick it up since it was THEIR mistake. I think they did come after another week and picked it up from the apartment lobby. Who knows… perhaps it’s still there gathering dust.

Another annoying thing (and perhaps a smart way from their end on charging you MORE) is the fact that they ship every single item separately. They don’t hold your packages and send it in one nice bundle. So since they have a minimum charge, let’s say you ordered a camera, memory card, case, and a pink thobe from Amazon, they would all be sent separately. You’d get charged for delivery of each one.

Oh did I mention that although Amazon delivered 4 packages, Aramex only records 3? Looks like we’re going to have to hunt for the 4th… -_-

It’s not just me complaining, it seems like they’re consistent in many countries. Here are more:

I mean according to Amplicate.com (a site that looks at how positive or negative people feel towards a brand), a whopping 66% HATE… Aramex! Check it out for yourself, click here.

The last blog poster above hates Aramex so much that he created a little wallpaper that says “I Hate Aramex”, go ahead and check out his blow.
What pushed me on the edge today was the fact that Aramex acted heartless. I live in the WestBay area, so it’s quite far from where the Aramex pick up is. I wasn’t feeling very well since I just came back from travels, but was excited to pick up my package. I drove all the way over to Aramex, and had to carefully inch my way forward over the jagged rocks until I managed to get to the front of their shop. Just as I got to the door, it had been shut and locked. It was a glass door and there were staff sitting at their computers. One guy, (he looked Arabic), faced me and shook his head at me. I said, ‘please can I just take my package, I’m only 5 seconds late’. He shook his finger at me from across the room. I put my hand on my heart and said “please?”. My gesture had meant, please have a heart and do me a favour. He shook his finger and head then turned away. I looked to the left and saw some filipino staff and one of them was serving a Qatari customer who was already inside… I gave them my best cute eyes (think of the Puss in Boots from Shrek) but one lady pouted her lips at me and gave me a quick head shake, I could mentally hear the ‘hmph’. By that point, I felt like a bum on the street begging for food and walked away. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have done this one kind thing and helped me out. That’s what makes the difference for customers… they could have given me a memorable experience… instead, I felt like they just didn’t give a damn.
Anyway, so I have now started my journey for alternatives in Qatar. I should add that one of the main reasons that I use Shop and Ship style services is because so many shops in Qatar charge extortionate prices and it only makes sense to buy abroad and ship it over. I actually ended up SAVING 3,000 QR on my top of the line iMac by importing it.

Alright alright, alternatives. You’ve probably landed on this page because you’ve suffered through your own pain with Aramex. I’ve found three services that are recommended by different people.

1- MyUS.com (They use DHL or Fedex) – US only
2- BorderLinx (They use DHL and are the official DHL Partner) – US & UK only
3- UShopWeShip

I’ll describe the advantages of each service then talk about cost.

 

MyUS

This service was the first that was recommended to me by people when I asked for alternatives. They claim to be able to save you 80% on global shipping but we’ll see about that. The nice thing is that they’re very responsible, their website is very detailed and they have some unique services!

1) They have a concierge service in case a shop only accepts US payment. They’ll send someone to the shop and buy what you need. Apparantly they’ll even recommend a cheaper place if they can.

2) They’ll bundle packages. That means that unlike Aramex, you can decide when they ship a box over. You could choose a frequency of once a week if you wanted. Let’s say that you had set your frequency to once a week but there was ONE thing that you really wanted asap. No worries, they’ll send that over to you seperately.

3) Repackaging. Again, unlike Aramex, who’s definition of repackaging means rip the package open and fart in the box, these guys will repackage items in order to save you space.

Set up fee: USD 10 for Standard membership (no discounted shipping rates and no consolidated delivery). For the Premium account (where you get discounted shipping and consolidated delivery), it’s USD 20 + USD 7 monthly fee (why….)

 

BorderLinx

These guys have a simple site, but it seems that many people complain about two things. They can be expensive (since they charge based on volumetric weight) and they aren’t available during the holidays. So don’t bother ordering something when it’s christmas. From the DHL side, reviews are mostly positive when it comes speed and updates of where your package is. They do have a key problem (especially for a country like Qatar), they don’t ship to POBoxes. So you’ll need your stuff sent to your home or office.

1) They allow you to set up a UK and US address

2) Have additional services like SafetyLinx which is basically insurance on anything lost or damaged.

3) signing up took me literaly 10 seconds. I im

Set up fee: Free

 

U Shop We Ship

Honestly, I wouldn’t have considered them because their site looks… a bit crap. Then again, it’s not like my blog is designed to look like a DaVinci work of art either. These guys DID get mostly positive reviews.

1) Have a Transit time calculator (pretty handy for managing expectations)

2) Allow shipping frequency, so you can send everything at once

3) Allow shipping from UAE, UK, and USA

4) They ship via Special Delivery (Mumtaz post/EMS), which in my opinion is quite fast.

The Mumtaz post pick up point is at the Post Office in the Teyseer building near the airport. Parking isn’t usually hard there. If you have a POBox or specific address, they can deliver it to your home too.

Set up fee: USD 25

 

Alright, so you know the basics, now let’s get down to the costs. I’m going to exclude the cost of set up since the purpose is to compare the cost of the service. This isn’t a super analyzed comparison. These are just examples of course using each of the site’s calculators. What I plan to do is order the same item from amazon and ship it to Qatar using all 4 services and then compare the cost, speed and service. (It won’t be anytime too soon though).

Example 1

Item: Nintendo 3DS XL + Game
Item Value: 1,162 QR
Size: 15X15X15
(needed for Volumetric Weight)
Weight: .76 KG

Cost QR
Aramex 74
MyUS 171
Borderlinx 162
UShopWeShip 55

Important note: Borderlinx includes Shipment insurance. Without it, it would be 97QR.

 

Example 2

Item: 2 boxes of GooGoo Clusters (Chocolate)
Item Value: 175 QR
Size: 20X20X20
(needed for Volumetric Weight)
Weight: 3.7 KG

Cost QR
Aramex 272
MyUS 412
Borderlinx 308
UShopWeShip 189

 

Example 3

Item: Multiple Items that arrived on different days
Number of Items: 3
Item Value: 500 QR
Size: 10X10X10 each (reduced to a total of 25X25X25)
(needed for Volumetric Weight)
Weight: 1.1 KG each

Cost QR
Aramex 321
MyUS 375
Borderlinx 271
UShopWeShip 163

 

I wish that simply by looking at these rates it would be clear which one is the best.
MyUS repacks the items so that there is no wasted space. With the Nintendo 3DS XL for example, there was A LOT of wasted space with packing materials.
MyUS seems to be the best in over all speed as well as the fact that they repackage multiple items to save space and individual shipping fees, regardless of this fact, they’re still the most expensive even in a repackaged situation. (And we haven’t even included the set up and monthly fees)

Borderlinx is the second most expensive, but they do give you insurance included which is a nice touch. Is that enough for you though? Is the DHL speed (which is days faster than Aramex based on my own experience) very important to you? They don’t repackage so that means that you’ll end up paying more if there is a lot of wasted empty space in the box.

The cheapest is UShopWeShip, but that’s because they aren’t sending it via a special courier. I can tell you though, if sent by Mumtaz post, it’ll STILL arrive very quick. I’ll be trying this solution the next time I order something and let you all know for sure.

Aramex does one thing that I appreciate. They charge by the weight. That’s all. None of this volumetric weight garbage… Still wondering what that is?

Let’s say that the item weighed 1KG but the shipping company calculated based on Volumetric Weight. They would first calculate the weight based on the size of the box, and then charge you whichever was the highest rate (based on size or just weight itself). Doesn’t sound fair but they calculate this based on how much space the box uses because the more space it uses, the less stuff they can ship at the same time. (Volumetric Weight is calculated by Length(cm) X Width(cm) X Height(cm) / 5000. )

I’m off to bed, it’s 1am and I’m tired. You guys tell me if you’ve had experiences with any of these shipping companies. Leave your comments below :)

 

Note: I really do hope that Aramex takes this feedback and uses it to improve. If they drop me a line promising everyone in Qatar that they’ve taken steps to improve, I’ll gladly share it with the ILQ community.

  • Kuwaitiful

    While you faced the issue of aramex sending you the wrong shipment I had it the other way around. My last shipment which contained 2 boxes shipped ‘together’ at the same exact time arrived as one. Where was the other box that came with it? Well I called aramex to find out.

    Turns out it wasn’t even in Kuwait, rather in Doha being shipped to a guy named Mohammed Abdulla, not even close to my name so I can’t figure out how it possibly went so wrong. It’s been over a week now in delays because of their ridiculous mistake. Keeping in mind that both shipments were together having the same exact name and address.

    I’ve registered with PostaPlus now, I’m not sure they’re available in Qatar but I’ve posted an overview about them. They’re cheaper and quicker than aramex, so far everything I’ve heard except for one incident have been all positive.

    Good luck with your next freight service provider!

  • Mohamed El Bashir

    Thanks very interesting review and experience with Aramex.
    I use Borderlinx which is powered by DHL, I have used to many things including my IPhone 4S . Good features, online tracking and speedy delivery .

    I subscriber 2 years back it was about 30$ I guess. Although I did register with Aramex but never used them due to the bad customer experience, everyone I know used them is complaining .

  • marwan

    U can go for a master degree with this A+ case study man hahaha

  • Alhitmi

    I used U Shop We Ship once in 2007 to buy the first iPhone but after waiting for a long long time I called them and they told me the shipment contained 3 iPhones and all of them were stolen!

    I like Borderlinx because they are faster and deliver to my house but you can’t know for sure how much you will pay for shipping so I only use them when I want something quickly

  • anniel

    Aramex have a lovely young lady in Landmark who you can pick up your parcels from . A lot easier than going to pick it up from office.
    `Thanks for your brilliant research Mr Q

  • amnesia

    But they’re quite expensive right?

  • amnesia

    Thanks for being so quick to post. The thing is that Aramex has the potential to be great, but they seem to half ass their effort.
    Ill check out PostaPlid and see if they serve Qatar. Thanks for that :)

  • amnesia

    Thats a problem since you never know how things are going to get packed (like Apple stuff)

  • amnesia

    You’re welcome yeah I guess for the packages I’m waiting in, I’ll ask Aramex to forward to landmark. Do I just call them?

  • cestmaguerre

    Think it’s largely hit-or-miss with the customer experience most any place that deals with parcels and shipping here. I went to the airport branch of the post office on Thursday trying to get a document out before the weekend and got there literally at 11:53 a.m., at the same time one of the staff was locking the main door. I kinda mimed at him that I needed to post something and he tapped at his watch, shook his head and walked off. I looked at the timings on the door and it clearly said 9-12 everyday (except Friday) until next Tuesday. Anyway, by this time all the staff inside had seemed to have momentarily lost their sense of sight and hearing and pretended like I and another guy waiting outside just didn’t exist. Two minutes later a local walked up and waved a collection slip at the staff inside, asking if they could just give him his parcel, he wouldn’t even step inside. The security guard tapped at his watch again and waved him away. Efforts to indicate that there were still a good five minutes left before they actually closed (and remained closed over Friday and Saturday) went in vain.

    On the flip side–I’ve had some excellent customer service from Q-post on a number of occasions, particularly in their main branch. Go figure. Whichever company it is–private or public–I think they would all benefit a huge deal from some streamlined customer relations training. Aramex have been good to me so far, but I think it depends more on luck than anything else.Thanks for the alternatives anyhow! Hope things go more smoothly for you with all this shop and ship from now on :)

  • Austin

    Thank you so much! You’re a life savior :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Lui.cypher666 Lui Cypher

    I’m sad to say that those services are going down… And fast…
    Many company’s just block their address so you buy and later receive a message saying that the product will not be delivered because you are using a Ship forward service at your delivery address. This is very easy, the company just put a filter to detect the address from Aramex and others, so you are down…
    Only yesterday, 3 companies reject my orders… Even LEGO !!!, so now my son is limited to the bad choices that we found at Qatar Marketing…

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  • Anil Shafeeque

    Appreciate sharing the information. I started using Aramex since couple of months. I have ordered at least 6 shipment during these period. My experience with them since then has been very good. All the shipments except one reached me in 5-6 days. For the one that got held in customs, they have promptly informed me by via SMS, Email as well as a direct call. Upon submitting the clarence via ICT i have got the shipments in another 2 days. Also their push notification through iPhone was also worked well. One more is Queuing system, which is already implemented. So I have only good feedback so far except one thing, I totally agree with the fact about the parking. Yes, the only way to reach their office is using helicopter :-). For this partially I would blame for Doha municipality as well for the bad maintenance of the roads. I can see some improvements in the nearby areas.. Still it is Aramex who should take initiative to sort out the approach and parking.

  • sulaiti

    Great article. Did you see Aramex’s new 2013 rates? Yep you guessed it, it is increased yet again.. every year they keep increasing their rates but on the other side their services gets worse. I wish there was a good “reliable” alternative.. I will try some of these suggested companies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/khalifas Khalifa Saleh

    no? where can I see it! That’s ridiculous!

  • Jamal

    Thanks for this i was just about to use my mate’s aramex account to have some stuff delivered. I was thinking whether to do it or not Now i feel I am even less happy .To get the basics right in a country like this where there are so many restrictions, even when they say they could clear customs, they might have that power in other countries but not in the middle east. I am supposed to start a small cosmetics business from home and need to get my things here before i start out and start ordering in bulk.In small amount I have a nightmare to order and receive by normal postage service.

  • Jamal

    Hey i forgot to mention that paypal offered a discount deal for shop and ship with Aramex so i subscribed sometime back. And the mistake i made i did not read the small print in their conditions. After I joined then I saw on their website that they did not transport glass (bottles or jars ) and liquids.Not much good for me seeing i want to do cosmetics.So i called them and explained,but they refused to cooperate. They said it is their policy not to carry liquids and glass and that i should have read the details first. So I asked for a refund since it was a waste of time me paying for a service i was not going to use.I closed my account but they refused to give my money. Back Now I need to order some stuff other than glass and liquid that is why i wanted to use my friend’s but I have doubts now.

  • amnesia

    So what about the iPhones and laptops that are now made from glass?

  • Jamal

    The problem with Aramex is the list of things they don’t ship.It is huge.I mean what is there left just documents? Shop and ship but then you shop and they can’t ship look: http://www.shopandship.com/content/uploads/110/218/40004/shop-and-ship-prohibited-items-listing.pdf

    I mean even Jewelery, Essential oils, Glassware, plastic, Dyes (Hair, Textile, etc.),Caustic soda ( drain cleaner),Batteries (Alkaline),All aerosols are prohibited (Hair Spray,Deodorant, etc.)Ceramics,
    neon lighting, light bulbs, etc.), Musical instruments and lots more.You cannot transport these by normal post anyway so what is the point of using couriers like aramex if they can do that. They claim they can clear customs and that but they cannot, it takes so long

  • Prasanth K B

    It’s sad that you had to go through this but you are not alone. Yesterday Aramex gave my package to another customer right in front of my eyes. My other package which was sent a week before this one came through Bahrain and is still stuck awaiting clearance from customs..Let’s try alternatives then :)

  • ankush

    i hate aramax! literally.
    THEY OVERCHARGE! my baggage only 2.6 kg, they charged it for 3.1 kg.
    then they claim that first 0.5 kg costs 20$ and next 0.5 kg cost 8$. so you think that 2 kg should cost 20+8+8+8.
    but no, they charge 20+8+20+8. why?
    and whoopping signup 45$!!!!!!
    i jusyt want some way to get that 45$ back! worst money i ever spent!
    now, they charged me customs on 8$ worth candy as 12$!!!
    when i asked, they said the shipping was also charged duty!
    WHOM ARE YOU FOOLING! SHIPPING IS NEVER CHARGED CUSTOMS!
    hate hate hate them.
    the other service shipito is even worse!
    all of them just ripping off the money!
    for me, i am stopping using these transit services. i’ll only buy from websites that ship to my home country.
    HONESTLY THEY ARE MUCH MORE HONEST AND CHEAP THAN THESE ARAMAX AND SHIPITO!
    never again i’ll even suggest anyone to use these crappy services!
    all are mere rip off! fed up!

  • Danwaddy

    Great Blog, thanks. Ive signed up to borderlinx having moved here from Kuwait where I used Aramex’s, costly and slow service with suprise charges.

  • Mahabagin

    how much it cost ,for sending a 2 page document,plus 16 passport size photo to Abu Dhabi?Thanks…

  • Maad M. Churbaji

    man you made up my day with these details

  • chan

    I agree with you friend, why they are charging extra eventhough seller described shipping free.

  • ttt

    how we can contact u guys as email or phone

  • mikeg

    Boderlinx now repackages and combines items free of charge. At least that is what their website says…I just signed up.

  • Muhammad Safwat

    This article is awesome I decided to go with borderlinx after reading it but still I believe Aramex is better

    Find my whole experience with Borderlinx on my personal blog
    http://www.muhammadsafwat.com/shipping/aramex-shop-ship-best/

  • Nick Beeny

    Many shops nowadays deliver direct, so you don’t even need to get a US or European address if you want to shop internationally and have delivered to Qatar. For example check out http://myinternationalshopping.com

  • slicenziuten

    i ordered DSLRs (almost-japan-price) twice from digitalrev.com (hongkong) and it was delivered to me by aramex for free! – this means i did not pay aramex any of the charges. perhaps it was added in my hongkong payment. still, when i checked the total prices (plus shipping) of the 7D and 60d ( were way better than what one can get from salam and carrefour.

    that was my first time of using aramex services. i feel sorry for those fine people having trouble with their packages.

  • Nick

    Are you sure the delivery was made by Aramex? DigitalRev will deliver to anywhere in the wortld for free anyway so no need for a middleman.

    We are adding more and more shops with free international shipping here all the time: http://myinternationalshopping.com/component/jreviews/tag/freedelivery/Yes/criteria:1/?Itemid=

  • Touheed M.A.

    @slicenziuten can u help me out with it that digital rev is showing up on their site that don’t deliver to P.O Box, but how is it that u were able to get your camera delivered.
    i am goin insane to order my camera

  • HnM

    Has there been any improvement lately? I just shipped something with shop and ship and now I’m worried.

  • Light

    Another expert here, I have used MyUS, Shipto, Aramex and by far in professionalism MyUS is best, Shipto has good rates, faster service! and FREE insurance regardless of declared amount

  • Light

    and yea, Aramex is pathetic!! don’t think of dealing with these guys

  • Isha

    There’s another new company called Ship Ace. I saw them on Facebook, they seem quite active and haven’t read anything negative on the page so far. I’m going to try them out soon. So frustrated with all the delays caused by shop n ship!! Hopefully this won’t be as bad.

  • Ismail Ramadan

    Hello Guys, i am opening a new online shop in Qatar. Can somebody tell me what is the best way to send Packages to GCC countries? I have a Online Shop running in Germany and there i can send europe wide with DHL, what about GCC countries?

  • Laura

    I shop from the UK using Forward2me they have different shipping services both for fast delivery by DHL and other option!

  • Abs

    2 years down the line… sns looks like a rip off to me…$45 as initial registration fees for what?

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