Attempting to ship boxes to the Philippines (commonly called “balikbayan boxes”) can be an interesting experience in frustration if you don’t know where to go or who to contact. Since I continue to receive e-mail asking about specific areas in the US, I thought it would be a good idea to list all the cargo companies that ship boxes to the Philippines (see below).
Contacts and Empty Boxes
The best way to find out about cargo services in your area is to go to an Asian/Oriental market or supermarket. A lot of them are affiliated with one cargo company or another. They will usually have the empty boxes you can use for shipping your stuff to the Philippines. You can call one of these markets if it’s a hassle driving to them, but I can’t guarantee you’ll get answers to your questions. In my experience, only a Filipino can talk to a Filipino without getting frustrated by the language barrier unless the Filipino on the other end speaks very good English.
Regardless of where you get the empty boxes, and you can’t just get them anywhere, you may or may not have to pay for them. Forex Cargo usually gives you empty boxes to replace boxes you’re currently shipping, but I don’t know about the other shippers. I believe all of them charge for the first batch of empty boxes, although they’re not expensive. It’s probably a practice used to discourage people from using them as home storage containers. The 24x24x24 size box is pretty big.
The last thing you want to do is use an expensive service to ship boxes like this to the Philippines. Using the US Postal Service or United Parcel Service is probably the most expensive way, based on e-mail messages I’ve received, to ship anything from the US.
On the other hand, if you have an entire household of goods you want to ship, the big freight carriers can save you money in the long run. They ship seagoing containers large enough for the furniture from every room. Of course, this really has nothing to do with shipping boxes to the Philippines. Most of you don’t care to move an entire household.
Before you spend money shipping things to the Philippines, please think about what you’re shipping. Most of the things that relatives and loved ones in the Philippines ask for can be bought in the Philippines at nearly the same price as in the US. Instant coffee and corned beef, for example, are not appropriate. It’s cheaper to buy items like these in the Philippines.
Here is my attempt to provide you the links to find the cargo services closest to the area you live in the US (or country other than the Philippines).
- Alpha Cargo (US)
- Atlas Shippers International (US East Coast)
- Balikbayan Box at FilOutlet (Virtual Shopping)
- Balikbayan-Box (UK)
- CM Global Fwd (US New England States)
- FIL-AM Cargo Service (US – NC, SC, VA)
- Forex Cargo (US)
- Forexworld (Forex Cargo – track boxes) (US)
- LBC Express USA
- Manila Forwarder (US)
- Star Kargo (US)
- Star Kargo AZ (US Arizona)
- Tagalog Balikbayan (UK)
- Transwing Balikbayan (Germany)
If you have any information I can add, please use the contact page.