Last Updated: June 9, 2020
*Article will be frequently updated as we receive new information
Dear Japan Crate Family,
As we’ve communicated in the past, because of the issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve had to make significant changes to our shipping systems over the past few months. While these changes were abrupt and sometimes confusing, they were necessary in order for us to continue operating. For those who were negatively impacted by these changes, we sincerely apologize; we’re evaluating our operational procedures to ensure that we’re prepared for situations like these in the future.
As we continue to resolve the remaining operational challenges, we would like to take this time and update the community on some of the recent changes.
Temporary Shipping Fee
As of April 1st, we began charging a shipping fee. The reason for the change is because on April 1st, our shipping partner, Japan Post, abruptly suspended their service (with no ETA on when they would return to normal operations). While we were able to secure a new shipping service, this new service was much more expensive than Japan Post and as a small business, we could not cover the additional shipping costs.
Since April 1st, subscribers have been paying a shipping fee in order to receive their next crate; the shipping fee ranges between $3 to $19.95 for each crate; the shipping fee paid depends on the crate and the delivery address.
While this new shipping service helped us ship both May and June crates, we recently partnered with DHL and will begin shipping July (and future) crates through DHL.
Japan Crate + DHL
Starting with July crates (purchased in June), we’ll begin shipping crates through DHL. By doing so, your future crates will arrive within 3-5 business days of the ship date; to know in which wave your next crate will ship, please see our shipping information here. In addition to receiving your crate faster, you will also be given a tracking number for your crate. The tracking number for the crate will be emailed to you by DHL once the crate ships.
Since DHL shipping is much more expensive than what we can cover, we’ll be charging a shipping fee of $10.95 for most countries and $19.95 for a select few (this is because DHL shipping prices differ between countries). The new shipping fee will be automatically added onto your next renewal. For new subscribers, you’ll see the new shipping fee at the checkout window (as of June 1st).
You may be wondering if our usual free shipping methods (4-6 week shipping with no tracking available) are still going to be an option. This cost-friendly alternative shipping method will still be available for select countries.
***This only applies to prepaid subscriptions that were purchase or renewed prior to April 1st***
As of April 1st, we’ve had to charge a monthly shipping fee in order to ship the next crate in your prepay plan; the shipping charge ranges between $3 to $10 depending on the crate. Unfortunately, because of the shipping changes that we explained above, we’ll have to continue charging a monthly shipping fee until the subscription renews (at which point, the subscription will renew with the DHL shipping fees).
Please know, until your subscription renews with the new DHL shipping fees, your crates will continue to ship through our 4-6 week shipping method.
***This only applies to gift subscriptions that were redeemed prior to April 1st***
Unfortunately, because we have no way of charging a monthly shipping fee to gift subscriptions (because gift subscriptions are redeemed with a code), in order to continue shipping your crates, they have been packaged and stored in our warehouse (starting with April crates). The crates will remain in our warehouse until operations at Japan Post have returned to normal, at which point we will immediately ship the crates.
April Crate Update
***All affected April crates have been re-shipped and will be arriving soon***
In April, a large amount of April crates were unexpectedly returned to our warehouse by Japan Post (which set off all the changes covered in this blog). While we did our very best to re-ship returning April crates as soon as possible, unfortunately, between the re-shipment and the worldwide lockdowns, April crates were significantly delayed. For those who had to wait months to receive your April crate, we sincerely apologize for the experience; please do know April crates were delayed because of issues caused by COVID-19.
May Crate Update
***May crates will not be arriving by June 15th; the crate will arrive within next few weeks***
Regretfully, we were recently informed by our shipping partner that a large number of our May crates took longer than normal to clear through customs, so they won’t be arriving by June 15th. We sincerely apologize for this delay; please know that May crates are in transit and should be arriving within the next few weeks.
As a five and a half year old company, this was our first time facing an international pandemic and we have learned a lot throughout the process.
We cannot state this enough, but thank you to the incredible Japan Crate family for being with us and supporting us through the past few months.
-The Japan Crate Team