My default Taobao parcel forwarder is ZTO-DPEX. I used to know how to change the default forwarder but I cannot locate the place to change it currently. If you know how to do so please enlighten me by leaving a comment! By the way, the shipping fee for ZTO is the same as for Dex-i (the lowest rates): 26 Yuan for the first kg and 9 Yuan for each subsequent 0.5kg. Somehow Taobao doesn’t bother to update their website to reflect the new pricing. Another observation is that the shipping weight may be rounded down, which is advantageous to consumers. My parcels weigh a total of 3.78kg, but i was only charged the shipping fee for 3.5kg (89 Yuan or S$18.30). I wouldn’t say it is cheap, but it is fair enough.
I made purchases on Taobao during the recent 11.11 and 12.12 promotion. Even though the shipments were handled by ZTO, the local delivery were handled by Ninja Van and Road Bull respectively, likely because DPEX couldn’t handle the volume. This shows that the ZTO-DPEX pairing is loose and the local delivery can be reassigned arbitrarily by Taobao.
For my latest shipment, however, the local delivery was done by DPEX, as should have been the norm. The tracking number for deliveries handled by DPEX starts with 90. You can find the tracking number listed as 国际配送单号 in 跨境物流管理 under the 海外物流订单 tab. You can also get the local delivery update status when you click the 查看物流 of the individual parcels, without being concerned with whether the delivery was done by Ninja Van, Road Bull or DPEX.
So how did DPEX perform? Well, the delivery was done and that’s about it. There was no prior notification given on the day of delivery. There was no one at home, but i noted the “Out for delivery” status earlier in the morning and was a bit concerned about what how they were going to handle it. The delivery man called 3 times (i was driving) before sending an SMS saying he left the parcel in a safe place. I happen to arrive when he was about to leave. Well, the parcels were left in a safe place. No Complaint, but Ninja Van and Road Bull both did better simply by sending a notification about the parcel delivery/status.
I once wrote a review on the poor service rendered by DPEX, but times have changed, and you could say a standard protocol has been adopted industry wide, and just about any delivery company is reliable enough.