Taobao parcel forwarder review – Ninja Van

It’s been more than a year since i last used Taobao consolidated shipping. The singles day promotion looked tempting, and i gave it a try again. There was a 13 Yuan discount, which halved the first kg cost. At just 13 Yuan (S$2.70) for a 1kg shipment, i felt it would be a waste not to take advantage of it. The singles day promotion for the items i was eyeing were quite attractive too.

After i have shipped the items, i realized that i have forgotten to change the delivery address, and i have moved house since the last time i used Taobao consolidated shipping. By the time it dawned on me, the parcels were already shipped out. I contacted customer service (via the very handy instant messaging platform, which in my opinion works better than a hotline platform), and was told they couldn’t do anything once the parcels have been shipped out. I was told to wait until the parcels have arrived in Singapore.

Due to massive orders for singles day, it took one week for my parcels to get shipped to Singapore, which wasn’t too bad actually. I contacted customer service immediately, and was told they couldn’t do anything on their side for change of delivery address. However, they did provide me with the contact details of the local delivery company, which happens to be Ninja Van. This is interesting, because on Taobao’s Global Consolidation Shipping information webpage, ZTO is supposed to be paired with DPEX, but apparently, they distribute their load to Ninja Van also.

So i rang up Ninja Van, and surprisingly, the call got through immediately. I was told there was no record of my parcel in their system yet. Actually I did check before hand by entering my parcel’s Taobao-assigned tracking code on Ninja Van’s website, and my parcel was not found. But i was thinking, maybe they don’t use the same tracking code.

The next day, i did a check on the website again, and, surprisingly, the tracking code was found in their system! This makes things very convenient for customers! Ninja Van shows the status of the parcel as pending, as well as the estimated date of delivery. I called Ninja Van to effect the change of delivery address. This time, it took 4 attempts of calling, and on the final attempt, after being put on hold for 15 minutes, the call got through. I was able to change the delivery address. Phew!

Before the delivery took place, i received a WhatsApp message from Ninja Van telling me they will use WhatsApp to keep me informed about my parcel. The parcel was delivered a few hours after receiving the message.

I weighed the parcel, and it came up to 0.81kg. It was quoted as 0.71kg in the system. Not bad.

Overall, i was quite impressed with Ninja Van – the website, the call centre and the use of WhatsApp. They made good use of the technology available today.

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24 responses to “Taobao parcel forwarder review – Ninja Van”

  1. Desiree Avatar

    I have finally managed to order my first order on taobao and also using taobao’s global consolidate shipping but using 4px. However,
    despite paying for shipping to sg days ago, there’s no updates of shipment and the status is still pending for shipping.
    Had msg 4px direct, the messages were read but no reply. Do you know who to contact then in regards to parcel forwarding to sg?

    Next, I saw your post regarding taobao furniture, is it safe to ship glass top dining table? How do you request to seller to pack it in wooden crate (btw, is it necessary to use wooden crate?)

    Lastly, for taobao bathroom fittings, will the no drill glue damaged the tiles? I saw that the glue will harden and leave behind a harden residue. My SO is not convinced that the no drill glue can withstand heavy items and thinks that the glue will damaged the tiles.

    *Btw, I think you could highlight that the singles day shipment coupon have expiry date. I was hoping to use it with my order but was shocked to discover there’s expiry date and it had expired.


    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Desiree, my experience with contacting ZTO customer service was i will get a response within a few minutes at the most. Not sure about 4px. Just to be sure, you used the instant messaging to contact customer service, by clicking on the blue teardrop figurine next to the wording “4PX递四方速递” in the 官方集运 page, right? Besides this channel, i don’t know of any other way of getting in touch with the customer service.

      I can’t tell you if it’s safe to ship glass top dining table. My guess is if it is packed in 6 inches thick hard styrofoam all round, it will be fine even without wooden crate. To request for wooden crate, you tell seller something like 要运往国外,可以打木箱吗?

      The no drill glue will not damage the tiles. It may leave behind a residue, not really the hardened type (these can be scraped off anyway) but stain marks type (after scraping off). My tiles are the “dirty” looking type so i can’t tell exactly if there are really stain marks. When i tested the no drill glue, i found them to be really strong, can withstand my entire body weight. I had to use a hammer to hit it (sudden high pressure) to remove the item. Anyway, once you install bathroom fittings, you don’t normally need to remove them for years, so there’s not much point in using no drill glue except as a consolation that in case anything happens, your tiles are safe from permanent damage.

      It is clearly stated on Taobao website that you need to place your order on 11.11 and ship your order by a certain date to enjoy the Singles day shipping discount. I guess i already know this from years before, and that’s because i did read the terms and conditions, which is just a single liner actually. Hopefully they will have a similar discount for the upcoming 12.12 sales.

      1. Desiree Avatar

        Thanks for your info and reply.
        Being a taobao newbie, I guess the whole interface is really overwhelming and information are not as clear/user friendly for newbies.
        Im using taobao app so am clicking on the teardrop figurine on the bottom before the star bookmark icon to message.
        Is it not right? So far all sellers have response, even 4px sg site did read my messages but no replies at all!

        Hence, Im pretty worried and clueless now due to their no response. Any idea if parcels can be redirected to other forwarders (*will there be additional charges?)


        1. yenkai Avatar

          Hi Disiree, i haven’t used the Taobao app to contact customer service, but i think as long as you’re pressing on the blue teardrop figurine you’re probably doing it right. I think there’s no need to be worried yet. Even if something goes wrong, there will be a way to resolve the problem. Just keep track of the status update for now.

          If you’re not getting a response at all from customer service, then i suppose there’s no way to redirect your parcels to other forwarders. Someone did ever leave a comment on my blog saying that he redirected his parcels from one forwarder to another, so it’s possible. But it’s probably unnecessary at this point in time.

  2. Ivonne Avatar

    Hi Yenkai, need your advice. I used to EZbuy ship for me, and now due to the fact that I can’t use this source, placed an order with Taobao using Taobao Global Direct Shipment. As we are all working, wondering if the forwarder will message me when they do delivery to my house, any idea ? These are the last update status…

    Based on above update ? Is it ZTO and how to message them for status update ?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Ivonne, according to Taobao’s website, all global direct shipments are handled by ZTO. It is quite possible that they will deliver when you’re at work. If the local courier handling your parcel delivery is Ninja Van, then they will actually send you a WhatsApp message to ask for permission to leave the parcel in a safe place at your doorstep. If it’s DPEX, then i’m not sure how they will handle it.

      For status update, once the parcel reaches Singapore, it becomes the responsibility of the local courier delivery company to keep the customer informed about the status. For Ninja Van, you can check the status on their website using the same tracking number assigned to your parcel by Taobao. For DPEX, again i’m not sure because i haven’t received delivery from them recently.

      If you have queries regarding your parcel, before the parcel reaches Singapore, under the 海外物流订单 tab you can click on the the blue coloured teardrop figurine in the header row of your order summary to launch the instant messaging customer support.

      Click ont the teardrop figurine to launch customer support instant messaing

  3. Wendy Avatar

    Hi Yenkai,

    I bought some stuffs thru ninjavan too but my parcel was delay since 25/11 till now there’s no updated status of my parcel. Contacted ninjavan cust service thru Taobao but no response at all. May I know which number did U called? Thanks so much.

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Wendy, I called the number published on Ninja Van’s website which is 66028271

  4. Joyce Avatar

    Hi Yen Kai,

    Like to know during your 11.11 order, how long did it take for your order to ship out after you paid for the shipping? And how many days it take to reach Singapore? After it reached Singapore, how long did it take to reach you?

    I used Taobao consolidated shipping by 递壹时-NINJAVAN and it took more than a week to ship out my order after payment. Now, four days after they “shipped”, i noted they updated the status that there is a delay… just contacted them via live chat and was told it is at the “请关口” so i asked if it’s at the Singapore or China customs but no reply from them… so mad.. they have not been very helpful and wasted so much of my time waiting for their reply. Not going to used this company anymore in future.

    Needed some of the items for my holiday next week… 🙁

    I didn’t know it would take sooo long to receive the items.

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Joyce, my order which was shipped by ZTO took just one day to get shipped out after payment, one week to get shipped to Singapore, and 3 days to be delivered to me after arrival in Singapore. So i guess ZTO is better. And they’re cheaper also if I’m not wrong. 清关口 is most likely Singapore customs. Maybe you can check with Ninja Van for status.

      1. Joyce Avatar

        Thanks Yen Kai for your advise.

        My parcel is now in Singapore clearing customs. Wonder how long it would take to reach me…

        I also called Ninja Van to check on the status. Apparently, I was told that my parcel tracking number was not in their system. I did a live chat with 递壹时-NINJAVAN again to request for the name of the delivery company and contact number. To my surprise, I was given the contact number of Road Bull instead of Ninja Van. I entered my tracking number in Road Bull’s website, BUT a message appeared saying my tracking number is not found too… what is happening? 🙁

        Any idea where do we check for ourselves which company who would be doing the last leg delivery?

        1. yenkai Avatar

          Hi Joyce, the info obtained from live chat would be most accurate, and in fact it’s the only information available. You did use the 国际配送单号 as tracking number to check for status right? Apart from this there’s not much you can do.

          1. Joyce Avatar

            Yes Yen Kai, I did use the 国际配送单号 as tracking number to check for status. Its status now is “Shipment Inbound Scanned”. Just hope that it would arrive in time for my holiday.

          2. yenkai Avatar

            Hi Joyce, sounds like you will receive your parcel within a week, hope it will be in time for your holidays. All the best!

        2. Kym Avatar

          Hi Joyce,

          I have the same problem like you. This is my forth time to use 递壹时-NINJAVAN and the first time i met this bloody mess. The status showed on Taobao and Dex-i the flight has been arrived in SG on 23/12. Understood the arrival crush on public holiday, the status even showed that out of delivery since 24/12, 14.37 until today. I was told by Ninja Van that my tracking number is not in their system too and they give me the contact of Roadbull. There is totally nobody pick up my multiple calls and the tracking number is not found on their website too! I have contacted the Taobao Dex-i customer service, they were told that my parcel is out of delivery. I am so worry that i will lost my parcel or when i can get my parcel???

          Have you received your parcel? How do you track for your parcel lastly? How many days after you received the parcel?

  5. Anne Avatar

    I ordered my stuff from taobao before 11/11 and I STILL havent received it. Apparently sent out 30/11 … stuck at 请关口 for a few days until 4/12 and now 航班延误. I hope they clear before 12/12 madness sets in!

    Did want to ask you though… right now my tracking number has only 11 digits from ninjavan but your photo shows 12 on the package. I totally cant find my tracking number in any ninjavsn tracking system at all. Was your tracking number in China n in Singapore the same or different?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Anne, maybe you’re using the wrong tracking number. Actually, I couldn’t remember from where I got the number, and only after searching for a while did I find it again. Click on 物流订单详情 under 官方集运 – 海外物流订单 and you will find 国际配送单号. In my case it is 12 digits. I guess this is a universal tracking number that is generated in China and passed on to be also used by Ninja Van.

      1. Meow Avatar

        hi yenkai,

        I need some advice on measuring of boxes methods.

        For example a toy figurine packaging itself (like those spiderman kind hanging on the shelves), size is 27cm x 2cm x 12cm. The seller says the external box he used is about 30cm.

        But the warehouse measures 100cm x 100cm x 4cm (first time) = 0.04cbm. Second time re-measure 100cm x 100 cm x 3cm = 0.03cbm.

        My question is when warehouse says 100cm x 100cm, it really does mean 100cm as per normal how we would use a measuring tape and just measure length x breadth x height? In this case, the packaging would be like the size of a small square coffee table surface?

        From the warehouse pic uploaded during their weighing, the external box does not look that big, and it was a slightly rectangle external box. No way the sellers so clever go pack a 26cm item into 100cm. Also unlikely the warehouse measure 2nd time still 100cm x 100cm…And does not look like a case of wrong item measured because it was the same box (slightly different angle) the second time they took the photo on a weighing machine

        So is there any special measuring method or calculation method that i might not know of? say maybe the box one side is 50cm x 40cm x 15cm, then they multiply by how many sides or divide or some mathematical calculation? =/



        1. yenkai Avatar

          Hi Meow, I don’t think there’s any special measuring method. Actually the dimensions you provided as example (50cm x 40cm x 15cm) comes up to 0.03 CBM, so maybe it really is 0.03? Considering that 0.01 CBM costs only $1.3, maybe you can just ship it and verify later if they calculated the CBM correctly.. my feeling is that they don’t always provide the exact correct dimensions, and I wonder why since it’s so easy for them to do so.

          1. Meow Avatar

            Hi yenkai,

            yeah, that’s what I did…I shipped first as the difference is just $2.60. I didn’t want to waste their warehouse workers time since second time they measured also 100 cm x 100 cm.

            The 50 cm x 40 cm measurement is just a very generous rough figure, actual box size from the photo looks smaller. My own rough calculation for the box size is around 30cm and it comes up to about 0.0137cbm. I assume they will round off to 0.02cbm…? That’s why I decided not to pursue further…just a few dollars…

            I am more intrigued by genuine curiosity, how they measure and add up to become 100cm x 100cm x 3cm. As the toy itself is only 26cm x 22cm x 12cm. Also how they get 3 cm when the height of toy packaging is already 12cm….A square box packaging vs a rectangular size box.

            Also just a gentle advice, do be vigilant in checking the measurement and cbm of your products logged into the warehouse system. I had one product, same batch as the toy, was just some clothes…got measured and logged as 0.2cbm….in the past I just accept whatever measurements as given.

            I happened to catch the mistake before checking out and making final payment. So quickly contacted them and the warehouse remeasured and become 0.01cbm, very efficient and quick, so that’s very good service.

            In any case, I wonder if it might be a good idea to ask the sellers to measure the external box and write down measurements outside the box…at least can compare how much difference there can be.

            I agree, they don’t always provide accurate measurement for items bigger than 0.01cbm. Like the 100cm x 100cm x 3cm. First person measured was 4cm, second measured 3cm, another person close one eye measure could easily end up become 5cm or 7cm if you know what I “really” mean. I think most customers when they got their parcels, probably won’t check the dimensions and ask question also.

            Anyway, looking forward to double 12 promotions…good luck buying taobao stuff ^^


  6. Priscilla Avatar

    Hi, how to get the tracking number to track from Ninja Van? I placed and order from Taobao made payment for Ninja Van and last update was 已发货…


    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Priscilla, 已发货 probably means the seller shipped it, and that’s only the very first step. When it has been shipped from China, it is 已出库.

      I’m assuming you shipped via Taobao consolidate and shipping, so to get the tracking number, click on the following links.

      Shipping consolidation page

      Tracking number

      By the way, if I’m not wrong, the tracking number for Ninja Van deliveries should begin with 91.

  7. snivybelinda Avatar

    i recently ordered from taobao and my forwarder is zto too. i am wondering if anyone has to be home to collect the parcel or can they just leave the parcel outside my home. if theres no one at home, where will the parcel go?

    1. yenkai Avatar

      Hi Belinda, I believe they will try their best to leave the parcel somewhere safe outside your home. Otherwise, they will probably attempt to deliver again. You can probably call DPEX call centre (6543 0110) to arrange the delivery also.

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