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How Do I Get My Stuff?


by Terry Sovil

UPS logo

You really need something but you can't get it here. You look at the great pricing on the internet in the USA. You'll have to have it shipped. You already know the costs are high. The frustration level will be even higher. A weed whacker part is $12.00USD but shipping will cost you $40.00 making an overall purchase price equal to half the original cost of the whacker.

We run a business and some of our best suppliers are, unfortunately, in Southern California where a lot of dive equipment manufacturers are located. PADI (the Professional Association of Dive Instructors) is also in Southern California and all of our training materials come from them.

DHL LogoThe local MBE (Mailboxes Etc.) will allow you to rent a mailbox with an address in Laredo, TX. Your mail is sent to Laredo, TX and then put in a pouch (big envelope) which then travels via UPS to Manzanillo. They have various plans for letters/packages based on overall weight and volume. They will also send from Manzanillo to Laredo in a pouch. The Laredo office stamps and mails the item via the US Postal Service (USPS).

The staff at MBE is fantastic and helpful but the actual service outside of their hands is dismal. I've never rented a box so really can't speak to the incoming mail / packages delivery but I have sent individual pieces of mail. If you have truly critical mail you can send it overnight via UPS and it will arrive. You get the tracking number and can follow it so you know it made it. The cost is obscene. An individual letter in their bi-weekly pouch runs about 40 pesos or $3.25 US$. They will tell you it should arrive at the USA destination within 10 days but my experience shows the time closer to 4 weeks.

FedEx LogoPackage options are limited to UPS, FedEx, DHL and USPS. I've had mixed results with UPS and FedEx. I've had nightmare experiences with DHL. Use one of these carriers and you'll find that NAFTA doesn't exist in the real world. DHL is absolutely the WORST carrier I have ever used in Mexico or the USA. Every DHL shipment has been "stuck" in Guadalajara where they fail to communicate and outright lie about status. When it gets to your door the cost will be more than the quoted rate because the local office has added on charges for some reason they can't explain. My recommendation: NEVER use DHL for anything that will cross the border! DHL within Mexico has a better reputation but I won't use them anymore.

Internally, within Mexico, Multi-Pack has been quite reliable. You get a tracking number and can get accurate information on where your package is via their website. If it arrives in Manzanillo and isn't moving it's an easy drive to their office (on Miguel Blvd "in front" of Yakitory). Just print the tracking information and circle the tracking number and they will produce it quickly.

A recent shipment from the USA gave me an opportunity to compare some costs:

Shipping from Rancho Santa Margarita, CA 92688 to Manzanillo, Colima, MX 28860 for a 14.5# box measuring 15"x12"x6"

FedEx Priority (1) $166.69 USD
FedEx Intl (1) $145.70 USD
USPS Express Mail (3) $78.00 USD
UPS World Wide Saver (1) $190.86 USD
UPS World Wide Expedited (1) $171.62 USD
DHL Express WorldWide (2) $169.67 / $153.97 online rate
  • Not including import taxes. Even for didactic and training materials!  NAFTA?
  • The WORST shipping company.  Add an outrageous import tax and brace for the final actual shipping cost when the driver shows up – it will exceed the quoted rate.  Guaranteed!
Never been charged an import fee on any shipment; very reliable.
US Postal Service Logo

Packages sent to me via USPS Express Mail require a signature and have always made it through within about two weeks. I have NEVER incurred a customs fee of any kind.

Best option for small packages? Get someone to carry it down to you or drive it across the border for you!

Aquatic Sports and Adventures
Address: Privada Los Naranjos #30, Santiago, Manzanillo, Colima, Mexico  28860
Phone in the USA direct to the shop in MX: 909-266-0271
Phone Internationally to MX: 011-52-314-334-6394
Phone from MX: 314-334-6394
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