While some of the clothes or lipsticks we lust off of our favourite instagram accounts can be bought in Uganda, many of them are found in stores or with brands with no retail presence in the country. So much so that many of us are now resorting to buying from the rising crop of instagram and facebook “boutiques” that bring in these goods. Sometimes though, that latest Zara blazer is still nowhere to be found, and you need to have it! Or those ASOS shoes that are 70% off! There’s no choice but to go to the brands’ online stores and figure out a way to get it shipped to you.
One thing you’ll come to realise is that some stores do ship internationally, including African destinations like Uganda, some not so much. So, different tactics will have to be employed with each case, additionally different factors will determine the shipping cost besides what’s shown on the website.
This post is our attempt to break down the options and make it easier for you!
What determines the shipping costs?
- Weight of package
- Type of packaging
- Country of origin
- Country of destination
- Type of service chosen
What are the shipping services available?
1. SHIPPING & LOGISTICS COMPANIES
DHL – GERMANY, UK, GREATER EUROPE – UGANDAN LOCATIONS
FEDEX – FEDERAL EXPRESS, US – UGANDAN CONTRACTOR is PAX TRANSPORT
UPS – UNITED PARCEL SERVICE, US – UGANDAN CONTRACTOR is DAKS COURIERS
This is usually the priciest, albeit most reliable and convenient, option. The price covers the expedited delivery of the package and guarantees security in terms of insurance against theft or damage. All of these also provide online tracking and assured delivery on the promised date, which is usually within 7 days. You will more than likely be charged extra customs duty based on the monetary worth of your goods, and delivery cannot be made to your P.O. Box if that’s something you prefer. Deliveries are to a physical location (your workplace or home) or pick up at their offices in Kampala or your town. When purchasing from high-end designer stores this should definitely be your FIRST choice!
2. POSTAL SYSTEM
This is the commonly preferred shipping option because it works as post-office to post-office which is what many people still prefer to have. It is usually the cheapest option especially for cheap, small goods and for that delivery will be within 14-28 days. You might still be required to pay customs duty on the items depending on what you purchased but the freight fee, will definitely be cheaper. This also has tracking and non-tracking options.
3. THIRD PARTY FORWARDING
This is an increasingly preferred service for those who shop online quite often. These are usually privately owned companies that partner with a number of larger shipping & logistics companies to get your package to you in time. Some like Intership even offer to shop & pay for you in case you don’t have the cards for online banking. With this, you can easily shop ANY store you fancy, especially those that don’t offer international shipping to Uganda. You register an account with the website, get assigned a US/UK/China address for shipping and once your goods arrive there, the company arranges for it to get to you. The cost will usually fall between that for a shipping company and of the post office, however goods will also likely get to you that much faster. Tracking and insurance is also usually offered. Goods can be delivered anywhere within 7 – 28 days.