Dubai: A Filipino official at the Philippine consulate has warned Filipinos from transacting with ‘fly by night’ cargo companies when sending their parcels back home to their families, which are also known as balikbayan boxes.
Filipinos customarily send goods such as chocolates, toys, clothes, and household items and appliances for personal use, among others, to their families back home packed in a balikbayan box.
It takes months to fill a huge box to send in time for major occasions such as Christmas.
Freight forwarding companies in the Philippines with UAE counterparts that offer cargo services bound for the Philippines must be accredited with the Philippine Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
“Accreditation with DTI is important as this gives recognition or credibility to the legal existence of the freight company, authorising the entity to engage in freight forwarding business. To promote and protect the interest of the shipping public, FTEB helps to professionalise the freight forwarding industry by granting accreditation based on certain criteria to weed out those companies that are not yet ready and qualified to engage in the business,” Commercial Attache Eric Elnar said.
Around 10,000 boxes, with goods valued at Dh30 million, are sent through 30 freight forwarding companies from the UAE to the Philippines daily. In recent years, complaints mounted over “unaccredited cargo companies” over delays in the delivery of their care packages, leading officials to warn Filipinos from patronising them.
“We wish to remind OFWs to send their balikbayan boxes only through freight forwarding companies accredited by the DTI.
"This is to ensure that they are not dealing with “fly by night” cargo companies who are usually the subject of complaints of missing or undelivered balikbayan boxes,” Elnar said, without elaborating on specific cases.
There are around 30 accredited sea freight forwarders with foreign agents in the UAE with the FTEB. Among the popular cargo companies in the UAE are Makati Express Cargo, LBC Express, Flomic Freight and Logistics, and others.
Marketing Executive Mark Jayvees Mendoza from Makati Express Cargo said they recorded 110,000 shipments in 2017, most of which were repeat customers.
Efren Artillaga, Jr, from Flomic Cargo, told Gulf News that choosing accredited cargo companies gives customers assurance that should something happen to their cargo, the accredited cargo company can address the issue.
Accredited Foreign Agents Sending Balikbayan Box Shipments from the UAE (as of December 31, 2017)
NOTE: Some companies have branches in other emirates
Omeir travel Agency LLC,
Luzan Express Cargo;
Golden Box Corner Cargo;
Coriner Express Cargo Services LLC;
and Khoory Cargo.
CMG International Movers & Cargo Services;
DCC Balikbayan Box Cargo Services LLC;
Flomic Freight and Logistics LLC;
All Win Balikbayan Cargo LLC;
AFZ Cargo Services LLC;
WBN Pinoy Package;
Gift Palace Cargo;
Makati Express Cargo;
LBM Express Inc. — Dubai Branch;
Asia Express Shipping Agency;
Filcom Express International Cargo LLC;
Highlights Express Air and Ocean Cargo;
Padz Cargo Services;
Precious Sea & Cargo Est;
Motherlines Shipping LLC;
Crystal International Cargo LLC;
Pinas Express Cargo;
MSM International Cargo LLC;
CargoNet Services LLC;
Globelink Westar Shipping LLC;
Sky Freight Cargo; and
Frico International Cargo
Umm Al Quwain
Al Kanaa Cargo