Like other makers in the world, we rely on AliExpress. In South East Asian countries, Chinese suppliers are often the only option to buy gadgets, supplies and consumables. The orders made in early Feb arrived at Siem Reap after four month, which is the longest delivery time in my past orders. A week ago, I ordered PoE splitters, some development boards, and a machine, and chose FedEx and DHL as shipment options. Usually, shops offer AliExpress Standard Shipping as an option, but this time, some shops did not. Even when they did, the shipping fee was more expensive than usual. In customers reviews, there were lucky customers and unlucky ones. Even if you choose express delivery service, there were possibilities of delays.
When I asked an officer at GPO in Siem Reap last month, he laughed when he saw my tracking number starting with
SG, which means the item was handled by Singapore Post. “Nothing from Singapore this month”, he said.
Luckily, DHL sent an SMS message to me today that one of the items had delivered to its local office. No custom tax, no problem. Just two days after the pickup as promised. Other items are on the way. It appears that logistics are recovering.
I checked some items on AliExpress, and it appears that shops now default to AliExpress Standard Shipping again. One of the reasons to choose AliExpress Standard Shipping is that, when an item is not delivered, you do not have to dispute with the shop. AliExpress support directly processes the dispute, and the refund immediately starts when the dispute reason has been proved to be valid.
One of my orders includes a dozen of BBC micro:bit development boards, which I am planning to use them in classrooms. Some ex-pats know what it is, but others do not. When they see it, hopefully, they will understand why the board is great for STEM education.
The next time I order something I do not need immediately, I will try AliExpress Standard Shipping. We will see.