How to Send balikbayan box to the Philippines

Sending balikbayan box household items, food, and clothing to loved ones in the Philippines can sometimes be challenging since it may or may not be available in your area or the country you are in.

If you are sending balikbayan boxes to the Philippines, this is an important information. There are balikbayan companies who have been blacklisted by the Philippine Shipper’s Bureau - DTI because of undelivered boxes and other violations. To learn more of the list (as of Oct 25, 2012)  in your respective countries, click here

This has long been a tradition for Filipinos who live outside the Philippines. If you just married a Filipino or Filipina, don’t be surprised that they fill these boxes and send it home to their families. It is a Filipino tradition that whenever someone in the family is better off, they would share their wealth however big or small it may be. It’s just one of those things and it is a tradition. You just have to understand it.


So how do you get these balikbayan (buh-lik-buh-yun) boxes? Most major cities with major Filipino populations have these services. You can either find a balikbayan cargo box agent, Filipino store, Filipino restaurant who resells these services. You either buy the box and then once you are ready to send it, they deduct the amount of the box to the shipping cost. Most of the time the balikbayan cargo dealers give it for free as long as you send the box through their company.

You can also buy a box from one or any balikbayan box dealer or forwarder and send it through another balikbayan cargo dealer. Most of them will accept the box as long as it’s the same dimensions. What does it look like? Here’s some of them:

Contents can look this way packed:

Talking about the dimensions of the box, you cannot just purchase a box from Walmart, Officemax, or any department store. You can buy it a packing company or store as long as it has the same dimensions as what is required. They will not take it if it’s out of dimensions unless you have prior arrangements with them. Balikbayan cargo dealers have their own dimensions for the box because they pack the 20 or 40-foot container the way they like in a certain way.


So what goes in the balikbayan box? Per the Philippine Department of Trade and Industry, these are the items that DO NOT go in the boxes:

1. currencies, checks, money orders and travelers checks
2. jewelries
3. firearms, ammunitions and explosives
4. prohibited drugs and substances
5. pornographic materials, gambling cards and toy guns
6. pirated products i.e. cd, tapes, etc
 Also, DTI recommends the following:
Send your boxes only with PSB-accredited sea cargo consolidator / freight forwarder companies. These companies normally have Philippine counterparts which must have an accreditation from the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Shippers’ Bureau (DTI-PSB) if by sea or from Civil Aeronautics Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) if by air.
Senders may verify the company name of Philippine seafreight forwarder counterpart at under the Consumer Welfare and Regulation section or thru our Philippine Consulate Office abroad.
Here’s the current list of Balikbayan Dealers, as of October 25, 2012 who are Blacklisted by the Philippine Shipper’s Bureau due to non-delivery of boxes:
United States of America (USA)

1. AAA Cargo Express Inc.
2. ABS-CBN Star Kargo
3. Aerosend
4. Alas Cargo
5. Associated Consolidations Express (ACE Cargo)
6. FRS Philippine Freight Services, Inc.
7. Shipping Express
8. South Atlantic Cargo

As of Feb 8, 2013, here’s the list of Balikbayan Cargo dealers in the United States who are under investigation for undelivered boxes or other violations:

1. AAA Cargo Express Inc.
2. ABS-CBN Star Kargo
3. Aerosend
4. Associated Consolidations Express (ACE Cargo)
5. FRS Philippine Freight Services, Inc.
6. Pentagon Cargo, Inc
7. REN International
8. Shipping Express
9. South Atlantic Cargo
10. Star Xpress Forwarders

 If you really want to believe this violations:   click here  to download the current list

For other countries: click here and download the current list

More on shipping the boxes …

• Declare your shipment by accomplishing a detailed packing list stating all the contents of your box and value of shipment, per item if possible, as well as your preferred shipping date. Ask for proper (or extraordinary, if needed) packing, wrapping, strapping, sealing and labeling of your box.

• Secure transport documents such as cargo receipt (or Official Receipt) for fees paid, and Bill of Lading – a document issued by a transportation carrier to the shipper as proof that they have received the shipment of goods and have placed them on board a particular vessel for delivery to a particular destination. It also states the terms in which the received goods are to be carried.
• Get the name and contact details of the forwarder’s agent in the Philippines. Be sure that these information are indicated in the transport document and/or receipt.
• Monitor the movement of your cargo from origin to destination to make sure it is being shipped and delivered. You may inquire for a tracking scheme or continuously contact the forwarding company. You may ask them to provide you details such as the name of shipping line, vessel’s name, voyage number, container number, and expected time of departure and arrival of your package.
• Inform your consignee to check your cargo with the Philippine agent even before it arrives. When it does, make sure to inspect the seal and wrapping of the box before signing the receipt of delivery. If you feel it has been tampered with, do not receive the box and ask the delivery agent to have it double-checked.
• If you encounter pilferage or lost item, much worst non-delivery, file an immediate claim or complaint with the freight forwarder’s customer service. You may also lodge your complaint directly to the Philippine Shippers’ Bureau at 2F DTI Bldg., 361 Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City or call the DTI-Direct Hotline (02) 751-3330.



196 Comments on How to Send balikbayan box to the Philippines

  1. Atlas and forex is the best carrier to send package to the philippines. You can even track the package online (atlas)
    Make sure na keep your receipt from them. Document all the things na nilagay mo sa box. Then your good:)

    • I can vouch for both (Atlas Cargo and Forex Cargo) companies to be good companies as I have sent through them before.

      There are other balikbayan companies that are reliable too.

      Maraming Salamat sa feedback.

      Paul Admin

  2. Donald D. Hale // June 16, 2014 at 4:48 am // Reply

    Where in Mississippi can I send the Balikbayan box from

  3. Michelle Bautista // June 2, 2014 at 9:10 pm // Reply

    hi… do you have on here in Camrose, Canada? May I ask for the contact number please? Thank you

  4. Femie Gough // May 29, 2014 at 6:12 pm // Reply

    I am looking for a balikbayan box dealer in OKlahoma city that have good reputation. Thanks.

  5. Is there any shipping branch in dallas texas
    to send balikbayan box to philipines.

    • Hi Ruby,

      There are several in the Dallas area. I don’t have the information but based sa past experience ko dyan, marami sila. Meron bang Filipino store sa area mo? They should know. Salamat.

  6. Philippine Cargo here in Michigan did not give me a good business. I sent 7 boxes between Oct.-Nov. 2013, My family still did not receive it. The contacts that was listed on the receipt are not reachable. I heard the owner has left USA for good. I really don’t know what to do. Please help…

  7. Is there shipping branch for balikbayan box near Vermont?

    • Hi Daday,

      The closest to you is MA. There are several in that state. It’s a little inconvenience. Who knows, they may have someone already.

      LBC is one. The others, I have no experience with.

      Maraming Salamat.


  8. hello i wanted to send balikbayan box to philippines, i am living now in Townsville QlD Australia and how much it cost if i send it to philippines? how many days it will arrive?

    P.S can u pls give me a link/ website of an agent from my place Townsville? thanks po

  9. is there shipping branch here in kentucky,USA,I wanna send box to PHILIPPINES.

  10. Question: it’s possible to send by Balikbayan mechanical parts?
    Thanks for your reply,

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