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. Am living outside of Philadelphia, Pa and want to ship to Cebu. Names and tel #’s of companies….

  2. I’d like to send package in the Philippines, Can you please help me find a cargo company here in Mission Viejo California? Thank you

    • Hi Ana, there’s a lot of them in So Cal. Worst case, you may have to drive it to Long Beach. Pick up the local Filipino newspaper from the store and you should see most of them.

  3. William Skip Holland // March 23, 2015 at 7:31 pm // Reply

    Evening—I shipped three large boxes last Dec.2014 to Calatrava, Negros Occidental–I shipped it Pinoy Cargo, lost my paperwork and am asking you, how do I go about trying to find where my shipment is. Who do I contact???? the shipments have not arrived as of today—3-23-2015–if there is anyway I can find out, please let me know—Thank you–

  4. rose cariaga // March 23, 2015 at 11:39 am // Reply

    Hello good day po, ma’am/sir,
    Ask ko lang po sana kung saan pwede mag inquire yon bagagge ko po.
    last oct 13, 2014 ko pa ngsend sa United Express Cargo in kuwait almost
    6 months na but till now wala pa, lage ko naman ng mmessage sa office nila in kuwait pero sabi nila wait lang daw, eto pla # ng resibo ko.. 2836 eto rin po viber # ni ma’am Marilyn na lage ko ng message +96569976909. pls help me kung paano ko makuha ang 6 boxes ko.. thanks po.

    • Rose, please contact the RP embassy dyan and let them know or ask them kung paano ka magfile ng complaint. Those boxes may be on hold din kasi yung dealer hindi nagbayad sa customs fee nila sa Pinas. Good luck.

  5. REY BERNOS // March 22, 2015 at 8:39 am // Reply

    Any cargo services near Albany/Syracuse NY?

  6. Do you know a balikbayan shipper in Sacramento, California?

    • Hi Tess,

      There should be several there. Start with the Filipino stores in your area. They would be tied to one or know of a few.

      Salamat for inquiring on Webmaster

  7. Dave Preuett // March 11, 2015 at 1:46 am // Reply

    Is there a place in Seattle or near Seattle to send one box from? Second how do I get a Consular General notarized SPA stamped if there is no Consular General in Seattle?


    • Hi Dave,

      Please contact Philippine Consulate in San Francisco on how to do the SPA. They may have special arrangements for that since you are a few states away.

      As far as the balikbayan boxes, there are several in you the Seattle area. Forex and Atlas Cargo comes to my mind.

      Salamat. Webmaster

  8. Hi I like to send balikbayan boxes from Pittsburgh,PA to Philippines.Can you help me?

  9. Gloria King // March 5, 2015 at 2:48 am // Reply

    I just moved to Myrtle Beach and want to send a balikbayan box but could not locate any agents/stores here.

    • Hi Gloria,

      Are you in FL?

      There are several – Forex, Umac Cargo, Atlas Cargo, and other local ones.

      Salamat for inquiring on Webmaster

  10. Rosalie Alejo // March 4, 2015 at 8:07 am // Reply

    Hi Sir/Madam,
    Good day.,
    ask ko lng po ddito sa cambodia saan po pde mag pa ship ng balikbayan box.. thanks GOD BLESS.

    paki reply o sa email add ko thank you po

    • Kamusta Rosalie,

      Wala akong alam about BB cargo services dyan. Kindly ask ang Philippine Embassy dyan. They would know more about it.

      Salamat for inquiring on Webmaster

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