My Shopping Box versus Johnny Air Cargo – the ultimate comparison chart

Online shopping addicts in the Philippines usually have two go-to freight forwarders for their precious hauls: My Shopping Box and Johnny Air Cargo.These companies offer the same services: they accept your packages in the US then forward them to you here in the Philippines. But which company offers the better value? Let’s find out through the My Shopping Box versus Johnny Air Cargo ultimate comparison chart!

*Note: The MSB info comes from their website. The JAC info was given to me by their representative, Ms. Analyn, via email.

Johnny Air Cargo (JAC)
Airfreight Class 1
(Clothes, shoes, toys, books, kitchen appliances, sporting goods, etc.)
$5.99/lb$5.99/lb (Metro Manila)
$6.49/lb (Provincial)
Airfreight Class 2
(consumer electronics, costume jewelry and accessories, designer handbags, electrical spare parts, precision instruments)
$8.50/lb$6.50/lb (Metro Manila)
$7.00/lb (Provincial)
Sea freight
(all allowed products)

All fragile electrical devices packed below 30 lbs chargeable weight with additional charge of $1.25/lb based on chargeable weight.

All items >30 lbs are considered “oversized”, with extra charge of 30% of the chargeable weight
Minimum shipping chargenone2 lbs
Extra feesnone$50 per laptop
$25 per electronic item (tablets, e-readers, mp3 player, phone)
$25 per other item worth $500 and above
Fixed fees$25 annual subscription fee$5 per shipment
ConsolidationNone. Packages are individually tagged and tracked even if they arrive on the same dayNone, unless the packages arrive at their office on the same day
Storage15 days free of charge, $0.20/lb/day afterwardsNone. Items are shipped as soon as they arrive in their office
Door-to-door deliveryIncluded in the shipping feeAdditional charge of $5-$20. Shipping fee only includes pickup at JAC branches.
Delivery time for air freight10-12 days from their California warehouse to Manila (as per MSB)

My previous order timeline:
Oct 19: arrival at MSB California warehouse
Oct 22: scanned into MSB system, authorized shipment
Oct 31: delivery to Manila address
5 to 7 days from New York office to Manila (as per JAC)

My previous order timeline:
Jan 2: arrival at JAC New Jersey office, transfer to New York office
Jan 7: shipped from JAC NY office
Jan 15: arrival in JAC Makati branch for pickup
PaymentOnline via credit card when you authorize the shipment from their warehouseCash or credit card upon pickup at JAC branch. Charges are converted at the airline rate on the day you pick it up + 12% VAT
Ongoing promos (as of November 2013)Free annual subscription when you sign up using Globe GCash American Express Virtual Pay or BDO Credit CardThe JAC website says they offer provincial door-to-door shipping for only $5 extra but Analyn didn't mention this in her email.

Another thing to remember: the per pound shipping cost refers to chargeable shipping weight. “Chargeable shipping weight” can either be 1) the actual weight of the item or 2) the volumetric weight, whichever is larger. Volumetric weight is calculated using LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT (in inches) of the package ÷ 166. In short, a heavy book will likely be charged according to its actual weight while a stuffed toy will be charged according to the volumetric weight. If there’s a difference between the weight indicated in your package tracking information and the weight calculated by MBS and JAC, that’s because USPS, FedEx, and UPS usually display the actual weight of the package and not the volumetric weight.

Which company is for you? I’ve tried both companies and didn’t have any trouble with either of them, though it was only one shipment per company. Just take the time to calculate at least a rough figure for the shipping cost to prevent any nasty surprises when the bill comes.

21 Replies to “My Shopping Box versus Johnny Air Cargo – the ultimate comparison chart”

  1. Myshoppingbox sucks! My package has 0.74 volume weight and 1.06 actual weight and they are charging it for two pounds because of that 0.06. I’m like what? Why do I have to pay another 6 bucks for the .06? It didn’t even reach 0.1. I emailed them twice and they ignored it twice. US companies are more accommodating when you email them. Here in the Philippines? Don’t expect too much. That is how they make money. More like best way to scam people with their unfair rules. Like Philippine customs? We don’t even know if their scales are correct.

    1. It seems a bit unfair to complain about something that was already indicated in their rules. Their rules say that any fraction of a pound will be charged as a pound. You agreed to that when you signed up with them. While sure, they could have waived the extra charge for 0.06 lbs but that’s at their discretion and they chose not to. I’ve had several packages who were only slightly above 1 lbs and I got charged 2 lbs. Was it annoying? Of course. But it was MSB’s rules and I agreed to them beforehand.

  2. so which company is better in terms of shipping electronic hardware(pc components and peripherals)? that is in terms of overall payment. I think the payment for JAC is too much. Does My Shopping Box also add the 12% vat?

    1. Based on their published rates, My Shopping Box is cheaper. The MSB’s quoted rate is already all-in, including delivery to your house.

  3. Just to remind you all that MSB already banned gadgets with lithium ion battery. So if you are planning to buy gadgets, be aware of this. They won’t ship it even thru sea cargo.

    1. If i buy like 20 books from amazon, will it be shipped in a single box? (Plan on using MSB) I still have no idea how to compute my shipping fee. Please help

      1. Only Amazon can tell you if they’re going to ship it in a single box or not. Chances are your books will be charged according to actual weight since they’re going to be heavy rather than bulky.

    2. Has anyone had any experience when MSB received a lithium battery product? I have the same problem and I don’t know what happens next.

  4. I’ve always used my-shopping box and decided to try johnny air because some US retailers are rejecting MSB’s address. I used JAC for two shipments and i experienced 1st time to pay more for shipping than the actual purchase. And i didnt even buy luxury or tech items, i bought a bunch of underwear. What made it expensive in JAC i think, is the lack of choices. They only ship by air and they have an additional handling fee of $5.00. After 2 transactions i decided to go back to MSB. Sad, because i really want to like JAC because of the branch pickup system which MSB doesn’t offer. The pickup system actually works for me because there’s no one to receive at home, so i have deliveries sent to the office – but even there i cant be at my desk all the time. MSB and JAC are both good i think but also with their own limitations. For now, i’ll stick with MSB, maybe someone from there may read this and propose a branch pickup option =D.

    1. Oh yeah. The $5 JAC handling fee is why I’ve used MSB all this time. There’s no JAC branch near me so I like that the MSB fee already includes door-to-door delivery.

  5. Hi. Im planning to use MSB because they have simpler shipping calculations. However, MSB classified fragrances (edt, edp) as prohibited goods. Has anyone here tried shipping perfumes before thru MSB? Is it really not allowed? If it wasnt, how was it? Do they have additional charges for handling fragrances? Thanks

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