Mail Boxes Etc. has an e-box service that permits you to receive mail and packages reliably and inexpensively in Medellín from the U.S. I have used this e-box service for nearly eight years. And I successfully sent over 140 packages during this time without a single problem.
When I first started living in Medellín over eight years ago, receiving my mail from the U.S. was one of the early challenges I encountered. Fortunately, Mail Boxes Etc. provides a solution with its e-box service.
This service provides a mailbox in Medellín that is linked to a mailing service in Miami. And any mail received at this mailing service in Miami is forwarded to Medellín.
Any mail or packages that are received in Miami are sent first to Bogotá to clear customs. In my experience, it normally takes 5-7 calendar days after a package arrives in Miami to be received in Medellín.
Note Mail Boxes Etc. in Medellín is not closed or closing as some expats have posted on Medellín Facebook groups. I received a package in December 2018 using Mail Boxes Etc.
Also, I confirmed on December 26, 2018 that Mail Boxes Etc. plans to stay open and that is is fine to send packages from the U.S. in January using their service. In addition, they said if they were actually closing they would contact all customers, which hasn’t happened.
Mail Boxes Etc. e-box Details
The e-box plan is designed for people who receive packages on a periodic basis. Furthermore, it comes in four different options:
- e-box Premium – $17 per month, includes 1 kilogram free and excess grams at $0.013
- e-box Plus – $26 per month, includes 2 kilograms free and excess grams at $0.0125
- e-box Platinum – $37 per month, includes 3 kilogram free and excess grams at $0.012
- e-box Gold – $58 per month, includes 6 kilos free and excess grams at $0.0115
I have the e-box Premium plan that permits me to receive 1 kilogram of packages per month. And any excess weight is charged at $0.013 per gram.
With an e-box plan you can check the status of packages online. In addition, you also can receive email alerts when packages arrive in Miami and also at the Mail Boxes Etc. office in Medellín.
For packages and express mail packages the e-box mailing address in Miami is:
COLXXXXX CASILLERO XXX
2250 NW 114th Ave. Unit 1L
Miami, FL 33192-4177
Unfortunately, the mailing service in Miami sends each item as it is received. So, you can’t consolidate items received in Miami to reduce mailing costs.
More About Mail Boxes Etc.
Mail Boxes Etc. (MBE) is a global chain of business service centers. The locations offer packaging and shipping services, office services, packing materials, printing, copying, postal services and some other business services.
MBE was founded in the U.S. in 1980 and grew to become the world’s largest franchisor of retail shipping, postal and business service centers. UPS acquired MBE in 2003 and rebranded the stores in the U.S. as The UPS Store. In 2009, UPS sold MBE located outside the U.S., Canada, and India to Fineffe Group, based in Italy.
MBE locations globally are independently owned and operated by licensed franchisees. MBE currently has over 1,600 retail locations in 34 countries. In Colombia, MBE has locations in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Bucaramanga and Medellín.
My Experience with Mail Boxes Etc.
I typically forward all my regular mail (letters and magazines) from the U.S every six weeks or so. And this package normally weighs less than 1-kilogram. So, it is sent to Medellín from Miami with no additional charge.
I also buy many items on Amazon each year that ship for free to Miami using Amazon Prime. So, I pay for excess shipping charges to Medellín for anything greater than my free 1-kilogram per month at $0.013 per gram.
Amazon Prime costs $119 per year but you can try Amazon Prime with a free 30-day trial.
In addition, there sometimes is a customs duty/tax that I have a pay when I pick up the package. If the value of the package is less than $200 there reportedly is no IVA (VAT) tax to pay.
Any items that are received in Miami need an invoice, which is needed by customs. If a package arrives in Miami without an invoice you will have to send one electronically.
Using US Global Mail Mailbox Service in the U.S.
The mailing service in Miami with Mail Boxes Etc.’s e-box service doesn’t consolidate packages. So, I also use a mailbox service in the U.S. I use this as my primary mailing address in the U.S. for credit cards, magazines, taxes and other things.
I use US Global Mail based in Houston, which provides a physical mailing address and virtual mailbox. The cost is only $12.50 per month, if paid for a year in advance.
This service permits me to go online and see scans of any mail received. And I can discard any junk mail online. In addition, they can open mail and scan it for a small fee, so you can see the contents online. And they can also deposit checks.
When I have sufficient mail in this mailbox in Houston, I consolidate the mail into one package and send it to Miami. And after arriving in Miami, this package arrives reliably in Medellín typically 5-10 days later.
US Global mail has been in business since 1999 and reportedly has over 80,000 expat customers living outside the U.S.
Other Mailbox Services in the U.S.
There are several other mailbox services in the U.S. besides US Global mail including American Home Base, Earth Class Mail, Good Sam Mail Service, The UPS Store and USA2Me.
To use one of the mailbox services in the U.S. you need to file a US Postal Service (USPS) Form 1583. Most noteworthy, USPS needs to have your authorization to send all your mail to your chosen U.S. mailing forwarding company. In addition, Form 1583 needs to be notarized by a U.S. notary public. Expats from the U.S. living outside the U.S. can notarize the document at a U.S. embassy or online at NotaryCam.
USPS also has a premium mail forwarding service that I wouldn’t recommend, as you can’t go online to see your mail. And it forwards consolidated mail every week and is very costly at $19.35 per month.
Other Mail Services in Colombia
A few expats I met in Colombia have successfully used Ultrabox that has a membership fee of $25 per year and costs $4.50 or more per package to send. Ultrabox has a limit on package value of $2,000.
I have heard of bad experiences from several expats who used the 4-72 service, so it isn’t recommended. 4-72 is the commercial brand of Servicios Postales Nacionales, which is owned by the Colombian government. Some expats have never received packages sent via 4-72. And other expats told me packages took up to three months to receive.
Also, some expats use Envios Market in El Poblado in Medellín, which used to be a Mail Boxes Etc. location.
How to Get to Mail Boxes Etc. in Medellín
Mail Boxes Etc. used to have two offices in Medellín but the second one is no longer a Mail Boxes Etc. place.
The only Mailboxes Etc. office in Medellín is located in an office building next to Ovideo mall in Medellín. Note this office moved during the second week of May 2018. So, the address is updated.
- El Poblado: Calle 6 Sur # 43A-200, Edificio LUGO office # 405, Tel: +57 4 266 9655
El Poblado: Carrera 43A # 8 – 67 Local 7(no longer a Mail Boxes Etc. location)
The Bottom Line – Using Mail Boxes Etc.
By using Mail Boxes Etc. and US Global Mail services, I have solved the challenge of receiving mail from the U.S. in Medellín at a cost of less than $30 per month.
The Mail Boxes Etc. e-box service permits me to buy on Amazon and other websites in the U.S., ship to Miami and the items show up in Medellín reliably in less than two weeks.
In addition, “How to receive mail from the U.S. in Medellín?” is a common question asked by expats in the city. So, we included this question in our list of Medellín frequently asked questions (FAQ).
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Editors note: Updated on May 18, 2018 with the new address for Mail Boxes Etc. in Medellín.
Editors note: Updated on December 26, 2018 to clarify that Mail Boxes Etc. is open despite several inaccurate comments I have seen on Medellín Facebook groups that Mail Boxes Etc. in Medellín is closing.
Editors note: Updated on February 16, 2018 to replace the Mailboxes Etc. link based on a reader comment.
Once again, excellent information that answers the “what do you do about mail if you live abroad?” US Global mail sounds like a good company for mail, is this your only US address? If so, how do you register to vote and are you able to maintain a US driver’s license?
Yes it is my only U.S. address. I can still register to vote remotely in Texas, as Texas was the last place I lived in the U.S.
But supposedly unable to renew a drivers license, as they want a physical address. I still have a valid Texas drivers license but it expires next year. Early this year I got a Colombian drivers license that is good in the U.S. according to a couple car rental agencies I called in the U.S. The Colombian drivers license is good for 10 years.
I am hoping someone is able to give me some advise on a situation with my mail.
I had a packet of mail sent from Lacey, WA to Puerto Vallarta, Mx, via E-Box Logistics at 2250 NW 114th Avenue, Unit 1M, Miami, Florida 33192-4177 via UPS, leaving there 12/22/17. Apparently the wrong box number was put on it so it is sitting at E-Box Logistics. I asked UPS to do a 3 attempt pick up at E-Box Logistics, the last one being Friday 2/2/18. Each time they said it was “not ready” or something to that effect.
It was to go to Mail Boxes, Etc here in Puerto Vallarta. Mail Boxes here in PV simply said they cannot help me.
I have emailed E-Box Logistics with no response and the phone number listed does not seem to work.
It is extremely important that I get this packet. Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can do next?
Your local Mail Boxes, Etc office should be able to help. Here in Medellín Mail Boxes Etc. is able to contact Miami to work out any issues.
That is the first thing I did was to try to work with them, however, they keep saying there is nothing they can do (three young Mexican guys at the store).
My only hope is to work with E-Box Logistics in Miami to get the parcel. What I don’t understand is that 3 time UPS has gone there to pick up the parcel and send it back to UPS and each time they have been unsuccessful.
Do you happen to know anyone at E-Box Logistics who may be helpful or some way to get the parcel?
Isn’t it a federal offense to withhold mail?
Try to talk to the office manager, they should have contact information for Miami. It’s been years since I had to talk to their Miami re-mailing service as I haven’t run into problems for years. So, I no longer have the Miami number.
I do welcome any other replies; anyone that has dealt with E-Box Logistics in Miami, Florida; a helpful person, telephone number, anything??
I have the drivers license issue and where to file taxes. I don’t have a physical address anymore in the USA. If I use this service do I now file in Texas? Register to vote in Texas. Last physical address was NJ but that house is now sold.
“Your voting residence is your address in the State in which you were last domiciled, immediately prior to leaving the United States.
This residence may remain valid even if:
– You no longer own property or have other ties to that State.
– Your intent to return to that State is uncertain.
– Your previous address is no longer a recognized residential address.”
Jeff again thank you so much. I just wanted to give a update. That mail box etc well the one in poblado. I don’t know about the rest dropped the mail box etc name. Same services. Same deal. They explained to me they just don’t feel like paying into the conglomerate anymore for the name. So it’s currently covered up out front now. I’m not sure what name they will go with. There open. Just a black sign out front at present.
Hi Barry, thanks for the update. Next time I’m nearby I’ll check out the other location and update the article.
Hi Barry, I confirmed the Mail Boxes Etc. place that is about a 7-minute walk from Premium Plaza is still open as a Mail Boxes Etc. They told me many clients from the place near Parque Poblado that is no longer a Mail Boxes Etc. have moved there.
I updated the article to show the location near Parque Poblado is no longer Mail Boxes Etc.
Thanks again for letting me know, so I could update this.
Thank you for sharing this information Jeff! I just moved to Medellin this week and I was concerned about having items shipped here. I will be going to set up an account at MailBoxes, etc. today!
Hi Melanie, no problem. In my experience, Mail Boxes Etc. provide a good and reliable service.
When I pass away my Colombian wife will receive pension payments for life from California State Teachers Retirement service. She will get paper checks with CALSTRS marked on them. Will this Mailbox service handle these for her? If the checks are mailed from Sacramento, CA on the first of the month, approx when would she receive them at the Medellin office of Mail Box? Also what do you know about such a check clearing a Colombia bank so the funds are available to her?
Wow thanks for this info. We were puzzled for months now trying to figure this out!
In my experience, mail that arrives at the Miami address of Mail Boxes Etc.’s service typically arrives in Medellín in 5-7 days. So add to that the time to mail from Sacramento to Miami. Depositing in a Colombian bank is a different question that I don’t have an answer to but I suspect may be a problem. I recommend asking your bank here. Another option may be to use a bank account in the U.S. where you deposit the money and then do a wire transfer to a Colombian account. Note that US Global mail in Houston that I use and is in the article above offers a service to deposit checks received.
Hi Jeff. Many thanks for your kind information and support. Is there still a MBE in Medellin? If so, can I use their address to receive mail directly from Canada. I need it as a residence address, when I am travelling abroad. Thanks. Yves Primeau
Yes, there is still a MBE in Medellín. I use it all the time and address is in the article above – Carrera 43A # 23-40.
Hello Jeff, Thanks for this article update, your website is a wonderful resource. What do you recommend for sending small packages or letters from Medellin to US? I inquired with UPS and Fed-Ex and the cost was astronomical. Does Mail Boxes, etc have reasonably priced shipping to US?
Hi Sonia, thanks. Mail Boxes Etc. offers Fedex, DHL and other providers for shipping to the U.S. I have only used Fedex. So, you would have to check with them for their cheapest option.
Hi Jeff, Thanks for this useful guide. I have a question, I read somewhere that the address you need to use for letters and magazines follows the format:
COLXXX Nombre y Apellido del Cliente
P.O BOX 025720
Miami, FL 33102-5720
And so I used this address to receive a letter but I still don’t see it in the webpage. From your experience, how long does it take for them to notify you that you received something? Im also using the free plan by the way. Thank you!
Hi Matthew. In my experience the service in Miami that receives the mail usually updates the website the same day a package arrives or the day after.
The local mbe facility has told me that they are no longer handling mbe. Is there another alternative?
I picked up a package at MBE in Medellín yesterday and they told me they are still operating. An alternative some use is Envios Market – https://www.enviosmarket.com/
Isn’t Amazon Global Shipping delivering in Medellin? They just started three months ago here in Costa Rica, I have three packages delivered to my door by Costa Rica Post Office on the behalf of Amazon. It seens they are doing business together. Also, any thoughts if it would it be wise for me to keep my Aeropost account for Costa Rica and move it to Medellin? PriceSmart just bought Aeropost and upgrading the company quickly into a more efficient operation.
Yes, Amazon ships to Colombia but it can be expensive and there are a number of products on Amazon’s website that won’t ship to Colombia. But if you use Mail Boxes Etc. you are shipping to Florida with Amazon and the products show up in Medellín with the re-mailing service they use.
Thanks , I appreciate the update. My monthly budget doesn’t support a lot of deducations each monthy. So I am looking for the least expensive route possible. Tom
Good Article as always. Please clear up two questions. Why don’t you drop US Global Mail and just use MBE. Does MBE- Miami just a forwarding service and not a physical address or virtual mail box like US Global Mail? I use US Global Mail, but I only need a few things a year which they can scam and I can download. My other question is how do you receive your credit card renewals, since they can not be forwarded. It is printed and marked on the envelope, DO NOT FORWARD. Have you received credit card renewals through US Global Mail, who then forwards to Miami, then to Medellin? I have talked with so many “Expat Experts” and no one has a good answer to this question. International Living, a leading expat organization gave me a very stupid answer. Which, for the thousand of expats living around the world, their answer just won’t work. So how do you get your credit card renewals?
The reason that I don’t drop US Global Mail is that the Miami forwarding service MBE uses forwards each envelope or package it receives when it is received. So, there is no opportunity to get rid of junk mail or consolidate before sending. Also that Miami forwarding service doesn’t provide the ability to see scans of mail received like I can see online with US Global Mail.
Yes, I receive credit card and debit card renewals at US Global Mail and I send them without problems with other mail in a package to the MBE address in Miami that is sent to Medellín. I have been doing this for eight years without a single problem.
Jeff, I want to receive the occasional Amazon package while I’m in Medellin but don’t need ongoing mail forwarding. Is there any way other than a monthly membership at MBE to get affordable delivery to Medellin? Thanks in advance.
I have been using the monthly membership but they may have other options. So, you will have to ask them.
You might want to verify and check on the website listed for Mail Boxes Etc. here in Medellin. It shows error 403, No tiene permiso para visualizer esto. I am assuming this website listed is for customers who rent boxes? Do they have an website for general information and questions.
That was the website for general information but looks like it now has access restricted or is down. They have another website for customers. Thanks for informing us, so changed the link to the Mailboxes Etc. Facebook page.
Just went to Mailboxes etc in the Lugo building, met a worker there who said they are closing shop and not taking new deliveries. Went to Envios Market as a backup and have signed up with them, delivery of an ebay item should arrive in 2 weeks. Will keep you posted….
Hi Isaac, thanks, will confirm and update the article.
Update: my <2lb package of a specialized power cord, box about the size of a small paperback, arrived here 10 biz days after being delivered to their Florida business address. Cost was ~$9 US. Only gripe was they did not notify me after it arrived, despite assuring me that they would when I checked in a few days ago, so it sat a couple of extra days. But on the whole they were responsive, would use them again.
Can you send to me the link to establish the Mails Boxes Etc. e-box account please?
You have to go to their office to establish service – there is a Facebook link in the above article.
I currently have a girlfriend in Medellin. I would appreciate any and all information about travel, life in Medellin, etc. you can provide. Any links would be greatly appreciated.
Hi Ed, you can see our expat stories to find out about life in Medellín – https://medellinguru.com/category/daily-life/expat-interviews-stories/. For travel here is an article about the top 20 things to do in Colombia – https://medellinguru.com/tourist-attractions-in-colombia/ and we have separate articles about many places to travel in Colombia – https://medellinguru.com/category/travel/rest-of-colombia/
Do you know if Mailboxes etc (MBE) are still operating in Colombia? We are travelling around and want to receive a package in Medellin or Bogota. I’ve tried to find them on the internet and contacted them through Facebook but haven’t had any luck. I looked at Ultrabox, but they were very expensive. This may just be how much it costs to ship things to Colombia (excluding taxes), but when I use MBE in other countries in Central America they were very cheap and extremely efficient.
Hi do you have a update to this guide as MBE seem closed or some negative reviews do you still use them Jeff.
Sorry, no update. No longer use MBE. Now use Envious Market – https://www.enviosmarket.com/
Are you still using US Global Mail in conjunction with Envios Market?
Yes, still using U.S. Global Mail.
Based on your feedback my wife and I are planning to use US Global Mail. I noticed they have a partner program. If Medellin Guru is in the US Global Mail partner program I would be happy to let them know the business came to them through the Medellin Guru site.
Jeff, Do you recommend any service to ship a small package, less than 5lbs, to the USA from Colombia/ Both Fedex and DHL wanted my first born for the service, close to $100.00. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Tom Butynski / Manizales