Surface Air Lifted (SAL) is a postal shipping method that is faster than surface mail (which might take 2-3 months and be transported in hot sea-based containers...terrible for tea), but slower than standard airmail.
Between countries, parcels are shipped by air, on a lower priority than airmail. You can think of like "flying standby" -- is space is available on the plane, then the parcel will ship to the destination country, if not it gets put aside until the next available space. For USA and other countries that receive frequent shipments from Japan, the wait is usually very short.
Within a country (within Japan and within the destination country), the parcel travels by surface / ground mail. For a large country like the USA, this can take quite a while.
- The risks: no tracking, no insurance is offered. If the product is lost or damaged during transport, it is the customer's loss. Since there is no tracking, there is no way to recover a lost package as well.
- The benefit: The cost is quite low, so we will be offering this method for free while until we gather data on customer experience.
- Time to delivery: While we think it should take 2-4 weeks, it may take up to 8 weeks. If it does not arrive within 4 weeks, please let us know.
- Conditions: Good on orders up to $100 in value. Not available for all countries -- if not available, it will not appear as an option.