Failed Delivery Attempt. How It Happens and What To Do.5 min read


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A failed delivery attempt means the courier company tried to deliver but was not successful. In most cases, you will find a note left by the driver saying failed delivery. An attempted delivery will also be visible in the online tracking system of the logistics service provider. There are two common cases for failed delivery attempt. The first one is when the receiver is absent, meaning there was no one at the address to receive the parcel. The other most common case for a failed delivery is when the address is incorrect. This does not necessarily mean that you wrote down the wrong address. It can be that the instructions were unclear.

If the courier company tried to deliver but it was not successful, there are three things that can happen. Read ahead to find out what you can do about a failed delivery attempt.

What happens after a failed delivery attempt?

In case of a missed delivery, the courier will leave a message which can say two things. Either the driver will try again tomorrow or that they have left the parcel at a different location. This location can be the neighbors, parcel shop or the depot of the service provider.

Depending on your address, the courier service provider will leave it either at a parcel shop or depot. The depot is a building of the courier company, usually located in bigger cities. Parcel shops are collection points for parcels which you can find everywhere, from supermarkets to copy shops. To find the nearest depot or parcel shop, simply check the website of the courier.

Your parcel will remain at the depot or parcel shop for five working days. Be aware that after five working days, the parcel will be returned to the sender. Once the courier company returns the package, it is considered to be delivered and the customer will not be compensated.

It may also depend on the delivery address. For locations that are hard to reach, courier companies may only attempt delivery once. This is the case for example for some islands in Greece. These islands are only reachable by plane which is why logistics service providers will not go there everyday.

How to avoid missed delivery due to customer absent

In general, the driver will try to deliver between 9:00 and 18:00. It can be challenging to stay at home for all of these hours, especially on working days. If you cannot be there at a certain hour, try to see if someone else can be at the delivery address to accept the parcel on your behalf.

If it is really not possible for anyone to be there, you can possibly leave a note on the door for the driver. You could write a message in which you ask the courier, if possible, to leave it at the backdoor or hand it to the neighbors. It is not guaranteed the driver will follow these instructions but it is worth a shot.

Courier companies are working hard to improve their services. Some logistics service providers have already employed a system that sends the customer a text with the name of the driver and the scheduled time frame for delivery.

from failed delivery attempt to successful delivery

How to avoid missed delivery due to incomplete or wrong address

Before placing an order, always make sure you put the whole address with all details necessary. It is important that you are careful when writing the address and make sure the name is correct. For example in Germany the name must match the name on the doorbell for the courier company to make the delivery. In case you are not shipping to a private address, but to a company or hotel, make sure to put this information in the address. For example, if the delivery address is a hotel, write the word reception in the “name” field and specify that it is a hotel.

The same goes for a company. If it not clear that the package is meant for a company, couriers may not attempt delivery. This is because they do not want to disturb business too much as companies receive post very frequently. Additionally, it is common practice to put the company name for any type of mail delivered to businesses.

What is the number of attempted deliveries?

In general, courier companies will make two delivery attempts. The following countries are exceptions and only have one delivery attempt: Sweden, Finland, Netherlands and Spain. In Germany, it depends per courier whether they will make a second delivery attempt. In short, the number of attempted deliveries varies from once to twice.

What does a missed delivery cost?

When you ship with Eurosender, the second delivery attempt is free of charge. This only excludes the countries with only one delivery attempt as mentioned above. There can be extra charges for requesting a third delivery attempt or delivery on Saturday. These extra charges will only apply if you request a new delivery attempt.

Last words of advice

Keep in mind that even though you can provide your telephone number to the logistics service provider, the driver is not obliged to call you prior to delivery. If the courier chooses to call you, keep in mind he can only call local phone numbers.

When agreeing on to the terms and conditions of the logistics service provider and Eurosender, customers accept the responsibility to frequently check the status of the shipment. If something seems wrong in the online status, the customer should contact either the courier or Eurosender as soon as possible. This way, they can help you deal with a missed delivery or failed delivery attempt.

If you experience any problem like “incomplete or wrong address“, “absent consignor or consignee“, “receiver refused the delivery” or rerouting of your shipment, simply contact us. For more information about why delivery was not successful, read the following article for more information.

Last modified: June 26, 2018

3 Responses to " Failed Delivery Attempt. How It Happens and What To Do. "

  1. simon says:

    Hi there,
    Thanks for sharing this post,
    is very helpful article.

  2. Monika Kelesovska says:

    Dear Gerda,

    Please contact us by phone or email regarding the issue. You can find the contact details on

    Best regards,
    Eurosender team

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