What Does Misrouted Parcel Mean?5 min read


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A misrouted parcel is an unwanted scenario for both logistics companies on one side and individuals and businesses on the other side. Nonetheless, it is a situation that may occur. In such cases, you may wonder what does a misrouted shipment mean and how can you retrieve it back?

What does misrouted shipment mean?

A misrouted parcel can sometimes lead to misdelivery. But these two words do not mean the same thing. When a box is misrouted, it can be rectified soon enough before the package is sent to the wrong address.

You may be still able to re-route the parcel, and not have it delivered to another address.

If you are running an e-commerce and you need to send your customers the items, you will want to make sure that the shipping process works smoothly. Otherwise, you will most certainly be the first one to blame if the shipment is misrouted.

But don’t think that a misrouted parcel is a problem only for the end customers. These parcels are also an issue for the logistics companies that need to make several adjustments to put things back on track. And all the changes translate into more costs for them.

In this article, we will lay down the reasons why packages are misrouted and how to request a re-routing of your parcel.

How to redirect a misrouted parcel

Whether you provided the wrong address and you need to amend it, or you simply need to redirect the package to a different location, you can contact the logistics company and request the changes.

Be aware that redirections are not always possible if the responsibility for the mistake is on your side. If the logistics company can still change the delivery address, they might charge extra for these modifications. The policies regarding such changes differ from one courier company to another, so this is one thing you will have to check with them. However, if the shipment is misrouted because of a mistake made by the courier company, the corrections will most certainly be made without any extra fees.

When does a parcel get misrouted?

The shipment is yet not delivered to you, and you assume that the courier misrouted the parcel. There are a couple of reasons why a package can get misrouted. Sometimes, the logistics company is accountable for the mistakes, while in other situations, the customer might have made a mistake himself/herself.

Misrouted package due to incorrect or incomplete address

When it comes to addresses, there should be no room for interpretations. The delivery address has to be clear and complete.

If you are running a business and have to deliver packages to your customers, make sure you double-check the shipping address the customer has provided you.

People involuntarily make mistakes when they type in the address or overlook details that are crucial for the courier driver to find the location (such as the name on the doorbell or the intercom number). Such mistakes are one of the most common problems that the logistics providers are dealing with daily.

Another situation could be that you have changed the address, and have not notified the courier company. In such cases, the driver will deliver the parcel to the address that you have initially provided as a final destination.

Parcel delivered to the neighbour

Sometimes, when the consignee is not present at the address at the time of the delivery, the courier company delivers the package to the neighbours. In this case, the was not misrouted to another location, but the courier driver left it to the neighbours.

Once again, if you are running a business and ship package to your customers, it might be a good idea to choose a shipping service that requires a signature upon delivery. Also, you should specifically request the logistics company you are working with to hand over the packages only to the consignee. In this way, you can make sure that the shipment arrives at the right place and you will avoid complaints from your customers.

Misrouted parcel due to human and machine error

In logistics, packages are sorted both mechanically and manually.

When it comes to automated processes, even the most sound system can sometimes face an issue. A shipment can be misrouted due to mistakes in the sorting process, which takes place on the conveyor belts. Logistics facilities handle thousands of packages per day. It is understandable that every once in a while, an error can occur.

While you cannot do much to prevent such happenings, you should always try to track the parcels you are sending online. In this way, you will be able to see if they mistakenly took any detour. The error will most likely come to light later, during the transit. If you have booked a service which guarantees delivery on time, you will notice the mistake soon.

Regarding human errors, they can occur when they manually load the parcel into the wrong truck or if simply the courier driver attaches the wrong label to the wrong package.

These are the cases when the parcel will most certainly be misrouted.

What to do in case of a misrouted parcel?

Just note that:

  • Sometimes, the tracking system might provide you with information suggesting the parcel is heading in the wrong directions. However, this is not necessarily a reason to worry. The logistics companies are mapping the routes based on their local facilities. So even if the package seems to take a longer journey than expected, you don’t need to worry that it is misrouted. For instance, you are shipping from the UK to Italy, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the package will travel the shortest distance possible. The courier chooses these routes in a way that would be the most cost-effective solution.
  • A misrouted parcel will always show in the tracking system. A sign of misrouted shipment is when the package does not reach the delivery address in the estimated time or if the tracking system shows that the parcel is being bounced back and forth between the same locations.

Do you have more questions? Do not hesitate to contact us!

Last modified: March 26, 2020

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