Why Did My Parcel Arrive Opened (and Resealed)?5 min read


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Have you ever received a package that has been opened and resealed? Or have you received a parcel with missing goods? Even though these are unusual situations, it is understandable that the receiver may wonder what happened during transit. In this article, we gathered some of the main reasons why a parcel can arrive open to its destination.

Possible reasons for a parcel to arrive open

During delivery, parcels may be carried in several trucks and be loaded and unloaded in multiple depot locations on their way to the receiver. It is not a normal procedure for couriers to open packages during transit in national deliveries or deliveries inside a free-trade zone, but there may be some reason for them to do so. If this happens, they will reseal it and deliver it afterwards. Here are a few possible situations that could justify opening a package during transit.

1. Parcel was checked by customs

Items shipped in global routes always go through customs when entering a country or a trade-zone. Customs inspection procedures can involve checking documents, scanning of packages and random checks. If needed, your parcel may be opened by the customs officers for inspection.

2. Items forbidden by local laws were detected inside the package

Every country has its regulations about the circulation of goods in their territory. Alcohol, food or tobacco are examples of items that are often featured in the list of restricted and forbidden items. When shipping a package to a different country, one must consider the laws of both the country of collection and delivery of the shipment.

Even though courier companies would usually not open a package, they can do so if they are inclined to think that it contains goods forbidden by local laws. Examples of situations that would raise suspicion could be a leakage in the package, a strange smell, or any other indicator such as x-ray scanning. In such cases, the couriers may remove the prohibited goods from the package and still deliver the rest.

3. The delivery van was stopped for inspection

Transportation by road is the most common method of delivery. If the van is selected for inspection, all packages will be checked. In case they are not accompanied by the appropriate documentation, the inspectors (may they be customs or tax inspectors) are allowed to check their contents. Therefore, it is always important that you make sure your package contains all appropriate information on it, whether you are a business selling products or individual shipping items to an acquaintance.

Companies delivering products to their clients

This situation might happen if you are a large company that sends bulk items regularly if you have an e-commerce and are shipping the products to your clients or even if you have a business that sells through eBay or Amazon. Whenever dealing with a purchase transaction, the product should always be shipped accompanied by an invoice. This is the document that will serve as proof of purchase as well as give information about the product itself and the receiver.

Some sellers prefer to place it in plastic envelopes attached to the outside of the box while others opt to have it inside the package. Either way, in the absence of such documents or incapability to access them outside the package, the inspector has the right to open and check the content of the box.

Clients shipping to an acquaintance

Private clients ship all types of items. One might wish to send a new phone as a gift to their parents, a mom might wish to ship local goods for her son studying abroad or a traveller might want to ship their luggage when travelling. Therefore, it is important to learn what documents are required to be attached to the box to guarantee that the transport of your goods runs as smoothly as possible.

In most cases when shipping an item to an acquaintance, just a label with the sender’s and receiver’s personal information is attached to the outside of the box. However, the consignor can also attach a declaration stating that the parcel is a personal shipment and listing the contents of the box. If this document is not present and the van is stopped by tax authorities, the inspector may open the box to check its contents.

4. Item was stolen from the parcel

Courier companies do their best to guarantee that deliveries are done in the safest way possible. Having said that, the unlikely event of a parcel arriving with missing goods may still happen.

If you find yourself in such a rare and unfortunate situation where an item was stolen from your parcel, it is important to file a damage report as soon as you receive the package and take pictures to serve as evidence. You should also immediately contact the courier company to start a claim procedure.

Eurosender strives to offer high-quality service to our customers and that is why we will not leave our clients in cases where your parcel arrived open. If you have any doubts or issues with your shipment, please contact our logistics experts and they will assist you in the best way possible.

Last modified: March 25, 2020

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