What Does “Package Stuck in Transit” Mean? | Reasons and Transit Time6 min read

It can sometimes happen that the package is stuck in transit longer than we had expected. You might think that customs procedures are the most common reason for a package to be stuck in transit, but is that always the case?

If you have sent a parcel during the COVID-19 outbreak, it could be that it is only delayed, and not necessarily stuck in transit. Or have you not yet sent one and wonder if courier drivers deliver packages during Coronavirus? The answer is yes, you can book shipping and the courier driver will deliver the package to any area, whether less or more affected.

What does the status “parcel stuck in transit” means?

The tracking system will reflect the fact that the parcel got stuck in transit. Many times, when this happens, you won’t see a new update in the tracking system. You may wonder, what is the definition of transit? When your shipment is in transit, it means the courier company picked the parcel up and your shipment is on its way to the delivery address. The package stays in transit until the driver delivers it. “Parcel stuck in transit”, means that the package is no longer progressing towards its destination and it is either kept in one of the courier company’s depots for further checks or stuck in customs.

But don’t worry! In most cases, the parcel is released, and it continues its transit. Have you shipped with Eurosender and want to check the status of your parcel?

Why is my shipment still in transit when it was supposed to be already delivered?

  • Customs clearance – In general, items shipped to/from countries within the EU, do not need special documentation, unless the shipment is a matter of state monopoly or contains prohibited and restricted items. However, if the package is shipped from/to a country outside of the EU, then the customs declaration should be provided. Failure to provide the necessary documentation will have your shipment further stuck in transit.
    Solution: Contact the courier company to tell you all the details and needed documentation to finalize the customs clearance.
  • The package is oversized/overweight – Packages may be measured in the warehouse of the courier company. Therefore, if they notice that it is heavier than stated, then they could either return it to the sender or have you pay additional surcharges (this depends on one courier company to another).
    Solution: If you know that the package is overweight or oversized, it is better to contact the courier company and see if you can add additional kilos to the order. But once the shipment is on its way, you can just wait for additional information from the courier.
  • Changes in the order – If you have asked the company to change the destination address, then this could be another indicator of why is your shipment stuck in transit.
    Solution: It might take a while for the change to be processed, especially if the package was already in transit. Therefore, we advise you to wait for the updates in the tracking system, which may take a while to be visible when changes to the order are made.
  • Undeliverable shipment– Have you shipped some items that are on the list of prohibited and restricted items from shipping? Courier companies scan the shipments at different depots therefore, we advise you not to ship any forbidden items as in some cases, they can be easily detected.
    Solution: Unfortunately, the courier will either destroy the package or return it to the shipper.
  • Improper packaging – This does not only apply for the safety of the goods, but also for the safety of the staff taking care of your package. Therefore, if your package shows any signs of leaking or sharp items inside, the courier will most likely stop its transit.
    Solution: If the parcel shows any signs of leaking, it will be further inspected. Unfortunately, if the courier finds any items that are non-recommended for shipping, it will be either returned to the sender or destroyed.
  • Wrong or incomplete address – This is the most common cause for undeliverable shipments. You should always double-check if your address has all the necessary details for it to be transported.
    Solution: Contact the courier company once you have realized that your order has some incomplete or wrong details written. The courier company will then make the changes.
  • Weather conditions or traffic – It is not so rare that during busy periods, such as holidays, or heavy snow, the parcel would take longer to arrive at its destination.
    Solution: We understand it might be difficult, but in such cases, it is best to just wait for the package to arrive.
  • Lost package This is something you would not want to hear. But unfortunately, it is something that could indeed happen.
    Solution: You can start a claim procedure if your package is lost and ask for a refund.

Read more about

How do I find out if my package is still in transit?

Usually, the tracking system indicates if the package is stuck in transit. If the parcel has not moved for some time now, then most likely some of the above mention reasons have occurred.

It is important to note that the tracking statuses can sometimes take up to 24-48 hours to be updated, so do not panic yet if your parcel has not changed its status yet.

How long does the transit take?

It is important to keep in mind that the estimated delivery time is exactly that, an estimation. It is an average calculated based on the time it usually takes to a given courier company to bring a package to its destination.

The estimated delivery time depends on the distance and the type of service you have booked.

  • If you have booked a standard shipping service, specific transit time cannot be generalized.
  • If you have booked freight or express shipment, you will get a specific delivery time, depending on the location, volume and type of shipment.

H2 Am I entitled to a reimbursement in case my parcel was stuck in transit?

If you have followed the courier’s instruction for shipping, you are entitled to reimbursement. However, if the reason that your parcel is stuck in transit is that you have missed some of the courier’s guidelines, whether that be the packaging, the content, required documentation or anything else, then, unfortunately, you are not entitled to reimbursement.

Have you shipped with Eurosender and your parcel got stuck in transit? Contact us and our agents will see the reason why it is stuck in transit, as well as the steps to be taken afterwards.

This article was written in collaboration with Annalieke Muelders.