Parcel Stuck in Transit – The Why’s and What-To-Do’s6 min read


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You may wonder why it takes so much time for your parcel to arrive to its destination when the estimated delivery time was shorter. Sometimes, it can happen that your parcel gets stuck in transit. There are multiple circumstances that can affect the transit time of a shipment, and they range from dealing with customs to road or even weather conditions. Having your parcel stuck in transit can be stressful. Luckily, you can take precautions to avoid this scenario. In this article we will explain you what should you do if your parcel is stuck in transit.

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

Generally, if your parcel doesn’t move forward, you will see a change 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 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 most probably kept in one of the courier company’s depots for further checks.

But don’t worry! After a given time, the parcel is released and it continues its transit.

How long does the transit take?

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

Unless you use some different types of courier services than the standard ones, that do guarantee the time of delivery, with the standard shipping services you will always get only an estimation.

How do I find out if my parcel is stuck in transit?

Most of the time, it will be marked us such in the tracking system. Or, if your parcel is stuck in transit, the tracking information shows irregularities. For example, if there are no updates for a longer period of time or the update shows that customs are involved, this could mean that your parcel is stuck in traffic. Tracking events generally get updated at least once every 24-48 hours. However, if it has been more than 48 hours, contact us and we will investigate the case.


Why does it take so long for the parcel to arrive?

We recommend you to take extra care to avoid having your parcel stuck in customs. In general, shipments which travel through EU-countries do not need customs documents and will not receive customs charges. There are some exceptions which include alcohol, tobacco, oil, etc. You can check the full list of prohibited and restricted items to see if you are shipping a forbidden item.

When you are shipping outside of the EU, different conditions apply. If the value of your shipment is above €200, you should declare it and attach the commercial invoice to the package. Without declaring the items and the commercial invoice, your parcel can get stuck in customs and you will have to accept surcharges. How long it takes before your shipment is released from customs depends on the case and country. Customs clearance can last from one day to one month.

One thing to keep in mind is that your shipment may travel through a Non-EU country even though it does not seem obvious. Did you know if you ship from Zagreb to Dubrovnik, your parcel will actually pass through a small town called Neum, which is in fact part of Bosnia? This is one of the extraordinary ways to get a parcel stuck in customs.

Customs procedures

  • Package is oversized or overweight

It is very important to provide the correct weight and dimensions. Oversized or overweight shipments will either receive surcharges or will be returned to the shipper. Be aware that the logistics company may not immediately notice that the package is oversized or overweight. The courier can discover this at any point throughout the transit and always decide to charge extra or return the parcel to shipper. In the latter case, no refunds are granted.

  • Label is damaged or fell off

It is a rare occasion but with the many packages that couriers deliver per day, mistakes can happen. Both staff and machines will process your shipment. As a result, it is possible for the label to get damaged or fall off. In case it does, it will take some time for the logistics company to figure out whom the parcel belongs to. You can avoid the label getting damaged by securely sticking it to a flat surface on the package. Secure it well with plastic foil and tape.

  • Changes made to order

In case you changed the delivery address, it can happen that it takes some time for the logistics service provider to make the adjustments. To avoid a delayed delivery, you should not make any changes while your parcel is in transit. If you are not sure about all the delivery details during the order process and you want to be able to make changes to your order later on, consider adding Flexible Booking. The flexible booking option allows you to make changes to your order free of charge until the driver picks your package up.

There are a number of reasons why your parcel could be undeliverable. For example, the shipment or its packaging is damaged, or the shipment has forbidden items. Logistics companies scan a shipment often at different depots, we advise you not to ship forbidden items. Improper packaging in general is a deal breaker. This is not only for the safe transport and the low risk to damage other parcels but also for the safety of the staff. If your parcel has leaking or sharp items inside, the courier will most likely stop the transport.

Lastly, a wrong or incomplete address is one of the main causes for undeliverable shipments. Always include all details when placing your order. During the Eurosender order process you will see exactly what information is necessary.

  • Weather conditions or traffic

There are various circumstances that can delay the driver. Especially in the winter time, snow and hail can affect the transit time for couriers. Additionally, during the busy summer months, many people are on their way to vacation destinations resulting in much busier roads.

  • Parcel lost

If your parcel is lost, the logistics service provider will try their best to find your shipment. To learn more about what you can do when your parcel is missing or lost or to discover what your legal rights are, check out our list of articles on a lost package.

What to do about a parcel stuck in transit?

If you booked an order through Eurosender and is your parcel stuck in transit, do not hesitate to contact us for help. Our team of experts will investigate the situation and recommend you what to do. If necessary, we will also represent you in any claim procedures with the selected logistics service provider. We are reachable on +44 20 3129 2884 or

Last modified: July 30, 2018

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