Why is my parcel stuck in transit?

It happens that the package is stuck in transit longer than we had expected. If package was sent during COVID-19 outbreak many carriers and postal services around the world are overloaded with increased volume of packages. Online shopping saw significant uptick in number of people doing shopping online as well as increased frequency of purchases.

So, what does the status “parcel stuck in transit” means? It can be literal status or package just has not moved in a long while. Many times, when this happens, you won’t see a new update in the tracking system.

What "in transit" means? 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/postman delivers it.

When parcel is stuck in transit it 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.

Why has my package not moved in a week?

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 US/GB/EU/AU, 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 US, 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • International shipping – If a package is coming from overseas (other countries), it is safe to assume that delivery may take longer than usual.
  • 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.
  • Lost package – This is something you would not want to hear. But unfortunately, it is something that could indeed happen. You can start a claim procedure, with the delivery carrier,  if your package is lost and ask for a refund.
  • 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).
  • 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. 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.

Why has my USPS package not moved?

It's never a bad idea to get on the phone and inquire about USPS package! Call your local post office supervisor and ask them to email the sorting facility where your package is stuck and mention the city name and then this phrase " NDC Package Inquiry" (remember, be super nice and friendly and it may spur them on to help you to the furthest extent they can!). They might hem and haw at your request, but remind them that you've heard it's protocol.

NDC stands for Network Distribution Center. Large regional facilities that all “packages” (they do do some letter mail work as well) go through at least one, on most cases two. Mail you drop off at your PO goes to the NDC where it gets routed with other packages to the NDC serving the Destination Zip code and from there it goes to your destination Zip code Post Office. A Network Distribution Center (NDC) is a highly mechanized mail processing plant of the United States Postal Service that distributes standard mail and package services in piece and bulk form.

What's also worked for people in the past when they had a stuck package is to submit a USPS customer service form for a shipment problem. It just could be that within a day, your package would be located and sent on to its destination.

What does USPS "In Transit to Next Facility" or "Item currently in transit to the destination" mean?

When the USPS’s tracking system marks a piece of mail as “In Transit to Next Facility,” it’s actually just a placeholder message meaning, “We don’t have a more specific scan today, but rest assured, it’s en-route.” It shows up once a day when there has been no other scanning activity within the last 24 hours.

It most commonly shows up on packages sent via Retail Ground (or Parcel Select, which is the equivalent ground service for commercial shippers), since trucks and trains can take several days to cross the country and move parcels from one hub (Processing and Distribution Center [P&DC] or Network Distribution Center [NDC]) to the next, so there can often be a couple days between scans.

It can also happen with some Priority Mail shipments, since the USPS contracts with FedEx to fly Priority Mail between P&DC hubs, which can sometimes take 36 hours or so, and FedEx doesn’t scan individual USPS packages in the course of carrying USPS bags and containers around the country.

I suspect the USPS added logic to their system to automatically insert an “In Transit to Next Facility” record to assure customers that their items haven’t been lost or delayed and help to prevent frantic phone calls or emails to the USPS’s customer service line when a new tracking result hasn’t shown up for a day or two.

Of course, it can also happen with some mail pieces that get mis-sorted or lost.

Why has my parcel not moved in a week?

A package could have become stuck in transit because it was stopped at a border crossing, in a vehicle accident, because a blizzard has stopped traffic, or any number of other things which would slow down the movement of the courier vehicle.

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.

There are some ways that you can get more information about what has actually caused your shipment to stop moving. Sometimes a courier company will have a way to access a more detailed report online, where you will be able to access any additional information if it exists. On the other hand, you may need to call the company directly.

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.

Why is my parcel not moving?

Your package is still within the courier network and, unless otherwise noted, should be delivered. Shipment movement information is captured each time a tracking label is scanned in the USPS, FedEx, UPS delivery system. There may be several days between scans if the shipment is going cross-country or moving between countries or territories.

It can be a little unusual to not see further scans on your parcelthough it should still be in transit and will catch up with scans soon. Once an item is posted, it's on the move, just might've missed the initial processing track events.

Why has my package not moved with FedEx

Packages in the FedEx system receive scans at various points between pickup and delivery. It is not unusual for a package to go for more than 24 hours without a scan while in transit – your package may be traveling as intended.

If there are no scans for the tracking number entered, contact your shipper to verify the tracking number is correct.

Understand also that Fedex.com tracking is not completely accurate with its updates. Just so everyone is clear, packages are NOT “out for delivery” on our trucks for several days. I know this has further exasperated the delays. The delays are with the volumes and trailers getting backed up and not getting worked as they usually do. If you are shipping or expecting “large” packages these items are considered “incompatibles” and go thru a manual sort and placed on “incompatible trucks”. These type items are experiencing even greater delays.

Why has my package not moved with UPS

It's easy to get anxious if your UPS tracking status says "In Transit: Please check back later for scheduled delivery" or "Your package has been delayed due to events beyond our control" with no further updates.

Don't worry yet, patience is the key. Due to COVID-19 outbreak, UPS experiencing rush of packages and there can be delays. All the shipping companies are slammed because of all the volume. There are trailers sitting at facilities full of packages because they can’t be processed. Give it a day or two and see if it clears up.

In March 2020, UPS suspended the service guarantee for all shipments from any origin to any destination as part of the company’s response to the virus.

Cited from UPS.com "Effective March 26, 2020 and until further notice, we have suspended the UPS Service Guarantee (also referred to as the UPS Money Back Guarantee) for all shipments from any origin to any destination. For all U.S. origin shipments, the Service Guarantee suspension became effective as of March 24, 2020."

It can be frustrating to wait, but your package will be delivered.

You May Also Like