When you are waiting for a courier, your package goes through 5 stages of the tracking process. The package is accepted, in transit, out for delivery, delivered and status not available respectively. Whether it’s a courier service, online shopping or postal service, the tracking of a package has these 5 basic steps.
All the other 4 steps are quite self-explanatory except the ‘In Transit’ step. Whenever you try to track your USPS package, this is the only part where you cannot understand what’s going on. Let us try to solve this mystery.
What Does In-Transit Mean?
The courier or package is in transit to the destination actually means that it’s literally on the way. Once the seller has readied the package, lodged it and handed over to the carrier, the status of the shipment changes to ‘in transit to destination’. So basically the package has left the seller or the packing facility. It has also been picked up by the carrier. But it has not reached its destination yet. Now, until the package is scanned at the destination city and is sent out to the delivery address it stays ‘in transit’.
There are many facets to this. In transit means your package can be at any stage – handed over to the carrier, departed from its origin country, arrived at destination country but pending customs, passed customs but in local transportation or is at another stopover country and is yet to reach the destination country. So when your package tracking says ‘in transit to destination’, it can really be anywhere on the route to reach you.
How Much Time Does The Parcel Take To Reach?
More often than not the delivery time mentioned by the courier is an estimated time of delivery. There are many courier services that guarantee to deliver a package within the stipulated time. But such couriers are very less. The standard ones give out a date estimation on the basis of the route and distance the package has to travel. Actually, the package can take less or sometimes more time to reach you than mentioned.
USPS Parcel stuck in transit :
Most of the time, when the due delivery date passes and your package does not arrive, you will see the status of the package changed to ‘stuck in transit’. Very rarely it happens that the package is stuck in transit but the status does not change. All in all, there will be irregularities with your delivery date.
You will notice that your parcel is not moving ahead. It is either kept at one of the company depots or in custom. It is like a traffic jam for packages. But that is also temporary of course! In some time, the package is released and it continues its transit towards its destination.
Why Does The Parcel Get Stuck in transit?
There are many general reasons because of which the parcel can get stuck in transit.
Any package arriving from another country needs to pass the custom before it can be delivered to the recipient. The package should also contain a commercial invoice. So if there is no commercial invoice or there is a huge cargo coming in at the same time and the processing takes time, your package can get held at the customs. It will be cleared eventually but will reach you at a later date than the estimated delivery date. If there is an absence of the commercial invoice, then there is a surcharge that needs to be paid before the package is further cleared.
Size or weight :
If the parcel is over-sized or over-weight, then the package is usually returned to the shipper. It is important to provide the right size and weight to the courier company. The carrier may not notice the difference right away. But eventually, the inconsistency comes to light and then the parcel is returned. This could obviously cause a delay in delivering the parcel to you.
Damaged or absent label :
Mistakes happen rarely with the couriers, but they can happen. Especially when there are thousands of packages to pack per day. Thus, it may happen that the label on the parcel may fall off or get damaged at some point. This may take the courier company some time to work out whom the parcel belongs to.
Order changes :
If you change the delivery address after the parcel has left the seller, then the package can take extra time to reach you. So if you want your package to arrive on the delivery date then you should avoid address changes after the parcel has gone in transit. And in case you are unsure of the delivery address then opt for ‘Flexible booking’ when available.
For ample reasons like a damaged parcel, forbidden goods or even improper packing, the parcel can become undeliverable. Proper packing or shipping only permitted goods is necessary for the safety of other parcels and the staff too. If your package is leaking or contains a sharp object, then also the parcel stops in transit.
Lost parcel :
On a rare occasion, such a thing happens that the package gets lost during logistics. The carrier tries its best to locate the package through tracking updates but most of the time the parcel is found but sometimes the parcel gets lost.
Weather and traffic :
Sometimes the bad weather conditions or traffic jams can delay your parcel delivery. Hailstorms, pouring rains and such extreme weather conditions mean stopping of all kinds of transportation facilities. Also, during busy times like summer vacations all transport facilities – rail, air, and road get extremely busy and crowded. This can also delay the delivery.
What should you do?
When your package tracking shows ‘in transit to destination’, the only thing you can do is wait for your parcel to arrive or keep tracking updates. But if it does not arrive on time and eventually gets stuck in transit, you can contact your courier service to find out more about the details.
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