Package Tracking

    What Does the Status of My Parcel Mean?

    What Does the Status of My Parcel Mean?

    If your parcel is on the way and you don't understand its current status, it can raise questions. What does the indicated status mean? Which statuses are especially important for you? Let's figure out all the possible stages of parcel delivery and answer these questions together.

    The status indicates the current stage of your parcel dispatch, which the carrier determines. As we learned in another section of our guide, carriers can be postal and logistics companies, each with its chain for delivering international shipments. The courier records each stage of the parcel's journey along the chain and reflects it in its tracking data.

    As regular buyers, we want the parcel delivered on time and without damage, and we don't want to delve into the carrier's internal processes. In most cases, this is precisely what happens: your parcel is delivered on time, and if you're interested, you can track its route in the parcel tracking system. But if there are problems with the parcel, you must learn more about what is happening.

    Basic parcel delivery statuses

    Each carrier has the right to provide delivery statuses through internal procedures. Experience shows that among the various statuses, the main ones are used by almost all carriers. We call them basic:

    • Label Created;
    • In Transit;
    • Out for Delivery;
    • Delivered (Collected);
    • Exception (Alert, Pending);
    • Return to sender.

    Each carrier may have sub-statuses for each basic status or call them differently. Let's examine each status separately and find out what it means.

    Label Created

    This status means that the carrier has received information about the parcel from the sender. However, this does not always mean that the parcel is already with the carrier and ready for dispatch. An intermediary may have registered it, and the carrier is waiting for it at the cargo reception center for further transit. At Royal Mail, for example, this status is called We’re expecting it or Item despatched to Royal Mail, which means the same thing.

    In Transit

    The parcel is already on its way and moving from one point to another, with its route tracked. There may be minor delays at this stage, as transportation takes time. Don't worry if your international parcel tracking data is not updated daily. If you do not choose express delivery, this process can take a long time.

    Out for Delivery

    The parcel is delivered to the nearest carrier's office and loaded into a vehicle for final delivery. This is the penultimate status of the parcel, and it is on its way to you.

    Delivered (Collected)

    The carrier has delivered the parcel to you or left it in a safe place. If you have received the parcel, the delivery process is complete. If the status is Collected, the recipient has picked up the parcel. But if you see "delivered" status and don't have the parcel, we have considered such a situation and described possible solutions in detail. We hope this information will help you.

    Exception, Alert, or Pending

    This is the most complex status for the recipient, which is important to pay attention to, as it indicates possible problems with your parcel. And, as we already know, many problems can arise during transportation. Here are some of them:

    • The parcel is lost;
    • The parcel is damaged;
    • The parcel is waiting for customs clearance;
    • The parcel is delayed;
    • Force majeure;
    • The parcel contains prohibited goods;
    • The recipient was not found;
    • The delivery attempt was unsuccessful;
    • The delivery date has been postponed;
    • Access to the delivery location is absent.

    And these are far from all cases that you need to react to. Usually, this status contains detailed instructions from the carrier that you need to follow. Without instructions, you should find out who your carrier is. Find his contact details in our transport company directory and contact him via the official website or phone to resolve the issue.

    Return to sender

    If the parcel has not found its recipient or been picked up, it may be returned to the sender shortly. It should be noted that not all delivery services offer this function, so clarify this with the courier service. For example, USPS calls this status Insufficient Address and charges the sender for resending the parcel. Be careful when entering the address; it must be accurate. Do not waste your money and time.

    Parcel statuses in the China Post Tracking system

    Analyzing the statuses of various carriers, we have identified the main ones that can describe all possible situations related to the parcel. We use these statuses in our parcel tracking system. Here's what they mean.

    Not Found

    The parcel is not found. We were unable to find information about your parcel. Possible reasons:

    • We were unable to identify the carrier;
    • The carrier did not provide data about the parcel;
    • Internal tracker error. We were unable to retrieve data from the carrier's official website.

    If the error is on our side, please get in touch with us, and we will try to fix the tracker as soon as possible.

    In Transit

    This status includes the basic status, as well as:

    • Arrived at the facility;
    • Departed facility.

    Pick Up

    Under this status, we mean:

    • Out of Delivery (basic status);
    • The parcel is at the courier's office, and the recipient is waiting to pick it up;
    • The parcel has been delivered to the parcel locker.

    If the parcel is waiting for you at the office or in the parcel locker, don't delay receiving it, as the carrier may charge an additional fee for storing it.


    This status is identical to the basic one. The parcel has been delivered to the recipient or left in a safe place. Read the detailed instructions from the carrier or look at the photo of where the parcel was left.


    This status also corresponds to the basic one. It includes other messages from the carrier requiring the recipient's action. Carefully read the instructions from the transport company and, if you have any questions, contact the carrier directly. All the carrier's contact details can be found in our directory.


    We added this status for parcels dispatched more than three months ago. In our experience, if delivery takes more than three months, most likely, the parcel will no longer be delivered. We recommend contacting the carrier to determine the reason for the delay and to determine further actions.

    We hope this overview has helped you understand what different parcel statuses mean. Now, you can analyze the parcel status independently and react promptly to any problems. We always recommend tracking all your parcels in the China Post Tracking system by tracking number to know their location from the moment of dispatch to the moment of receipt.

    Denys Sokolov
    Hi Everyone. I'm Denys Sokolov am the owner of Logic.Cool, a developer of China Post Tracking project and other online applications and mobile games. Please write me with any suggestions for improving the parcel tracking service.