Understanding what's happening with your package is critical to both businesses and consumers in the ecommerce industry. But, let's face it—even though order statuses and delivery statuses are designed to illuminate this exact information, they can often leave us scratching our heads in confusion instead of providing clarity.
This is precisely why we've decided to untangle this web of mystery. We are presenting an ultimate guide to decoding different order statuses. Our aim? To ensure that business owners, consumers, and everyone in between have a clear, concise, and comprehensive understanding of what's happening with their packages every step of the way.
Common Order Statuses and Their Meanings
The delivery journey is often classified into several key phases, each with its corresponding set of order statuses. Different shipping carriers use different names for some order statuses. We've done our best to bundle together the various names you may encounter on the tracking page, whether the ecommerce seller is using the post office or one of the other carriers. Here's a high-level overview of the phases and common statuses you can expect:
This phase happens after your order has been confirmed but before it has left the warehouse. If you're an eager package tracker (ecommerce business owners and enthusiastic shoppers, we're looking at you), you may understand what each of these means but not how long they typically last. We'll break that down later in this article. Common statuses of this phase include:
- Shipment Created / Label Created
- Ready for Dispatch
- Awaiting Pickup
- Partially Dispatched
This is the phase when your package is with the mail carrier and on the move from the warehouse to your doorstep. There isn't a lot of confusion during this phase unless a package is getting shipped internationally and needs to transition from one carrier to another after it passes through customs. Typical tracking messages in this phase are:
- In Transit / En Route
The final phase of the process is when the package has arrived at the destination. Unfortunately, this phase can include some unexpected issues and some of the most unclear order statuses. The common statuses you'll see during this phase are:
- Scheduled Delivery Pending
- Out for Delivery
- Awaiting Delivery Scan
We'll spend some extra time reviewing what awaiting delivery scan means below since it's arguably the most confusing of the order statuses. But, before we get there, here's the different order status broken down so you never have to wonder where your package is again.
Pre-Shipping Order Statuses Explained
Let's begin our journey through the stages of order fulfillment with the pre-shipping phase. This is essentially the starting line of the delivery process, where your order prepares for its voyage from the warehouse to your doorstep. In this section, we'll demystify each status you might encounter during this crucial first phase, making it easy for you to track your order and identify any potential issues early on. Buckle up—we're about to delve into the intricate world of pre-shipping statuses.
Shipment Created or Label Created
When your package status reads "Shipment Created" or "Label Created", it signifies the initial step in your package journey. In essence, the logistical process for your order has been triggered. At this stage, the ecommerce seller has prepared the order for shipping by creating a shipping label with the relevant details—address, tracking number, and other necessary information.
However, the package hasn't necessarily left the ecommerce seller's facility yet. It's like your package ticket to its destination. The logistics or courier company hasn't taken possession of it at this point, but it’s prepped and ready to start its journey. If the USPS is the carrier, you may see the package's status as "USPS Awaiting Item."
Ready for Dispatch
"Ready for Dispatch" is an essential order status that comes into play before a package begins its journey. This status signifies that your order has been successfully processed, packed with care, and is currently awaiting pickup from the courier. The package is essentially on standby, lodged in the seller's facility or initial shipment hub before it begins its trip. Keep in mind that during high-volume periods, your package might remain in the "Ready for Dispatch" status for a bit longer than usual as courier services navigate around increased workload.
When you see the "Awaiting Pickup" status, it means your package is all packed up by the sender, and is simply waiting for the courier to come, pick it up, and start its journey towards you. This status typically follows the "Ready for Dispatch" status update. While "Ready for Dispatch" implies that the package is prepared and ready to be transferred, "Awaiting Pickup" tells you that it's actually in queue for collection by the courier service.
When you see the status 'Dispatched', it's a sign that your package is on the move. Specifically, it denotes the point where the merchant has transferred your goods to the shipping carrier responsible for ferrying it to your destination. This is a crucial step to mark that the order has left the vendor's premises and is now en route to the customer. However, the detailed tracking and timeline for the delivery may vary, depending on the shipping carrier's practices and systems.
This order status 'Partially Dispatched' typically means that your order has been divided into multiple shipments for various reasons—this could be due to items being stocked in different warehouses or different items with varying delivery timelines. Not all parts of your order have been sent out, but one or more packages associated with the order have been dispatched. You can expect multiple delivery notifications for this kind of order status.
In-Transit Order Statuses Explained
Welcome to the heart of the shipping process: the in-transit phase. This is the period when your package is on the move, making its journey to its final destination. Multiple order statuses appear in the tracking information during this phase, and each tells you exactly where your package is and what is happening to it. Let's dive in and decode these transit statuses for a clearer understanding of your package's journey.
When you see the status "Shipped", it generally means that the package has already been handed off from the sender to the shipping carrier. This is typically the first status you'll see once the package leaves the sender's facility. It's akin to the package saying, "Goodbye! I'm on my way." In contrast, "In Transit" or "En Route" status implies that the package is actively making its journey to the destination. It has left the origin and is currently in motion towards the receiver. Simply put, "Shipped" conveys the commencement of your package's journey, whereas "In Transit" allows you to track the package as it moves closer to its destination.
In Transit or En Route
The "In Transit" or "En Route" status of your order essentially means your package is on its journey to you. Be it on a plane, a truck, or even a ship, it is making its way from the dispatch location to your doorstep. However, it's important to remember different couriers use different language. For some, "In Transit" might be "En Route", "In Progress", or even "On the Go". But fear not, while the terminology may vary, it all translates to the same concept: your package is on its move!
Delivery Order Statuses Explained
Let's now delve into the final stretch of the shipping process—the delivery phase. In this section, we will untangle and demystify the various delivery scan statuses that you may encounter. Each status has a specific meaning which we will clarify, aiming to ensure you're armed with the knowledge of what's happening behind the scenes as your package makes its way to your doorstep. Stay tuned as we shed light on this often confusing part of the shipping journey.
Scheduled Delivery Pending
The status "Scheduled Delivery Pending" often means that your package has already journeyed through various sorting centers and is now on its way to the final delivery hub. The delivery date has been tentatively decided but is awaiting confirmation. This status is merely a notification that your package is in transit and that the shipping company is preparing to deliver it. It's usually a short phase before the "Out for Delivery" status. However, the exact duration can vary based on the efficiency of the logistics and the distance to the destination.
Out for Delivery
When your package displays the status "Out for Delivery," it signifies that your parcel is on the final leg of its journey. The courier, equipped with the item on the delivery vehicle, has left the transit facility and is now en route to the predetermined delivery address. This is the penultimate step before the final delivery of the item. This step follows "Scheduled Delivery Pending" because there's now a delivery commitment—the exact date of delivery is set and will stay that way, barring situations out of the carrier's control.
Awaiting Delivery Scan
You've reached the final stretch—the "Awaiting Delivery Scan" status. This is a status you may have seen before with the postal service. This phase implies that the package is at the local facility and is ready for delivery but has not yet been scanned as delivered. While this is a promising stage in the shipping process, awaiting delivery scan statuses can be the most frustrating message to see in the tracking system.
The "Awaiting Delivery Scan" status means one of three things:
- The delivery scans aren't in because the mail carrier or delivery person forgot to scan the package. In this case, you likely already have your package, even though the status may not have been updated.
- The expected delivery date is still that day, but the package still needs to be marked as delivered. In this scenario, the status should change by the day's end.
- The package was supposed to be delivered, but for some reason, it was not. This can occur due to an issue with the address, the recipient not being available, or if the package was misplaced at the local facility.
Each situation leads to the same status message but with very different meanings, which is why this tracking status is particularly confusing. It's only through an understanding of the three situations we outlined that you can accurately assess when there's a delay or complication and when the normal delivery protocol is just taking its course.
Delivered or Package Delivered
The status "Delivered" is a joyful milestone in your order tracking journey; it means your package has left the shipping carrier's hands and is now waiting at its final destination.
If you look at your tracking information and see "Exception," there was an unforeseen hiccup in the delivery process that prevented a package from reaching its destination. This broadly covers a variety of scenarios: severe weather conditions, customs delays, incorrect addresses, absence of the recipient, or an unanticipated event at the local post office or courier's processing facility.
Decoding the Timeline: How Long Does Each Status Typically Last?
Let's take a glimpse into the typical timeframe related to each order status, remembering that the duration of each status can vary based on factors like logistics provider, destination, and overall shipping methods.
- Shipment Created or Label Created: This status can last 24 to 48 hours as this is the time taken to process the order and prepare it for dispatch.
- Ready for Dispatch: It typically lasts a few hours to a day as the shipment is prepared for pick-up.
- Awaiting Pickup: A brief period ranging from a few hours to a day before the courier collects the package.
- Dispatched: This status lasts till the package is received by a sorting center, which could take 1-2 days.
- Partially Dispatched: If your order contains multiple items, this could mean a fraction of your order has been sent and generally takes as long as the dispatch stage.
- Shipped: Once shipped, a package may be in this status for 2-6 days, sometimes longer for international shipments.
- In-Transit or En Route: This is the longest stage of the process and can last from 2 days up to a week or more based on the shipping distances and methods.
- Out for Delivery: This generally lasts less than 24 hours as the package makes its journey from the local distribution center to the delivery address.
- Scheduled Delivery Pending: This typically lasts between a few hours to a day as the carrier schedules your delivery.
- Awaiting Delivery Scan: It generally takes a few hours before the carrier scans your package as delivered.
- Delivered: Once a package has reached this status, it remains here indefinitely to indicate successful delivery.
- Exception: When things don't go as planned, this status can differ significantly – immediate action is usually required when this status appears.
There's no need to memorize all of this. If you need to come back later, you can refer to the chart below to understand the different tracking updates and how long they usually last.
Remember that these are estimations, and actual delivery times can vary. If your package seems stuck in a particular stage for an extended period, check in with your logistics provider.
When to Reach Out: Order Statuses That Require Contacting Logistics
Only some order statuses necessitate picking up the phone and contacting the logistics team. However, being proactive when certain statuses pop up could save you from delivery hiccups. This approach not only ensures customer satisfaction but also protects businesses from unnecessary financial loss or reputation damage. Here's what requires attention and what to expect:
- Scheduled Delivery Pending: This is usually an indication that your delivery date is uncertain due to reasons that could range from logistical hitches to unanticipated delays. In such instances, it's highly recommended to contact the logistics provider for clarification.
- Awaiting Delivery Scan: Typically, the unique barcode on packages is scanned several times throughout the shipping process. If the status is unchanged for an extended period, say 24 to 48 hours, it might mean an oversight in the scanning process or that the package is lost in the mail. Both the ecommerce business and the customer should confirm the status with the logistics provider directly.
- Exception: An exception status means that the shipment is experiencing an unexpected event that might cause a delay—this could be due to reasons like customs delays, payment issues, or lost packages. Timely communication with the logistics team can help fix the issue so that customers receive their goods or give a realistic update to manage customer expectations.
As a consumer, understanding what each status means will prevent unnecessary worry. For businesses, monitoring order statuses will facilitate the efficient handling of any logistical issues to ensure your ecommerce business operates smoothly and keeps customers happy.
How 3PLs Help Ecommerce Businesses
If you're an ecommerce business owner, managing inventory and tracking deliveries can be a daunting task. This is where Third-Party Logistics providers ( or 3PLs) like All Points, come into play. These providers handle everything from warehousing to fulfilment, ensuring your products reach customers efficiently and on time.
Specifically regarding your shipping statuses, a 3PL can handle various stages, making your job much easier. Here's a brief breakdown:
- During the Pre-Shipping Phase, 3PL manages everything from creating the shipment or shipping label to getting your orders ready for dispatch and even handling pick-up.
- In the In-Transit Phase, 3PL service providers carefully track your shipments as they are en-route to their destination. Whether an overseas consignment or domestic mail, 3PLs ensure a smooth transition from one hub to another. Most 3PLs use a state-of-the-art tracking system for status updates and accurate tracking.
- Finally, in the Delivery Phase, 3PLs continue monitoring, updating statuses like 'Scheduled Delivery Pending,' or 'Awaiting Delivery Scan.' Once your package is safely delivered, they update it to 'Delivered' status.
Sometimes, things don't go as planned, and an exception may occur in the delivery process. 3PLs are equipped to handle logistics issues and can intervene quickly to resolve problems.
These necessary, but time-consuming tasks can eat into your day and distract you from core business activities. Outsourcing to a 3PL like All Points eliminates these headaches, enabling you to focus on growth and customer satisfaction. Not only do you save time, but leveraging a 3PL's expertise also results in more efficient, reliable deliveries to bolster your brand's reputation.
In conclusion, this article serves as an invaluable resource for both business owners and consumers in the e-commerce sector, offering a clear and detailed understanding of various shipping statuses throughout the delivery process. By breaking down the journey into Pre-Shipping, In-Transit, and Delivery phases and explaining statuses such as "Shipment Created," "In Transit," and "Awaiting Delivery Scan," the guide demystifies the complexities of package tracking. Furthermore, it highlights the crucial role of Third-Party Logistics (3PL) providers like All Points in enhancing the efficiency and transparency of this process. The article also provides practical advice on when to reach out to logistics for issues like delayed or ambiguous statuses, ensuring smoother delivery experiences and fostering better communication between e-commerce entities and their customers.