Skip to content

Decoding DHL Tracking Statuses: What Do They Mean?

We’ve all been there: you eagerly await a package, refreshing the tracking page every few minutes, only to find the same frustratingly vague status update. “In transit.” “Departed facility.” What does it all mean?

DHL, a global logistics leader, offers a robust tracking system, but deciphering its nuances can be tricky. This post aims to decode DHL’s tracking statuses, equipping you with the knowledge to confidently track your shipments and understand potential delays or issues. We’ll explore common and specific statuses, provide troubleshooting tips, and answer frequently asked questions. By the end, you’ll be a pro at navigating the world of DHL tracking.

Table of Contents

Understanding DHL Tracking Statuses

The first step to mastering DHL tracking is understanding the basic statuses and what they signify. These statuses provide valuable insights into your package’s journey, helping you predict its arrival and troubleshoot any potential problems.

Common DHL Tracking Statuses and Their Meanings

Let’s delve into the most common DHL tracking statuses and their meaning:

  • “In Transit”: This signifies that your package is currently moving through DHL’s network. It’s a general status that doesn’t offer specifics about the package’s location or estimated arrival time.
  • “Departed Facility”: This indicates that your package has left a DHL facility and is en route to the next destination. It suggests progress towards delivery but doesn’t guarantee a specific arrival timeframe.
  • “Arrived at Facility”: This means your package has reached a DHL facility and is awaiting further processing. This could involve sorting, customs inspection, or preparation for delivery.
  • “Delivery Attempted”: A delivery attempt was made, but the package was not delivered. This could be due to an unavailable recipient, an incorrect address, or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • “Delivered”: The good news! Your package has been successfully delivered to the recipient. This is the final status you’ll see in your tracking information.
  • “Exception”: This status suggests a potential delay or issue with your package’s delivery. It requires further investigation to understand the specific reason for the exception.
  • “Picked Up”: DHL has successfully picked up the package from the sender. This signifies the start of your package’s journey through the DHL network.

Specific DHL Tracking Statuses and Their Meanings

Beyond the common statuses, DHL uses specific terms to provide more detailed insights into your package’s progress. Here’s a breakdown of some common ones:

  • “Processed”: Your package has been scanned and is being processed, meaning it’s undergoing necessary procedures within a DHL facility.
  • “Customs Clearance”: Your package is being inspected by customs authorities. This is a typical part of international shipments and may cause temporary delays.
  • “Cleared Customs”: Your package has successfully passed customs inspection and is now ready for further processing towards its destination.
  • “Out for Delivery”: Your package is currently with a DHL driver and will be delivered shortly. This is a promising sign that your package is on its way.
  • “On Hold”: Your package has been temporarily held due to a specific reason. This could be an address issue, a customs delay, or other unforeseen circumstances.

Understanding these specific statuses provides a clearer picture of your package’s journey and helps you anticipate potential delays.

Troubleshooting DHL Tracking Issues

Despite DHL’s robust tracking system, issues can arise. Delays, tracking errors, and exceptions can cause frustration and uncertainty. But don’t despair! With the right information, you can effectively troubleshoot these issues and ensure your package reaches its destination.

Understanding and Addressing Common Delays

Delays are a common occurrence in shipping, and DHL is no exception. Weather, customs clearance, or simply the sheer volume of packages can all contribute to delays. Here are some common reasons for delays and how to address them:

  • Weather: Severe weather can disrupt transportation networks, causing delays in both domestic and international shipments.
  • Customs Clearance: International shipments often require customs inspection, which can add time to the delivery process.
  • Incorrect Address: A simple typo or an incomplete address can lead to significant delays as DHL attempts to locate the correct recipient.

To resolve delays:

  • Contact Customer Service: DHL’s customer service team is available to assist with tracking issues and provide updates. They can often provide more details about the specific reason for the delay and offer possible solutions.
  • Verify Shipping Information: Double-check the shipping address and contact information to ensure accuracy. Incorrect details can lead to delays in delivery.

Identifying and Resolving Tracking Errors

Occasionally, tracking errors can occur, leading to conflicting information or a lack of updates. These errors can be frustrating, but they can often be resolved with a little investigation.

Identifying Tracking Errors:

  • Lack of Updates: If your tracking information hasn’t been updated for an extended period, it could indicate a tracking error.
  • Conflicting Information: If different tracking sources provide contradictory information about your package’s status, it’s likely a tracking error.

Resolving Tracking Errors:

  • Contact DHL Customer Service: DHL’s customer service team can investigate tracking errors and provide accurate updates.
  • Verify Tracking Number: Double-check that you’re using the correct tracking number. Typos or inaccurate numbers can lead to tracking errors.

FAQs about DHL Tracking Statuses

Now that we’ve covered the basics of DHL tracking statuses and troubleshooting, let’s tackle some frequently asked questions.

What does ‘Out for Delivery’ really mean?

“Out for Delivery” is a highly promising status. It means your package is currently with a DHL delivery driver and will be delivered shortly. It indicates that the final leg of the journey has begun.

How can I track my package without a tracking number?

Unfortunately, tracking a package without a tracking number is generally impossible. The tracking number is essential for DHL’s system to identify and locate your package. However, if you have the sender’s information, you can try contacting them directly to inquire about the shipment’s status.

What does ‘Exception’ mean and what should I do?

The “Exception” status indicates a potential delay or issue with your package’s delivery. It can be due to a variety of reasons, such as customs delays, address problems, or unforeseen circumstances.

To resolve an exception, follow these steps:

  1. Review the tracking information: Check for any details about the specific reason for the exception.
  2. Contact DHL Customer Service: They can provide further information and guidance.
  3. Be patient: Exceptions can sometimes take time to resolve, but DHL customer service will work to expedite the process.

How can I contact DHL Customer Service?

Contacting DHL Customer Service is crucial for resolving tracking issues or getting more information about your package. You can reach them via:

  1. Phone: DHL offers dedicated phone numbers for different countries and regions. Check their website for the relevant number for your location.
  2. Email: DHL provides email addresses for customer service inquiries. 
  3. Live Chat: DHL’s website often offers a live chat option for real-time assistance. *Social Media: You can also reach out to DHL via their social media channels, such as Twitter or Facebook.


Understanding DHL tracking statuses is crucial for both senders and recipients. This knowledge empowers you to follow your package’s journey, anticipate potential delays, and resolve tracking issues efficiently. Remember to utilize DHL’s resources like their website, customer service, and tracking tools to stay informed and manage your shipments effectively.

By understanding the intricacies of DHL tracking, you can navigate the world of shipping with confidence and ensure your packages reach their destination on time and as expected.