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PostNL Tracking Not Updating? Here’s What To Do

Waiting for a package can be exciting, especially when it’s coming from overseas. However, the anticipation can quickly turn into frustration when your PostNL tracking information stalls. If you’re stuck staring at the same “Sent to country of destination” message for days on end, you might be wondering if your package is lost.

This blog post is here to help. We’ll delve into the common reasons behind “PostNL tracking not updating” and “PostNL tracking number not working” issues, offering practical steps to take and tips to navigate these situations smoothly.

Table of Contents

Understanding PostNL Tracking

PostNL is a major postal and logistics company based in the Netherlands. They handle a significant volume of international shipments, and their tracking system is designed to keep customers informed about their package’s journey. However, like any tracking system, it has its limitations.

Typically, PostNL international shipping involves several stages:

  1. Package Acceptance: PostNL receives the package from the sender and scans it into their system.
  2. Processing in Origin Country: The package is sorted and prepared for international dispatch.
  3. Departure from Origin Country: The package leaves the sender’s country and is en route to the destination country.
  4. Arrival in Destination Country: The package arrives in the recipient’s country.
  5. Customs Clearance: The package undergoes customs inspection.
  6. Handover to Local Delivery Partner: PostNL often partners with local postal services in the destination country for final delivery.
  7. Delivery: The package reaches its final destination.

Ideally, you should see tracking updates at each of these stages. However, the frequency of updates can vary, and sometimes delays occur.

Reasons Why Your PostNL Tracking Might Not Be Updating

Several factors can contribute to delayed or missing tracking updates:

  • Weekends and Holidays: PostNL, like many postal services, operates on a reduced schedule during weekends and public holidays. This means packages might not be processed or scanned as frequently, leading to gaps in tracking information.
  • Customs Delays: Customs inspections are a necessary part of international shipping, but they can also cause significant delays. If your package is selected for a thorough inspection, it can sit in customs for days or even weeks, with no tracking updates during this time.
  • High Volume Periods: Peak seasons, like holidays or major shopping events, can put a strain on postal systems worldwide. During these periods, PostNL might experience backlogs, leading to slower processing times and less frequent tracking updates.
  • Technical Glitches: As with any complex system, technical errors can occur. Occasional system glitches or malfunctions might cause temporary delays in tracking information.
  • Delivery Partner Handover: Once a package reaches the destination country, PostNL often hands it off to a local delivery partner for final delivery. This handover can create a temporary pause in tracking updates as the package transitions from one system to another.

Step-by-Step Guide: What to Do When Your PostNL Tracking Is Not Updating

Now, let’s walk through the steps you can take when faced with a “PostNL tracking not updating” situation:

  1. Double-check your tracking number: It seems obvious, but a simple typo can be the culprit. Carefully verify that you’ve entered the correct PostNL tracking number on their website or a reliable third-party tracking platform.
  2. Allow sufficient time: Patience is key, especially with international shipping. Wait at least 24-48 hours after receiving the “Sent to country of destination” update before assuming something is wrong. This is particularly important during weekends or holidays when processing might be slower.
  3. Check the PostNL website: While third-party tracking sites can be helpful, the PostNL website is the primary source for the most up-to-date information. Go directly to their tracking page and enter your tracking number to see if there are any new updates.
  4. Contact the sender: If several days have passed with no new tracking activity, reach out to the sender (the online store or individual who shipped the package). They might have access to additional information about the shipment or can initiate an investigation with PostNL on your behalf.
  5. Contact PostNL customer support: If the sender is unable to provide any insights, it’s time to contact PostNL customer support directly. You can usually reach them through their website, email, or phone. Be prepared to provide your tracking number, order details, and a clear explanation of the issue.
  6. Contact the local delivery partner: If tracking shows that your package has been handed over to a local delivery partner, consider contacting them directly. They might have more specific information about the package’s whereabouts or estimated delivery time within your country.

Tips for a Smoother PostNL Tracking Experience

Here are some proactive measures to help you avoid tracking headaches and ensure a smoother shipping experience:

  • Sign up for email or SMS notifications: Most tracking platforms allow you to opt-in for automatic updates. By choosing this option, you’ll receive notifications via email or text message whenever your package reaches a new milestone, eliminating the need to manually check the tracking status.
  • Provide accurate and complete address information: Typos or incomplete addresses can cause significant delays. Double-check that the recipient’s address is entered correctly and includes all necessary details, such as apartment numbers or building names.
  • Be aware of potential customs charges: International shipments are often subject to customs duties and taxes imposed by the destination country. Research the customs regulations and potential fees associated with your destination country to avoid any surprises upon delivery.
  • Choose expedited shipping options: If you need your package quickly and want more frequent tracking updates, consider selecting faster shipping methods, such as express or priority delivery. These services often come with more comprehensive tracking and shorter transit times.

FAQ Section

Q: My PostNL tracking hasn’t updated for 4 days. Is my package lost?

A: No, a 4-day delay in tracking updates doesn’t necessarily mean your package is lost. It’s relatively common for tracking information to pause for a few days during international transit, especially during weekends, holidays, or customs processing. Refer to the steps outlined above to investigate further.

Q: Why does my tracking show “Sent to country of destination” but nothing else?

A: This message indicates that your package has successfully left the origin country and is now in transit to the destination country. It will be handed over to the local postal system or a delivery partner. Tracking updates often become less frequent during this stage until the package is scanned in the destination country.

Q: Who should I contact if my tracking isn’t updating and the sender can’t help?

A: You should contact PostNL customer support directly. They have access to the most comprehensive tracking data and can investigate the status of your package. You can also try contacting the local delivery partner in your country if the tracking shows that the package has been handed over to them.


While encountering a “PostNL tracking not updating” issue can be frustrating, it’s crucial to remember that these delays are often temporary and do not necessarily indicate a lost package. By understanding the common reasons for these delays and following the step-by-step guide outlined above, you can effectively address the situation and increase your chances of receiving your package promptly.