What Does It Mean When a Package Is In Transit?

Have you ever ordered something online and then eagerly checked the tracking information only to see that your package is “in transit”? Such a bummer! 

This is a bit frustrating, especially if you’re not sure what does shipped in transit means or how long it will take for your package to arrive.

In this blog post, we’ll explain what “in transit” means and what you can expect when your package is in this status. 

What Does It Mean When a Package Is In Transit

We’ll also discuss some things that can delay a package and what you can do if your package is taking longer than expected to arrive.

If you’re concerned about a package that’s been in transit for a while, keep reading!

What Does In Transit Mean?

A package in transit meaning your package is now in transit (shifting from one facility to another closer one to you) within the shipping network.

So, the good thing is that your package is currently on the move and not just lost straight up! But it’s still circling inside the carrier’s infrastructure.

For slightly more technical people, a package is on its way to the shipping warehouse or hub one after another, sometimes it means your package is on its way to the last destination before it hits your doorstep.

Kinda vague at this point to accurately know exactly where your parcel is. Let’s dig deeper.

Is the “In Transit” Status Same In All Shipping Companies?

Yes, so there is no point in searching for something like “What does in transit mean USPS”, for every shipping company status is the same. 

In transit status only indicates that a package is en route to the final destination, meaning it is still in some facility waiting to be picked up for delivery to you.

But what about getting stuck on “In Transit” status…

Check Also: How To Address a Package

Shipment stuck on “in transit” when it was supposed to be already delivered?

Mostly, the tracking statuses can sometimes take up to 24-48 hours to be updated, so don’t panic yet.

If it is still stuck, the following reasons probably causing it:

  • Customs clearance: shipping a package to another country you might need to provide customs documentation. Those docs contain duties and taxes information, missing those may cause delays.
  • Oversized/overweight package: Packages may be weighed & measured in the warehouse. If your package is overweight or oversized, the courier company may return it from there hence, in transit status..
  • Changes in the order: If you have asked the company to change the destination address after the package has shipped, it may take a while for the change to be processed. You can contact the courier company if the status hasn’t changed to “in transit” within a couple of days.
  • Improper packaging: If your package shows any signs of leaking or sharp items inside, the courier may stop its transit. 
  • Wrong or incomplete address: 80% chances are it’s the reason for your undeliverable shipment. Double check the address.
  • Weather conditions or traffic: During busy periods, such as the Christmas holidays, or extreme weather, you should expect time extended. 
  • Lost package: Unfortunately, packages can be lost. If your package is lost, start a claim procedure and ask for a refund.

How long does transit usually take

Still to give you rough estimation in transit for different shipping methods:

  • Domestic standard shipping: 2-7 business days
  • Domestic express shipping: 1-3 business days
  • International standard shipping: 5-10 business days
  • International express shipping: 3-5 business days

Take it with a grain of salt because these are estimations…

The time it takes for a parcel to stay in transit varies depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The distance the parcel is traveling
  • The shipping method chosen
  • The time of year
  • The volume of traffic on the shipping network
  • Unforeseen weather or customs issues

As a rule of thumb, domestically shipped will take less time to arrive than international ones. If you’re using a service like ‘Express Shipping’ then it shouldn’t be the issue at all as compared to standard shipping.

How long does transit usually take

The Difference Between “In Transit” and “Out for Delivery”

Most of the time people confuse both of these terms. A package in transit means package transportation from one shipping facility to another. 

However, when the courier company loads your package onto the delivery truck, the status updates to out for delivery.

If your package has been in transit for a long time, it’s time to contact the shipping company to inquire about the status.

Can You Pick Up Your Package While It’s in Transit?

It depends on the carrier company. Some companies allow you to pick up your package while it is in transit, while others do not.

Here are some of the companies that allow you to pick up your package while it is in transit:

  • United Parcel Service (UPS): You can pick up your UPS package at a UPS Customer Center or a UPS Access Point location.
  • FedEx: You can pick up your FedEx package at a FedEx Office location or a FedEx Drop Box location.
  • USPS: You can pick up your USPS package at a Post Office location.

But it’s not that simple. If you are able to pick up your package while it is in transit, you will need to contact and arrange a pickup. 

The shipping company will usually have a list of locations where you can pick up your package as we listed above.

This would save tons of your time in urgent need and avoid any final delivery concerns. 

If you’re using any other you can contact the shipping company to inquire.

Also Read: What Does Package Acceptance Pending Mean

When to consider a package lost?

Most carrier companies don’t define a specific timeframe for considering a package lost. The postal service recommends waiting for at least seven to 10 business days after the expected delivery date before taking further action.

Afterward, It’s best to contact customer service. They will initiate a formal investigation or a lost package search. 

If they fail to find it at all, you may be eligible for a refund or compensation.

Final Words

In transit status seems to annoy a lot of people and stop some heartbeats off guard if it doesn’t go away within 1-2 days. 

It simply shows you that your package is recognized, it is moving towards you one facility after another at a time within the delivery network before its status gets changed to ‘out for delivery’, meaning reaching your doorstep.

A package gets scanned at various locations along the way, or it may sit in a warehouse for a period of time. The delay is due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

If you are tracking your package online and it says “in transit,” there is no need to worry. Just take long breaths.

Your package is still on its way to you. However, if your package has been in transit for an unusually long time, you may want to contact the shipping company to check on its status.