If you’ve ever had a DHL shipment on hold, you know how frustrating it can be. But what do you do when DHL has placed your shipment on hold? In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about why DHL shipments are held and what to do if your DHL shipment is on hold. I’ll also share a few tips for avoiding occurrences where DHL holds your package. Let’s get started.
What does DHL Shipment on Hold Mean?
When DHL places a shipment on hold, it means that the shipment has been stopped and will not be delivered until the situation is resolved. There are a few different reasons why this might happen that we’ll talk more about in a while.
Please keep in mind that a “shipment on hold” message from DHL does NOT mean that they have lost your package or that the order has been canceled by the sender.
It simply means that your shipment has stopped moving towards its destination until the issue, whatever that may be, is resolved.
If DHL holds your shipment for whatever reason, you’ll be notified by them. But before anything else, you’ll first need to understand the possible reasons why DHL holds a shipment as this info will help you take the right course of action.
Why is My DHL Shipment on Hold?
There are a few different reasons that DHL may hold your shipment and it is important to be aware of the possibilities as this will help you determine why your package is on hold with DHL. I have listed the reasons in order of the “most occurring ones”.
1. The Package
In some cases, it may be due to an issue with the package itself.
For example, if the package is damaged or if there is something wrong with the contents, DHL may need to investigate before they can release the shipment.
Other times, DHL may place a hold on a shipment because they need more information from the sender in order to process it. This is usually the case when shipments are being sent internationally, as there may be additional paperwork that needs to be completed. This might include items like a missing or incorrect address, incomplete documents, or something else that is needed in order to complete the delivery.
2. Port Congestion
Port congestion is another common reason DHL puts your shipment on hold. This usually occurs if your package is coming from outside of the USA. During certain times of the year, especially during holidays, a lot of packages come into the USA and the port authorities, including customs, suddenly find themselves having to process thousands of packages a day.
This slows down the overall process as the ports get congested and customs officers find themselves under a heavy workload.
3. Closed Borders
Closed borders are another common reason why you might be finding your DHL shipment on hold. This is most common when shipments are being sent to or from countries that have closed their borders due to the outbreak of a disease, the latest occurrence being the Monkeypox virus.
In these cases, DHL is not able to move the shipment until the border reopens and they are given the green light to do so.
4. Route Change
While not very common, route changes can also lead to shipment delays. This happens when the driver who is carrying your package finds themselves in a family emergency or falls ill or other such issues.
In these cases, another driver will have to take over. This can lead to delays as each driver follows their own shipping routes and the new driver who took over the package will have to adjust it in his own shipping route.
Receiving a “shipment on hold” message from DHL can be frustrating, but it’s important to keep in mind that it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is a problem with your shipment.
5. Lack of Transport
Again, not very common but it does happen sometimes. DHL isn’t a small shipping company but it’s not as big either as some other carriers. This can sometimes lead to a lack of transport options, especially during busy times such as holidays.
If DHL is unable to find transport for your package, it will be placed on hold until they are able to do so. Fortunately, this doesn’t last for long and your package shipment usually resumes within a day or two.
6. Weather and Natural Disasters
Bad weather conditions and natural disasters can also lead to a “hold status” of your package.
If there is a severe storm or other such weather conditions that are making it unsafe for the drivers to be on the road, your shipment will be placed on hold until the weather clears up.
The same goes for natural disasters. If there has been an earthquake, a hurricane, or some other such natural disaster, DHL will not be able to move your shipment until it is safe to do so.
Holidays are another reason why a DHL shipment might be placed on hold. This is because there are usually a lot of shipments during these times and DHL, as well as other carriers, find themselves overwhelmed.
Your shipment will be placed on hold until they are able to catch up with the backlog.
8. Customs Clearance
Customs clearance is also a reason why DHL might put your package on hold. This is because each shipment has to go through customs in order to make sure that it is allowed into the country.
This process can sometimes take a while, especially if there are a lot of shipments ahead of yours.
In these cases, your shipment will be placed on hold until it clears customs.
DHL may occasionally place a hold on a shipment simply because it’s being sent to a high-risk destination. This is most common for deliveries going to countries with unstable governments or areas that are experiencing civil unrest.
Ok, But Why is MY Package on Hold?
Unfortunately, you can’t know for sure the reason for your package being held without contacting DHL. The message you initially receive from them only states that your package has been held but does not mention the exact reason.
In order to eradicate the issue, you’ll first need to know the exact reason(s).
For How Long Will DHL Hold My Shipment?
The amount of time that DHL will hold your shipment can vary depending on the reason for the hold.
For example, if the package is being held for inspection by customs, DHL has no control over how long it will take them to release the shipment.
Similarly, in case of a natural disaster or bad weather and other such situations, there’s pretty much nothing DHL can do to expedite the process.
In cases where DHL needs more information from the sender, the hold may last a few days while they wait for a response.
However, in most cases, DHL holds shipments for no more than a day or two. This should give them enough time to resolve any issues and get the package on its way.
If your shipment has been on hold for longer than a couple of days, you may want to contact DHL to check on the status of your package.
What Should I Do If My DHL Shipment Is On Hold?
1. Contact DHL Customer Care Services
If DHL has held your shipment, the very first thing you’ll want to do is to contact them and find out the exact reason for the hold. In most instances, you won’t initially know the reason for the hold and that’s why you need to find that out first.
Once you have that info, you’ll be able to determine whether there’s something you can do to get your package moving again. Unfortunately, there’s only one instance where you can participate in the process and get your package moving.
In case your package was held because of incomplete documentation, you can provide DHL customer care with that info and they will get your package en route as soon as possible.
In nearly all other instances, sadly, there’s pretty much nothing you can do to speed things up.
2. Cancel the Shipment
In case you needed the package urgently and your shipment gets on hold, you have the option to cancel the order. This will give you a full refund for your shipment.
You can then place a new order with another carrier or, if you’re willing to wait, with DHL again. Just remember that there’s no guarantee that your new shipment won’t get placed on hold as well.
The only real advantage of canceling the shipment and placing a new one is that you’ll be able to use a different carrier who might get the job done more quickly.
Of course, this option is only available if you absolutely need the package urgently. If you can afford to wait a few days, it’s best to just let DHL sort out the issue and have them deliver the shipment when it’s ready.
Tips for Avoiding DHL Shipment Holds
There are a few things you can do to avoid having your DHL shipment placed on hold.
First, make sure that you are using proper packaging. This will help to ensure that your package arrives safe and sound.
Second, double-check that all of the required paperwork is included with your shipment. This is especially important for international shipments.
Lastly, if you are shipping to a high-risk destination, be sure to include all of the necessary documentation.
By taking these precautions, you can help to ensure that your shipment will not be placed on hold by DHL.
Does DHL Hold International Packages Only?
While DHL usually holds international packages for a number of possible reasons, it can happen to domestic shipments too.
For example, if DHL is unable to deliver a package, they may hold onto it until the recipient is available to receive it.
Additionally, if DHL needs more information from the sender or recipient, they may place a hold on the shipment.
Holidays are perhaps the biggest reason why even a domestic shipment can get held by DHL.
Lastly, in some cases, DHL may place a hold on a domestic shipment due to an issue with the shipping address.
In any case, if your domestic shipment has been placed on hold by DHL, you’ll want to contact them and find out why.
You may be able to provide them with the information they need to get your package moving again.
How to Contact DHL About a Shipment on Hold
If your DHL shipment is on hold, the best thing to do is to contact DHL customer services directly and speak to a customer service representative. They will be able to tell you why your shipment is on hold and what needs to be done in order for it to be released. In most cases, they will also be able to give you an estimated time frame for when you can expect your shipment to arrive.
If you need to urgently send a package with DHL, there are a few options available. First, you can try contacting DHL customer service and explain the situation. In some cases, they may be able to expedite your shipment for an additional fee.
Another option is to cancel your current shipment and place a new one with another carrier. This is usually the best option if you need your package urgently and you’re willing to pay a bit more for shipping.
Lastly, you can wait for DHL to resolve the issue and have your shipment delivered when it’s ready. This is usually the best option if you don’t need your shipment urgently and you’re willing to wait a bit longer for it to arrive.
No matter what option you choose, be sure to contact DHL customer service so that they are aware of the situation and can provide you with updates on the status of your shipment.