You’re expecting a package from abroad and you have just received a “Departed Country of Origin” tracking alert.
What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you receive this update and is there anything you need to do?
Let’s take a look…
SUMMARY: Departed Country of Origin
The “Departed Country of Origin” tracking alert means that the shipment has left (or is about to leave) the country which it originates from. Essentially, it means that the package has been handed over to the international transportation carrier responsible for the cross-border shipment.
Departed Country of Origin – Guide
When you receive the “Departed Country of Origin” update you know that the first steps of the shipment journey have successfully taken place.
The package has been released by the sender and handed over to the carrier within the origin country.
It has then made its way to the exit point for transit abroad. This is generally an airport or seaport if the origin country is China.
However, for cross-border shipments within Europe or between the Americas, it could also be cargo trains or trucks.
Whatever the scenario, at the exit point from the origin country the shipment will be subject to customs clearance.
The successful completion of this will see the package handed over to the carrier responsible for cross-border transit.
IT IS DURING THIS HANDOVER THAT THE PACKAGE WILL BE SCANNED BY THE OPERATOR AND THE “DEPARTING COUNTRY OF ORIGIN” UPDATE IS CREATED.
This is why the shipment could be in traveling out of the origin country when you see this update or will be doing so soon.
Due to the fact the item will now be in transit for however long it takes to reach the destination country (or in many cases an intermediate country), you will not receive any more updates for two or more days at the very least.
- Related Content: What Does “Arrival at Export Hub” Mean (Tracking Guide)
How Long Will My Package Take After “Departed Country of Origin”?
It is impossible to say how long your package will take to deliver after this update as there are so many variables at play.
Let’s take a best-case situation as an example.
Your shipment is an express air delivery and it takes just 48hrs to go from the “Departed Country of Origin” update to an alert that signifies your item has landed in the destination country.
It passes through customs clearance without a hitch and is picked up by the local carrier within another 24hrs.
It then goes through a regional facility before being delivered to your door.
In this case, the shipment has taken between 3 and 5 days depending on the delivery location.
Now let’s shift some of those variables and a few curveballs, (this is international carrier logistics after all) when sending exactly the same package.
Imagine that an economy shipping service has been used. This is via cargo ship rather than airplane. The package does not travel direct but passed through an intermediate country.
When it changes ship, (triggering an “Uplifted from transshipment hub” alert), it is held on the dock for a week awaiting the next available container ship.
It then arrives at the destination country, and there are delays before it can be cleared by customs.
A week later it is inspected by customs staff and there are document issues.
This takes another week of to-and-fro with the sender before release and then it is finally handed over to the local carrier for final delivery.
That same package has now taken over a month to be delivered.
- Related Content: Departed From Export Office – EMS Tracking Guide
My Package is Stuck on “Departed Country of Origin”
As mentioned above, depending on the shipment service used your tracking could be stuck on the “Departed Country of Origin” update for several days (airfreight) to several weeks (container ship).
Even then, the fact that your package might not even have been loaded onto a method of transport when you receive the update, also means there can be a delay here if the relevant transport isn’t available.
This is especially evident with shipments from China where economy carriers (both air and sea) can take multiple days to have consignments loaded and shipped by the linehaul operators, (we have covered the issue in detail here).
As a rule of thumb, however, if your airfreight shipment is stuck on the “Departed Country of Origin” update for more than 10 days, you have grounds to start making inquiries.
If your package is being sent via cargo ship, I recommend that you do not even concern yourself until several weeks have passed.
- Related Content: What Does “Arrival Distribution Office” Mean? (BPost Tracking)
What to do if Your Package is Stuck on “Departed Country of Origin”
My recommendation on what to do if your package is stuck is to first wait for an appropriate amount of time to pass in line with the delivery method.
Only then should you engage in inquiries.
1. Use a Universal Tracking App
After allowing sufficient time to pass your first proactive step can be the use of a free universal tracking app.
This means that you will need to use a tracking app to see if any further updates have been created by the service/s that have handled your package during cross-border transit.
Being able to see updated progress will undoubtedly put your mind at rest. Hopefully, the package is making its way to the destination address and will be delivered soon.
2. Contact the Seller
If a universal tracking app offers no new information, you will need to make contact with the shipper.
Carrier companies are more likely to respond faster to the account holder that made the original shipment order.
The shipper will be able to take steps with the carrier to see what the delay is.
The way in which you contact the shipper will vary depending on the platform you used for your original purchase.
In most cases, you will be able to log into your account and bring up the details of the order in question.
This should reveal a menu option that enables you to contact the seller via email or contact form.
3. Raise a Dispute with the Sales Platform
If the seller is not helpful or you wish to avoid that step, you can contact the sales platform to assist in any dispute.
Platforms such as AliExpress have buyer guarantee periods that cover you (for 60 days) in case of non-delivery.
Again, the account area of the platform you used should point you in the direction of how to do this.
Similar Updates to “Departed Country of Origin”
“Departed Country of Origin” is the tracking alert used by a number of carrier services, (particularly those working within China).
Similar wording alerts that amount to the same thing include “Departed from AIRPORT of Origin” (used by Yun Express) and “The Item is on Transport to the Country of Destination” (used by PostNL).
Essentially, this is an alert that is self-explanatory so if you receive an update with similar wording all of the above information will apply.
Receiving the “Departed Country of Origin” update is a positive step. It means the difficult process involved with exporting from the origin country has been successfully completed.
The package is on the next chapter of its journey toward the destination address.
Only if the tracking becomes stuck on this update should you begin to make inquiries, and even then, you should allow an adequate amount of time to pass first.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂