You’ve sent or are expecting a package and you are receiving a DHL Tracking Number “Not Found” error message.
This can be frustrating and sometimes even worrying.
Today we will look into why a DHL tracking number appears as “Not Found” and what you can do about it.
Let’s take a look…
DHL Tracking Number “Not Found” – Reasons Why
There are a number of reasons you might receive a “Not Found” error message when typing in your DHL tracking code.
The most common reasons include the following:
DHL Tracking Number Has Not Been Scanned into the System (Yet)
If you have only just received a tracking number and you are checking the status of the delivery, before the number has been processed into the DHL logistics tracking system, it will register as not found.
The shipper will be provided a tracking number when purchasing the shipment order.
However, if the shipment has yet to begin its journey, i.e has yet to enter DHL’s infrastructure, (dropped at a DHL store or mailbox, or given to a DHL courier) it will have had no chance to be scanned into the system.
In other words, a tracking number has been assigned but has not been registered as active. In this scenario, the tracking alert will show “Not Found”.
The Shipment was Tendered to a 3rd Party
This is another situation where there is a delay between the creation of a DHL tracking number and being scanned.
When a DHL shipment is tendered to a 3rd party, it means that an outside company is responsible for part of the delivery process.
In a case where a tracking number is showing “not found”, it might mean that a 3rd party was in charge of local pick-up from the shipper.
As yet, the package has not reached the actual DHL system. Therefore, any attempt to obtain a tracking update will result in “not found”.
Once DHL has the shipment within its system, a status will be created for you to track.
- Related Content: What Does “Destination Service Area” Mean DHL?
The Package Label Has Been Applied Incorrectly or is Marked or Damaged
The DHL scanners rely on clear labels in order to enter tracking details into the system.
Sorting facilities can be gargantuan in size, with thousands of items rushing along conveyor belts at any one time.
If the shipper has placed a DHL label on the corner of a box, or the label has become marked or damaged, the scanner will not be able to read the number.
When this happens, the package cannot be entered into the system and any attempts of checking the tracking number will result in “not found”.
The solution here is generally time. Packages that cannot be scanned properly will eventually be sorted by hand. They have to be entered into the system by a DHL staff member, rather than a scanner.
- Related Content: What Does “Departure Origin DHL eCommerce Facility” Mean?
You Have the Wrong Tracking Number or Have Entered it Incorrectly
Another reason you might receive a DHL Tracking Number “not Found” error when seeking an update is that you have typed in the wrong number.
With DHL tracking numbers varying between 10 and 13 alphanumeric (or simply numeric) characters long, mistakes can easily happen.
The best way to avoid this is to cut and paste the tracking number from an email or message directly into the DHL tracking number field.
Depending on what you have received from the shipper or DHL, an tracking email will include a clickable link. This will circumvent the need to type in the number.
Either way, it is important to check that you haven’t typed in the number wrong.
Once you are sure this is not the case, it might be that the number you have received is incorrect.
It is a very rare occurrence that DHL will provide the wrong tracking number to accompany an order.
However, if you are relying on the shipper sending you details, or an automated message from an eCommerce store, with tracking details, an error may have occurred in this communication.
If you suspect this might be the case you should reach out to the shipper for confirmation.
- Related Content: Can You Drop Off DHL Packages at USPS?
Insufficient Information to Track the Shipment
DHL states on its website that in some cases they cannot track a shipment due to insufficient information.
DHL suggests that: “The address may be incorrect and we require clarification or some additional information may be required.”
If you are receiving a DHL Tracking Number not Found notification, it could that some information is missing from the shipment.
In this case, DHL state that the issue “can be resolved very quickly by contacting Customer Service.”
The Shipping Method Doesn’t Include Tracking
Finally, there can sometimes be confusion over whether the DHL shipping method provides tracking updates in the first place.
If you are attempting to track a shipment that doesn’t provide tracking updates, you will receive a “not found” error.
This does beg the question of what number you are using. However, it could be the order receipt number or some other number associated with the shipment.
In any case, it will not work as a method of receiving updates in a situation where tracking is unavailable.
- Related Content: Scheduled for Delivery DHL – What does it mean?
DHL Tracking Number “Not Found” – What to Do?
There are a number of steps you can take if you receive a DHL Tracking Number “Not Found” error.
The first is to go through a process of elimination. This would involve checking that the tracking number you have is correct, that you have used it correctly and in some cases, you have not been sent the wrong one.
Another step is to actually be patient and wait. If the shipment has yet to be entered into the DHL system it is recommended you simply wait for 24hrs and check your tracking number again after that.
In many cases, the number will have been registered in that time and you will begin receiving updates as normal.
Finally, you can always contact DHL customer services.
After providing them with your tracking number, they will be able to look into exactly why you are receiving a not found error, and what can be done about it.
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. 🙂