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What Does “Inbound Failure in Sorting Center” Mean? (AliExpress)

You’ve just received a tracking update from your latest AliExpress order and it states “Inbound failure in sorting center”.

You’re now worried. What does this mean exactly? Will your package ever reach you?

Let’s take a look…

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What Does “Inbound Failure in Sorting Center” Mean?

The “Inbound failure in sorting center” tracking update means that a problem has occurred at the carrier sorting center and the package is on hold or has been sent back to the shipper. Normally, this status alert will have an additional line of information that will help explain what has caused the inbound shipment failure.

The Different Types of “Inbound Failure in Sorting Center”


What has happened to your package will depend on the accompanying details.

Common issues include:

Inbound Failure in Sorting Center, “Intellectual Property Rights Problem”

This problem arises with orders that have violated intellectual property laws. In other words, shipments that contain fake and counterfeit products.

AliExpress has attempted to crack down on this in recent years, and shipment failures on orders containing counterfeit goods are a part of this.

Your first step in this situation is to contact the seller. However, you may receive radio silence in light of the product being fake.

If this is the case, you will need to open a dispute before the 60-day buyer guarantee period runs out in order to claim your money back.

Inbound Failure in Sorting Center, “Security Check Failure”

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This type of inbound shipment failure is where the package contents are on a prohibited shipments list or are deemed a security threat to the mode of transportation being used.

If you believe that your shipment has failed a security check due to an error, you will need to contact the shipper for further information and assistance on the next steps.

Inbound Failure in Sorting Center, “Overweight”

Inbound Failure in Sorting Center

In this situation, the inbound failure has occurred due to the shipment being overweight.

This is generally a mistake on the part of the shipper in that they have used the wrong method of delivery (or not paid adequate charges) for the weight and size of the item.

The seller does have the means to solve this issue with the carrier and the shipment will continue accordingly.

However, sometimes the package will be returned to the sender. In any case, you will need to contact the shipper when you receive this update in order to arrange a solution.

Again, if the sender is unable or unwilling to solve the problem you will need to open a dispute via Aliexpress.

Inbound Failure in Sorting Center “Reason: Arrears”


This version of the update is more of an umbrella, catch-all type of situation.

In other words, it is unspecific in detail but the outcome is the same. A problem has occurred with the shipment.

The same steps should be taken here as explained above. Namely, make contact with the shipper to see if the situation can be resolved.

If they are unhelpful you will need to raise your dispute within 60 days of the original order date.

“Inbound Failure in Sorting Center” – No Specifics

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AliExpress and carrier updates from China are notoriously unreliable. Very often you may receive this update with no particulars attached.

In this situation, the inbound failure will sometimes resolve itself. The package will be looped back through the facility and make progress without any additional steps being undertaken.

If you receive an “Inbound failure in sorting center” of this nature, try not to assume the worst.

Yes, you should send the shipper a notification of the alert and see what the response is.

Either way, it is recommended that you allow time to see if the package can be processed through the sorting facility before jumping in with a dispute.

Final Words

Essentially, the “Inbound Failure in Sorting Center” status update is a notification that an issue has occurred with the shipment.

However, it is important to realize that this issue is not always insurmountable and in some situations will resolve itself.

That being said, when more specific details are provided you should contact the seller in order to come to a solution on the hold.

This will be especially relevant if the package has been automatically sent back to them.

In cases where the sender is not being particularly cooperative, you will need to keep an eye on your 60-day buyer’s guarantee period, to ensure that any dispute is raised before your time runs out.

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