You’ve ordered an item on AliExpress and you’ve received an “Outbound in Sorting Center” tracking update for the package.
What does this mean? Is your item on its way? Is it still in China? What happens next?
Let’s take a look…
“Outbound in Sorting Center” – Meaning?
The “Outbound in Sorting Center” update means that your package is being dispatched from the carrier’s sorting center in China and is about to enter the customs clearance process at the export location.
How Long Will my Package Take to Arrive After an “Outbound in Sorting Center” Update?
Unfortunately, your package is still at the beginning of its journey when you receive this update. How long it will take to arrive from here will vary.
The three main factors are whether your package is to leave China via air or sea and whether the customs process goes smoothly.
Thankfully, the latter rarely presents any problem. The majority of AliExpress sellers export goods from China every day, and the process is simple.
However, it can take anything from a day to several weeks to pass through customs clearance.
During that time, you may not receive any update on the progress of your package.
Add that to the fact that sea-bound transit can also take several weeks, (depending on your location) and you can see how AliExpress customers based in the west will often wait up to 2 months for a package to arrive.
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What to do when my package is stuck on the “Outbound in Sorting Center” update?
As mentioned above, your package could be stuck on this update for weeks.
A combination of long waiting times for customs clearance and unreliable tracking in China (you might not even get an update when your item successfully leaves customs), means you need to be prepared for the long wait.
However, there are guidelines you can follow when it comes to taking action if your package is held on the “Outbound in Sorting Center” update.
This is to do with the 60-day buyer protection period. We recommend that you should start making inquiries with the seller in line with this protection period.
In other words, you should make contact and/or open a dispute for non-receipt before this period runs out.
AliExpress has a dedicated section on how to open a dispute. You can also contact AliExpress or the seller directly via the website.
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As already mentioned, for the first few weeks of your package journey you should expect a level of “radio silence” when it comes to tracking updates.
The “Outbound in Sorting Center” update means that the package has left the carrier facility in China and is on its way to export customs clearance.
This can often be the last you will hear of your package in terms of updates for a considerable period.
Try to have faith that the package is slowly making its way to you, and keep on an eye on the buyer protection period.
Once this is close to finishing start inquiring with the seller on the package progress and be ready to raise a dispute if necessary.
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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. 🙂