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Royal Mail “Sender Despatching Item”: Meaning?

You’ve posted a package overseas using Royal Mail and have received a “Sender Despatching Item” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you see this update and what should you do if the tracking is stuck?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Sender Despatching Item

The “Sender Despatching Item” tracking alert means that the sender has purchased the shipping label for the item, however, it has yet to be scanned within the Royal Mail delivery network.  

Sender Despatching Item – Guide

packages on a table

The “Sender Despatching Item” alert is a standard Royal Mail tracking update that is triggered at the point the sender purchases the shipping label for the package.

This is normally via an online shipping label purchase or that of a business sender.

However, the package will not be inside the Royal Mail delivery network at the point the alert is sent.

The sender will have to physically post the item for this to happen, (or organise for Royal Mail to pick it up).

The tracking will then update the moment the package is scanned into the network. This can occur via the Royal Mail delivery (pick-up) person, at the post office, or inside a Mailing Centre.

Tracking Stuck on “Sender Despatching Item”

girl on laptop frustrated

Frustration can arise if the tracing ends up stuck on this alert.

The sender will wonder what the delay is with Royal Mail, and will be concerned that the item was somehow posted incorrectly.

The recipient will also consider these issues, while also wondering if the fault lies with the sender and that the item has in fact not been sent as yet.

However, it is important for both parties to realise that it can sometimes take a few days for a package to be scanned into the Royal Mail network.

The situation was common during the industry-wide strain caused by the pandemic.

Staffing issues all along the delivery chain during lockdown meant that mail items were delayed. 

This also applied to the beginning of the shipment process where a package waits to receive its first scan.

girl with face mask

Although those issues have abated now that covid is having less of an impact, any kind of short delay or backlog of packages will affect a shipment in terms of the length of time it takes to be scanned.

This is especially true of Royal Mail economy options where speed is sacrificed over cost. 

In other words, if the tracking is stuck on “Sender Despatching Item” for 2 or 3 days, you should not immediately assume the worst.

In most cases, the item will eventually receive its first scan, and you will have evidence that it is moving through the delivery network.

But it Really is Stuck!?

Sender Despatching Item

Okay, if the mail item is being shipped using expedited delivery (within 24hrs etc), or more than 3 days have passed on an economy shipment you have genuine grounds for concern.

First, if you are the recipient, you should check with the sender that the item has in fact been posted.

If you are the sender and have been delayed in handing the item over to Royal Mail, you should also make that clear to the recipient. (And then post the package straight away.)

In situations where the package has clearly been inside the Royal Mail network for several days with no new updates, either party should make contact to see what the delay is.

Royal Mail can be contacted here.

What Happens After the “Sender Despatching Item” Update?

Sender Despatching Item

In normal circumstances, the mail item is handed over or picked up by Royal Mail and the first scan it receives will trigger a new update.

This will be “Item Despatched to Royal Mail” or words to that effect.

Essentially, the alert will communicate the fact that Royal Mail has the package and the shipment journey has begun.

Final Words

Overall, the “Sender Despatching Item” is a standard Royal Mail tracking alert that is triggered once the sender has purchased a shipping label.

Before long, the item will be inside the delivery network and will receive a physical scan for the first time.

At that point, you know that the package is making its way to the destination address.

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