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Royal Mail: Sender is Preparing Item for Posting

You’re expecting a Royal Mail delivery and have received a “Sender is Preparing Item for Posting” Tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you see this alert and what should you do if the tracking ends up stuck on it?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Sender is Preparing Item for Posting

This tracking alert means that the sender is in the process of getting the item ready to be dispatched through Royal Mail’s delivery network. In other words, the sender has made an order with Royal Mail to ship the item and is now preparing the package for release.

Sender is Preparing Item for Posting

packages on a table

At the point the alert is triggered, the package is still in the possession of the sender.

It has not yet been handed over to Royal Mail’s distribution centers or couriers for further processing.

As mentioned in the summary above, the sender is preparing the package for dispatch to Royal Mail.

To give you a better idea of what’s happening at this stage of the process, the sender will be carrying out the following tasks in order to prepare the item for postage:

  1. Packaging: Ensuring the item is securely and appropriately packaged to prevent damage during transit.
  2. Labeling: Attaching the necessary shipping labels, barcodes, and tracking information to the package. This is essential for accurate tracking and sorting.
  3. Documentation: Completing any required customs documentation for international shipments, including declarations and invoices.
  4. Scheduling Pickup or Drop-off: Choosing a convenient pickup time or dropping off the package at a local Royal Mail post office, collection point, or designated mailbox.

Package Location and Tracking Progress

package in warehouse

Since the package is still in the possession of the sender during this alert, it remains at the sender’s location—whether it’s a personal residence, business, or fulfillment center.

As a result, we know that the package hasn’t entered the Royal Mail distribution network yet.

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My Tracking is Stuck on “Sender is Preparing Item for Posting”


While the tracking process is generally smooth, there are instances when tracking updates might get stuck on “Sender is preparing item for posting.”

Several factors could contribute to this scenario:

  1. Processing Delays: The sender might experience delays in packaging, labeling, or completing required documentation. This could result in a delay before the package is officially handed over to Royal Mail.
  2. System Update Lag: Sometimes, tracking systems might not immediately reflect the actual progress due to technical glitches or system updates. This can lead to temporary stuck updates.
  3. Sender’s Error: If the sender fails to properly hand over the package to Royal Mail after the initial preparation, the tracking status might remain stagnant.

Resolving Stuck Updates

woman on phone

If the tracking update remains stuck on “Sender is preparing item for posting” for an extended period, it’s recommended to take the following steps:

  1. Contact Sender: If you are the recipient, get in touch with the sender to verify if the package has indeed been dispatched. They might provide additional information on the status of the shipment.
  2. Check for Updates: Regularly check the tracking information provided by Royal Mail. Updates could start flowing once the package is officially handed over to the carrier.
  3. Contact Royal Mail: If a significant delay persists, you can reach out to Royal Mail’s customer service for assistance. Provide them with your tracking number and any relevant details to inquire about the status of your shipment.

Final Words

carrier van

The tracking alert “Sender is preparing item for posting” from Royal Mail indicates that the sender is getting the package ready for dispatch, but it has not yet entered Royal Mail’s distribution network.

While delays and stuck updates can occur, staying informed about the potential issues and taking proactive steps can help ensure a smoother shipping experience for both senders and recipients.

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