You’re expecting a shipment from overseas and have received a “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport” status alert.
What does this mean and what should you do if the tracking becomes stuck?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport
This update means that the shipment has departed the airport in an intermediate transit country. The package transferred planes at this airport and is now in transit toward the destination country.
Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport – Guide
The “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport” update is a self-explanatory alert to receive.
Much like a person flying from Europe to Australia may transfer planes in South Korea for example, so too will an international shipment traveling long distances.
Very few packages will ship from China to Europe in one flight.
When the shipment lands at an intermediate transit country, changes planes, and then departs that airport, the “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport” can be triggered.
In other words, the package has just left that transfer country and is now on its way to the destination country.
- Related Content: Shipment Transiting to Next Station – SF Express
How Far From Delivery Is My Package?
Unfortunately, the shipment will still be days if not weeks when you receive this update.
This is because the process of import customs clearance has yet to take place.
In fact, the package isn’t even in the destination country when you see this alert.
As it has just departed the transfer airport, the package is now in transit once more.
When it finally arrives in the destination country, it will go through customs clearance, and assuming there are no complications, will be handed to the relevant carrier for delivery.
In short, do not expect delivery any time soon, especially on an economy shipment from China.
Tracking Stuck on “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport”
In line with the above section, it is important to measure your expectations when it comes to progress after seeing this update.
Although the item is in transit, it may not receive another scan (and therefore tracking update) for multiple days, sometimes even weeks.
Again, I am referring to economic shipments from China when I say this.
However, a combination of a lack of tracking alerts when a package arrives in the destination country, plus the fact customs may have the parcel for a period of time before it is handed to the carrier for delivery, all mean that radio silence in terms of updates is a common outcome.
My advice would be to wait it out.
Unless an expedited international service speed was ordered, you should expect a long wait on the arrival of your package.
What to do if Tracking is Stuck
If days into weeks pass with no new updates, you will understandably get frustrated.
There are two proactive steps I would recommend if this is the case.
Universal Tracking App
These free services scan the tracking databases of hundreds of carriers.
If your original carrier has stopped tracking the item upon its arrival in the destination country, (which is often the case with low-budget carriers operating from China), using one of these apps will help reveal any new information that might exist.
Hopefully, the progress report will show that the item has indeed landed in the destination country and that the final delivery is not far away.
Contact the Seller / Platform You Ordered From
If you have ordered from an eCommerce platform based in China, you will have means of claiming compensation if the item is delayed beyond the proposed delivery window, or is actually lost.
Using the platform you ordered from you can contact the seller and/or start the claims process, (assuming the cover period still exists).
Depending on the platform in question you may have to wait well over a month before you can do this, however, (by way of example, AliExpress has a 60 Day buyer’s guarantee period).
- Related Content: 4PX Hand Over to Airline – Tracking Guide
Overall, the “Your Item Departed a Transfer Airport” is a standard alert that informs you the package is in transit again after stopping at a transfer airport.
The fact it has yet to arrive in the detention country means you still have a wait on your hands.
If this is a low-budget carrier shipment out of China, patience will often be a virtue.
Good luck, I hope your parcel will be with you soon.
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. 🙂