You’re expecting a package and have received a 4PX “Hand Over to Airline” tracking alert.
What does this mean exactly? Where is your shipment when you receive this update and how far is it from delivery?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: 4PX Hand Over to Airline
The “Hand Over to Airline” tracking alert from 4PX means that the carrier has handed over the shipment to the airline operator (also known as the line-haul operator) that is responsible for overseas transit. The airline will either be flying to the destination country or to an intermediate transit country.
4PX Hand Over to Airline – Guide
When you receive this tracking update from 4PX you are being told that your shipment is about to begin the next stage of the transit journey.
4PX does not operate using its own aircraft for long-haul transit.
Therefore, when a package reaches the stage where overseas transit is required, 4PX will hand the item over to the airline responsible for that section of the journey.
As explained in the summary above, this airline may fly the package directly to the destination country.
However, sometimes an intermediate transit country will be required.
- Related Content: 4PX Parcel Information Received – Meaning
Much like long-haul passenger journeys have connecting flights, so does a shipment traveling from China to Iceland for example.
In fact, while on the subject of intermediate transit, if your package is an AliExpress order being fulfilled by 4PX, European orders will often fly into Liege airport in Belgium.
Belgium is therefore an intermediate country before the shipment finishes its journey toward the country of the recipient.
What Happens After a 4PX “Hand Over to Airline” Alert?
As the shipment should be in the air not long after you receive the update, there will be a period of a few days when the item will not receive any scans.
It is inside the hull of an aircraft, after all 🙂
All the same, 4PX does send a “Shipment Departed from Airport of Origin Country” alert, once the aircraft takes off.
Upon landing, it will either need to go through customs clearance of the destination country or will be forwarded onto the next mode of transit if further overseas travel is required.
Again, this can mean that new updates take time to appear.
The Tracking is Stuck on This Update
There are a number of reasons your package might be stuck on the “Hand Over to Airline” update.
First and foremost, you should understand that 4PX is a low-cost carrier, very often used by China-based e-commerce platforms.
This low-cost approach means that 4PX packages are also a lower priority for the line-haul operators shipping the items overseas.
Progress through facilities can also be slow.
This is why regular customers of the likes of AliExpress, Wish, etc, advise that you try to ignore the status updates (or lack thereof) as much as possible.
Also, a very long delay before any new updates may suggest a customs clearance issue upon arrival in the destination country.
Unless tax or duties are owed, (which is the responsibility of the recipient) the seller will need to be involved with any issues pertaining to clearance.
Customs will contact you if problems of this nature have occurred, however.
Overall, the “4PX Hand Over to Airline” status alert is a positive one to receive.
Your package is about to begin overseas transit and will therefore be closer to you by the time it lands.
Delays can occur as these are budget carriers and customs will be the next step once the item arrives in the destination country.
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. 🙂