You’re expecting a delivery from an online order and have received a “Carrier Picked Up the Package” status update.
What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you see this alert and what should you do if the tracking is stuck?
Let’s take a look…
Summary: Carrier Picked Up the Package
The “Carrier Picked Up the Package” status alert means that the carrier responsible for delivery has picked up the item from the sender (or fulfillment warehouse) and that the item is now on its way to the destination. However, to add confusion, Amazon orders will often trigger this update once the shipment order is made, rather than when it is handed over to the carrier.
Carrier Picked Up the Package – Guide
Let’s first look at the most common scenario for the update.
The alert is generally triggered once the package is scanned as being picked up by the carrier responsible for the shipment.
This happens at the origin location, i.e where the sender is (seller warehouse or fulfillment center).
Clearly, the package is at the very beginning of the shipment journey when you see this alert.
- Related Content: What Does the “Accepted by Carrier” Update Mean? (AliExpress)
The Amazon Anomaly
However, in a manner that can understandably confuse customers, an Amazon order will often show as “Carrier Picked Up the Package” at the moment the shipment order is made with the carrier.
In other words, the alert is sent at the moment the carrier has received instructions to ship the package.
At this stage, the physical item is still inside the seller’s warehouse.
In fact, only the shipping label may have been created (and a tracking number assigned), and the product still needs to be packaged before it is picked up by the carrier.
- Related Content: “Handed Over to Carrier” – Tracking Guide
In this scenario, the point at which the carrier actually has the physical item (rather than just details in its database), is signified by a “Carrier Has Received the Package” update.
The moment that the “Carrier Picked Up the Package” is triggered and the point at which the carrier actually has the item is normally no more than a few hours, (pick-up will occur that business day in most cases), however, it can cause confusions if a delay does occur.
Tracking Stuck on “Carrier Picked Up the Package”
To understand what is going on if your tracking is stuck on this update it is important to discern which of the above scenarios apply.
The Package is With the Carrier
If the carrier already has the package in that it has been physically picked up, the delay will have occurred either on the way (transit issues) or inside (volume issues) the first sorting facility that the item arrives at.
Until the item is scanned within the facility, you will continue to see the “Carrier Picked Up the Package” as the last update.
As the bracketed items in the sentence above allude to, when in transit to the facility bad weather, traffic, or mechanical problems could have delayed the item.
Furthermore, upon arrival at the facility, high package volumes, technical disruptions, and staffing problems (covid, etc) can lead to a delay in your item being scanned.
If any of these issues occur it could be several days before you see a new update with details of progress.
- Related Content: “The Parcel Was Handed Over to GLS” – Tracking Guide
The Package is Still With the Sender
In the case where the package is still with the sender (warehouse or fulfillment center), the delay has clearly occurred there.
Either the carrier has failed to pick up the item in a timely manner, or the sender has failed to dispatch the product.
Until the carrier has the physical item and it has been scanned into the delivery network, you will continue to see “Carrier Picked Up the Package”.
What to do if Tracking Stuck?
Thankfully, the steps you take will apply to either of the scenarios we have been looking at.
To confirm whether the carrier actually has the package you should contact the seller first.
If the item has in fact been handed over, the next step is to contact the carrier for more information.
If the seller has been dragging their heels on releasing the item, hopefully, your being in contact will instigate immediate dispatch to the carrier.
In each case, (depending on the delivery service speed ordered), I recommend waiting up to around 5 business days before making contact.
This is a reasonable amount of time for the package to start moving through the delivery network after your order has been made.
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. 🙂