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What Does “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” DHL Mean?

You’re expecting a package from DHL and you have received a “Forwarded to a Third-Party Agent” status alert.

You’re now wondering what on earth that means. Who is this third party? Has someone stolen your package? Where is it now?

Let’s take a look…

“Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” DHL – Meaning

The “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” status alert means that DHL has passed the shipment to another carrier to complete the next leg of the consignment journey, or to complete the delivery.

Where is My Package When I Receive the “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” DHL” Update?


This update normally occurs when the delivery area is outside the reach of the DHL delivery infrastructure.

It will often be for international shipments into a country where DHL does not have an expansive network.

In this case, the third-party agent will be the local postal service (or local carrier) that covers the delivery area.

In other words, your package is nearing the end of its journey when you receive the update. A third-party agent will be responsible for the final delivery.

Forwarded to a Third Party Agent

Other examples where a third-party agent is used

Third-party agents can be used by DHL even in countries where the delivery network coverage is broad.

For example, within the USA DHL is able to reach 160 million addresses. However, this in itself is possible through the company’s relationship with USPS.

Furthermore, where DHL is under pressure and cannot complete a delivery, (for any reason from staffing to backlogs, etc), the company can call upon third-party agents to complete the delivery.

In this case, USPS, Amazon, or a smaller, local-based carrier company may be used.

How Can I Track My Package After a “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” Update?

Forwarded to a Third Party Agent

If DHL has passed on your consignment to a third-party agent, you will not always see any further updates on your DHL tracking page.

This is because the package is no longer being shipped by DHL.

If you find that your tracking is not updating, you should enter the number that you have into a universal tracking service.

Many of these are free, and we recommend 17Track or ParcelsApp.

Simply enter your number into the appropriate field on the homepage of these websites, and the system will scan all major carrier companies to find details on your shipment.

In cases where you have no idea what carrier your package has been handed to, these systems are extremely helpful.

My Package is Stuck on “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent”, What Now?

dhl package stuck in warehouse

If you have tried the DHL tracking page as well as the universal tracking apps mentioned above, and your package seems to have gone missing, you should contact DHL.

There are a few ways to do this, (call, email, and live chat) and after citing the details of the shipment, a representative will be able to look into which third-party agent your package has been dispatched to, and other important information about the delivery.

The “Cannot be Delivered by Third Party Agent” Update

woman shrugging

If you have received the “Cannot be Delivered by Third Party Agent” status alert from DHL, you will have to make contact with DHL customer services.

This update means that for some reason an issue has occurred with the third-party agent, and the carrier was unable to finalize delivery.

The package will either be handed back to DHL, or a re-delivery attempt will be made (or have to be organized).

Final Words

Essentially, the “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” status alert from DHL is a standard update that means your package has been handed to another carrier for (in most cases) final delivery.

Unless your tracking remains stuck on this alert, your package will be with you soon.

1 thought on “What Does “Forwarded to a Third Party Agent” DHL Mean?”

  1. Forwarded to a Third Party Agent means that the package has been forwarded to a third party for handling. This could be a mail carrier, a courier service, or a postal service.


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