You’ve ordered a product from AliExpress and you’ve received a tracking update stating “Inbound in Sorting Center”.
What does this alert mean exactly? Is your package still in China? How long before it arrives? We’ll answer all that and more in this quick guide.
AliExpress “Inbound in Sorting Center” – Meaning
The AliExpress “Inbound in sorting center” alert means that the package has arrived at the processing center of the shipping company in China. From here it will be sorted and despatched to the shipping port (or airport) for international transit.
Why is my package stuck on “Inbound in Sorting Center”?
It is important to be prepared for a long wait when ordering items from AliExpress if they are being shipped by sea. Packages can take over a month to arrive.
With that in mind, it is normal for a package to be stuck on “Inbound in Sorting Center” for weeks at a time.
The sorting center is where the item can be delayed while the carrier organizes the logistics of the international transit.
In other words, your package seems stuck on “Inbound in Sorting Center” because the sea-bound shipping service from China is slow.
- Related Content: What Does “Package Arrived at International Carrier” Mean?
What to do if your package is stuck on “Inbound in Sorting Center”?
If an unreasonable time has passed with no tracking updates, you will understandably want to investigate.
[Note: AliExpress has a (60 day) buyer protection period, so don’t let this expire before you start looking into why your package is delayed].
Here are some practical steps you can take when your package is stuck on the “Inbound in Sorting Center” update.
- Related Content: What Does “Outbound in Sorting Center” Mean? (AliExpress)
Check the tracking number
First, it is a good idea to check your tracking number on a free universal tracking service, (we recommend Parcelsapp).
This will automatically scan multiple carrier tracking systems for information related to that tracking number.
If your package has been handed over to another carrier service, a universal tracker may be able to locate the details for you.
It could well be a lot closer to delivery than you think.
- Related Content: What Does the “Accepted by Carrier” Update Mean? (AliExpress)
Contact the shipper
If checking the tracking number doesn’t reveal any updated information and several weeks have passed, you should contact the AliExpress seller that you bought the product from.
The shipper is best placed to make enquires with the carrier company direct. They will be able to start looking into what the hold-up is and where the package is located.
Raise a support ticket with AliExpress
AliExpress vendors rely heavily on reviews. If you the shipper seem unforthcoming with help on the situation, you could open a dispute through AliExpress.
We would recommend that you simply contact customer services via the Chat service first, however. (The dispute path can take time, and the seller may reasonably act without you taking this route.)
Having the platform involved, even just aware of the situation rather than acting on it is a good way of creating an incentive for the shipper to solve the issue.
This may come in the form of a replacement item sent or steps taken with the carrier service.
- Related Content: What Does “Inbound Failure in Sorting Center” Mean? (AliExpress)
Overall the “Inbound in Sorting Center” tracking update when ordering from AliExpress is not something to be concerned about, even if it remains for several weeks. The shipment process from China is slow at the best of times.
However, if it seems as if your package is not moving, your best course of action is to contact the shipper and ask them to make inquiries with the carrier.
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. 🙂