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What Does “PostNL Ready for Shipment” Mean?

You’ve checked your tracking details and have received a “PostNL Ready for Shipment” status alert.

What does this mean exactly? Where is your package when you see this update and is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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“PostNL Ready for Shipment” – Meaning

The “PostNL Ready for Shipment” status alert means that the sender has prepared the consignment and it is ready for the carrier in the origin country to begin the shipment. 

Where is Your Package When You Receive the “PostNL Ready for Shipment” Update?

packages on a table

This status alert from PostNL comes near the beginning of the shipment journey, (normally after the “Item is Pre-Advised” update), and signifies that the sender has prepared the package for shipment and it is ready for dispatch.

The carrier responsible for the shipment in the origin country will deliver the package to the port of exit where it will enter the customs process and be handed over to the linehaul operator for transit overseas. 

In short, when you receive the “PostNL Ready for Shipment” update, the consignment is still in the seller’s warehouse awaiting pickup by the carrier.

What Update Follows a “PostNL Ready for Shipment” Alert?

PostNL Ready for Shipment

The next alert you will receive relevant to PostNL will normally be “Package has arrived at transit location”, (in other words the export location).

However, the regularity of updates is dependent on a number of factors.

If PostNL has its own delivery infrastructure within the country of origin, you can expect alerts as the consignment is prepared for shipment overseas.

For example, a package traveling from Australia to Europe will trigger more updates as PostNL owns facilities in Australia.

Details such as “Final Acceptance in Bulk” will be sent which will inform the customer that the package has been handed over to linehaul, (i.e the service transporting the item on the airplane).

However, the more common use for PostNL is AliExpress shipments from China to Europe and America.

Consignments of this nature use local carrier services based in China, (or China Post) for the first part of the shipment.

PostNL therefore will often provide scant updates until the package is within its physical delivery infrastructure, i.e, once it has completed the overseas transit from China to Europe or America.

Updates that signify this include, “Shipment Received at the PostNL Acceptance Center” and “The item is at the PostNL Sorting Center”.

My Package is Stuck on a “PostNL Ready for Shipment” Alert

girl shrugging

The section above highlights the fact that the “PostNL Ready for Shipment” alert can stick around for several days or more.

After all, the next update might only be triggered once the package arrives in the Netherlands (or Liege in Belgium) and enters a PostNL sorting facility.

This means you will see the ready-for-shipment alert on your tracking page, during the entire customs clearance and international transit process.

Airfreight shipments can easily take between 5 to 7 business days for this, (and that is assuming nothing goes wrong with customs paperwork or delays).

However, if your consignment seems to be stuck on the update for more than this, you will understandably want to start making inquiries.

We recommend one other step first, however. Check other means of tracking your package.

How to Check Your Shipment with Other Tracking Options

tracking details search

So far we have explored the fact that PostNL will not always provide full details of the package location until it has entered its physical delivery infrastructure, (i.e a PostNL facility).

There are still ways of tracking the consignment tracking number during its transit with an overseas carrier.

Our favorite services are 17Track and ParcelsApp.

These free online web apps allow you to enter your international tracking number into the search field and the system will then scan hundreds of potential carriers looking for details of your shipment.

In other words, although PostalNL does not yet have the package, another carrier will be scanning it during transit.

These services attempt to find details of these scans.

That being said, two common PostNL partner carriers working in China are Spring Global Mail and Huanhan Logistic.

Both of these carriers will be searched by the aforementioned tracking services.

I Still Cannot Find any More Details After a “PostNL Ready for Shipment” Alert

girl frustrated on computer

If more than 7 business days pass and the alert remains the same, (and you cannot find tracking updates anywhere else), it is time to contact the shipper.

It could be that the package has got mislaid in the warehouse and was not picked up by the local carrier.

If dispatch from the seller was successfully completed, the company in question will need to make contact with the local carrier to find out more about the consignment location.

You should also contact PostNL, however, do not expect much help there if the package has yet to enter its delivery infrastructure. They will just tell you to wait longer.

One other recourse available if the order was made via AliExpress, is your buyer protection period.

This will provide you with 60 days’ cover (from the time the order was made) in case the item does not arrive.

If the seller is less than helpful and your package remains lost in transit, you will be able to open a dispute through AliExpress in order to claim a refund.

How to Contact PostNL

woman on mobile phone

The PostNL Customer Service section on the website has a detailed guides section in various languages.

This is a good resource for the answers to common customer questions.

However, if you have a specific query about a shipment problem you will understandably want to talk to a human. You can do this via:

  • Phone: 088-2255555
  • Phone: +31 900 0990
  • Twitter: @PostNL

The customer service on Twitter has operators ready to reply 24/7. The phone services are available Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Final Words

The “PostNL Ready for Shipment” update is an alert that is triggered at the beginning of the shipment journey. Patience is key as there is still a long way for the package to go.

However, once PostNL has the package within its shipment infrastructure, (i.e can physically scan it) you will receive fresh updates.

If you require more frequent alerts in the meantime, you should enter your tracking number in a universal tracking search system.

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