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What Does “Prepared for Delivery” Mean? (Parcelforce)

You’re expecting a delivery from Parcelforce and received a “Prepared for Delivery” update.

What does this mean exactly? How far is your package from delivery and what should you do if the tracking becomes stuck?

Let’s take a look…

cropped SITE ICON

Summary: Parcelforce “Prepared for Delivery”

A “Prepared for Delivery” tracking update from Parcelforce means that the package is inside a facility close to the recipient’s location and has been assigned a delivery route and driver for final delivery. You will normally receive your package within 24 to 48hrs of receiving the update.

Parcelforce “Prepared for Delivery” – Guide

parcel force van

This is a good alert to receive.

It means that the package has reached the last stage of the shipment journey. 

It is inside a Parcelforce facility in the region of the recipient’s address and will soon go out for delivery.

The “Prepared for Delivery” aspect that the alert refers to, is simply being assigned a delivery route with a particular driver.

The next step will be for the package to be loaded onto a van and delivery will normally take place the next business day.

What Happens if Tracking Stuck on “Prepared for Delivery”?

girl shrugging

The chances are, you have reached this article because you have received this update and several days have passed with no sign of your package.

If this is the case, something has gone wrong.

1. Wasn’t Loaded Onto the Parcelforce Van

full warehouse of packages
Artist Impression – Not Really a Parcelforce Facility 🙂

One likely outcome is that the package failed to be loaded onto the assigned Parcelforce van and is still inside the facility.

Here the issue could potentially go unnoticed until the package reenters the delivery network, (i.e. is scanned again).

This can take several days to occur.

2. Was Loaded Onto the Wrong Van

wrong way

Another possible reason is that the package was simply dispatched via the wrong delivery van.

As with the outcome above, the shipment will need to re-enter the delivery network. The driver will need to notice the package and return it to the facility where it can be reassigned once more.

Again, this process will cause your item to go “missing” for a few days.

3. General Delays in the Parcelforce Facility


You should not also rule out general delays in the facility.

Is a Royal Mail strike on at the moment, (they have really been at it of late).

It could also be a result of technical issues, staff shortages (especially prevalent during the height of the pandemic), or maybe even freak weather.

All of these can cause your package to be stuck on “Prepared for Delivery” with no sign of delivery taking place.

What to do if Package Stuck?

woman on phone complaining

Parcelforce customer services can be a pain to get hold of. 

Long telephone queues and lackluster answers when you do get someone on the phone, seem to be the common experience.

This is why I do recommend that you wait at least 3 days before making inquiries, (unless of course delivery is a matter of urgency, or a premium speed service was used).

Very often, packages that are delayed at this stage, will get noticed soon enough and go out for delivery as they should. 

In other words, without taking action, your parcel will arrive.

However, Parcelforce can be contacted on 0344 800 4466.

And you may have better luck trying to find the contact details of your local Parcelforce facility/depot and getting someone on the line there.

Have your tracking number ready when you do.

Final Words

parcelforce van

Overall, the “Prepared for Delivery” update is a good one to receive. You know your package is close.

The flip side is that it also makes things frustrating if you experience a delay this far into the shipment process.

With any luck, the situation will correct itself, if not, you will have no choice but to contact Parcelforce to see what the hold-up is.

Good luck 🙂

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