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Royal Mail Tracking: “Item Leaving the UK”

You’ve posted a package overseas using Royal Mail and have received an “Item Leaving the UK” tracking update.

Is this as self-explanatory as it seems or is there more to it?

And what do you do if your tracking ends up stuck on this update?

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Item Leaving the UK

The “Item Leaving the UK” tracking alert from Royal Mail means that the shipment has made its way through Langley HWDC and is being prepared for International transit to the destination country. Essentially, it will soon be loaded onto an airplane for dispatch abroad. 

Item Leaving the UK – Guide

This is a self-explanatory tracking alert, however, it is important to understand that the mail item is not in transit when the update is triggered. 

As far as location, the shipment is still inside the U.K and is waiting to be loaded onto the mode of transport that will take it overseas.

Normally, this presents no problem.

The package has made its way through the various steps of the Langley, Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre, (i.e any customs checks and sorting for international transit), and loading onto the aircraft will commence imminently.

However, sometimes the tracking can end up stuck on this update. This, of course, is frustrating for both the sender and recipient alike.

Tracking Stuck on “Item Leaving the UK”

Item Leaving the UK

So why does the tracking end up stuck? There are two common reasons the “Item Leaving the UK” status alert might stick around for longer than you would like.

Transit Backlog or Mislaid shipment

The first is caused by a genuine logistical issue.

If there is a backlog of items preventing a shipment from being loaded onto an appropriate aircraft for overseas transit, the tracking will not update.

Similarly, if the item ends up mislaid within the export warehouse of Langley HWDC, it will clearly be unavailable for dispatch.

Both scenarios prevent the shipment from proceeding to the next step in the delivery network where it can be scanned and a new update created.

Tracking Continues With Another Carrier

This is another potential reason for the tracking not updating.

Once the package leaves the U.K there will not be another scan or update until it lands in the destination country, (or possible intermediate transit country).

However, sometimes Royal Mail will cease providing those updates. The package is being scanned by another provider after all.

Once it enters the delivery network of the carrier or postal service in the destination country, it will be that service providing the updates.

This means that if your tracking seems stuck, you should enter the details into the local service tracking page (or a universal app such as 17Track or Parcelsapp) to see if any new alerts are available.

Oftentimes you will find the latest updates there instead.

But the Package Really is Stuck!

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If the shipment hasn’t budged for several days or a week or more, you should start by contacting Royal Mail.

However, be prepared for long wait times over the phone, and potentially lackluster responses via email.

You will need to be tenacious.

If after inquiries there, it is determined that the item did actually depart the U.K, you will need to take up inquiries with the carrier responsible for delivery in the destination country.

In this case, sometimes it is better that the recipient is involved too, especially if there are any language barriers preventing solid communication with the local postal service.

Final Words

Overall, the “Item Leaving the UK” tracking alert is a good one to receive.

It means that the package has moved through Langley HWDC and will soon be leaving the U.K toward the destination country.

If the status ends up stuck or the package seems delayed, you should contact Royal Mail for more information.

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