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What does “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” Mean? (AliExpress)

You’ve ordered an item from AliExpress and you have received a “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” tracking update.

What does this mean? Where is your package when you receive this update and what happens next?

Let’s take a look…

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“Shipment at Local Distribution Center” Meaning?

When an AliExpress tracking status shows “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” it means that the package has arrived in the destination country. The local distribution center is normally a large carrier facility at the point of import capable of processing international packages.

Shipment at Local Distribution Center – What next?

AliExpress tracking describes the arrival facility as a “Local Distribution Center” due to it being the place of import in the destination (i.e local) country of the recipient.

In most scenarios, you will receive the “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” update before the package has been cleared through the customs process. Essentially, this is the step your package is about to go through.

Once cleared, the item will be dispatched to a regional facility closer to your location. From there, it will be sorted for delivery to your address.

Package stuck on “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” update

Shipment at Local Distribution Center

It is not uncommon for AliExpress packages to become stuck on this update. This is due to customs clearance being the next step.

In other words, if the item experiences any issues (missing paperwork or simple back-log delays) during clearance, you will not receive another update for what can seem a worrisome length of time.

Even when nothing is amiss, the customs clearance process can be cumbersome on AliExpress arrivals from China. 

Unfortunately, the tracking will remain vague until the item is handed over to the shipping partner responsible for onward delivery.

What to do when a package is stuck on this update?

We have stated this elsewhere on Mailbox master, however, the important issue to remember with AliExpress orders is that they do take time.

If your package is stuck on the “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” update, you should try to remain patient.

It can easily take 2 or more weeks for the item to clear customs and enter the tracking system of the carrier responsible for final delivery. 

With that in mind, you shouldn’t begin inquiries for quite some time.

However, you should keep an eye on your Buyer Protection period. This is 60 days on most AliExpress orders. If the delay begins to approach this you will want to raise an initial dispute before the protection expires.

Before raising a dispute, you can also contact the seller directly via the AliExpress dashboard and alert them to the package hold-up.

That being said, you will often just be told to wait longer unless the protection period is running out, or a delivery window was provided and has since passed.

Final Words

Essentially, your package has arrived in the destination country if the “Shipment at Local Distribution Center” update has been sent out.

It can still be a matter of weeks before you receive the item, so it is important to be patient.

Very often it will eventually pass through customs and onto the shipping partner. At this stage, you will start receiving more detailed updates.

Just ensure that any dispute you raise is made before your buyer protection period runs out.

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