You’re waiting on a delivery from PostNL and you have received a “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” tracking update.
What does this mean exactly? Has your package reached your country or is it still waiting at the airport in China? How long will it be stuck on this status?
Let’s take a look…
PostNL “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” Meaning
“The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” means that your package has landed at an international airport hub after leaving the origin country. The package will now be received by PostNL and sorted for dispatch to either the delivery address or the destination country.
“The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” – Guide
The above definition may seem a little vague. This is because the “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” update can mean different things depending on the delivery destination.
For example, an AliExpress order from China to Germany (using PostNL) will arrive in Europe via Liege Airport in Belgium.
When the package lands at the airport, the “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” status alert will be triggered.
The package will then go through various stages (see the section below), before being in transit toward the destination country, (i.e Germany).
In other words, the transit airport is an intermediate location before dispatch to the destination country.
A PostNL package arriving in the US from the far east will clearly not have to be forwarded on to the destination country.
Upon landing in the US, the update is triggered. After the customs process, PostNL will be able to arrange direct delivery to the recipient’s address.
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What Happens After “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport”?
As we have covered, what happens next does depend on how far away the destination country is.
Taking the screenshot above, we can see that the package in question had to go through a number of extra steps before it was sent out for final delivery.
Note: We have covered many of these updates in previous articles so follow the links for more details.
In summary, the item will have to go through customs clearance before “the consignment is received at the PostNL acceptance center”.
It will then be processed through a PostNL sorting center where it will be sorted for onward delivery. In the screenshot example above, this meant dispatch to the destination country.
Depending on where this is, this could mean another flight or long haul truck journey before it reaches the country of the recipient.
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My Package is Stuck on “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport”
Unfortunately, due to the fact this PostNL update is triggered just before customs clearance, your package may get stuck on this alert if a problem has occurred.
Another issue is the consignment will not enter PostNL’s logistics infrastructure until customs have been cleared.
This makes getting a straight answer on what is causing the delay difficult.
Fortunately, if tax or duty is owed on the item, the carrier responsible for import should be in touch, (this might be PostNL, it could also be another carrier from within the origin country or a 3rd party import service).
We advise that you take a two-pronged attack if your package is stuck on the “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” update.
First contact the seller, (you can do this easily via AliExpress if applicable), and if you have been using your tracking number thus far via the origin country carrier, (China Post for example) contact them too.
At the same time, you will need to make contact with PostNL, to see if they have any further information about the delay.
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How to Contact PostNL
For common customer queries, you can use the guide on the PostNL Customer Service page
However, to raise a specific issue about a consignment (which if it is stuck at the transit airport you will want to do), you can make contact with a representative on:
- Phone: 088-2255555
- Phone: +31 900 0990
- Twitter: @PostNL
The Twitter method of communication is recommended as it is available 24/7 and you should receive a reply within an hour.
The phone services are only available from Monday to Friday between 8:30 am to 8:00 pm and on Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.
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The “The Item has Arrived in the Transit Airport” update means that your package has completed the leg of the journey from the origin country to an international airport close to or inside the destination country.
Sometimes it means that the consignment has actually landed within the country of the recipient. In other scenarios, there is more travel to be done.
Either way, the steps of customs clearance and acceptance by PostNL will take place. It is important that you keep an eye on your tracking updates after this, in case any clearance issues or other delays have occurred.
- Related Content: What Does “Leaving Transit Country” Mean? (Tracking Status Guide)