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What Does “Departed Processing Center” Mean?

You’ve expecting a delivery and have received a “Departed Processing Center” tracking update.

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

Let’s take a look…

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Summary: Departed Processing Center

The “Departed Processing Center” tracking update means that the package has left a sorting facility and is now in transit to the next step in the delivery network. Many carriers use this update and it is normally seen on international shipments.

Departed Processing Center – Guide

delivery van on road

This update simply means that a package has left a sorting facility (i.e. Processing center) and is now in transit.

It will have been sorted and loaded onto a truck at the processing center and is now moving again to the next destination in the delivery chain.

As we discussed in our article on the “Arrival at Processing Center” update, the processing center is normally situated inside the destination country, meaning the shipment is close to the end of its journey.

The next step after the “Departed Processing Center” update (apart from currently being in transit), will be a facility in the area of the recipient.

From here, delivery will take place.

Tracking Stuck on “Departed Processing Center”

Departed Processing Center

So what should you do if you check your tracking and see that the package is stuck on this update?

Firstly, it is important to understand that it can take a few days for the item to leave the processing center and be scanned upon arrival at the next facility, (which is the action that will trigger a new update).

Taking this into account, it is common for the tracking to remain on the “Departed Processing Center” for 3 or more business days.

Unless the order has been shipped with expedited delivery, I would recommend waiting at least 5 business days before you begin making inquiries.

Steps if Tracking is Stuck

road block

If a reasonable amount of time has passed with no sign of progress, I recommend the following steps.

Check Number with Universal Tracking App


As the package has now arrived in the destination country, it may no longer be tracked by the origin carrier service.

In most cases, the shipment will now be the responsibility of the destination country postal service (or 3rd party carrier used by the origin service).

You can try the tracking code on the tracking page of the local service if you know it.

However, to cover your bases, a universal tracking app such as 17Track or ParcelsApp will work more effectively.

These services scan the tracking databases of hundreds of carrier services.

If your item is being tracked elsewhere, a search using a universal tracker will locate the details for you.

With any luck, the shipment is moving and the updates were not reaching you.

Contact the Sender / Origin Carrier

child on phone

If the above step reveals nothing new, or simply confirms that the package is stuck on the “Departed Processing Center” alert, it will be time to contact the sender and/or the origin carrier service.

In the first instance, the sender will want to know about the delay.

Also, in most scenarios the sender should be the one that contacts the origin carrier, (it is them that made the order with them after all).

If the sender is slow to act, however, you will want to contact the carrier yourself.

Final words

van delivery

Overall, the “Departed Processing Center” tracking update is a common alert used by a number of carriers.

It means that a package has been processed through a facility and is now in transit to the next step in the delivery chain.

If the alert does not update within 5 business days I recommend checking the details in a universal tracking app and take action from there.

1 thought on “What Does “Departed Processing Center” Mean?”

  1. Been tracking a package #AT330581069CN and am stalled it says it is close but not where.It came from China, cleared customs in Toronto and supposedly on the way but I have no idea who the courier is. Canada Post has no record of this track number.
    Any idea where I can find info?
    Thanks much


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