You’re expecting a package from overseas and you receive a “GMTC Arrived” status alert.
What does GMTC mean exactly? Is your package close to being delivered? Is there anything you need to do?
Let’s take a look…
What Does GMTC Mean?
GMTC means “Global Mail Transit Country”. When you receive a GMTC update your package is passing through a connecting, intermediate (transit) country and is neither within the origin nor destination country.
What does “GMTC Arrived” Mean?
“GMTC Arrived” means that the consignment has entered the transit country and will be unloaded from its current mode of transport and loaded onto another.
Because the item is only “passing through” it will not be subject to customs clearance. You can think of it much like a stopover when flying on a long-haul flight as a passenger.
London to Australia for example. One route is London to Singapore to Australia. Singapore is a transit country in this scenario and you will change planes at Singapore airport without the need for customs checks.
The same situation exists for cargo. The package arrives at a connecting air or seaport within the transit country and will be transferred onto another plane or vessel for the onward journey.
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What Does “GMTC Departed” Mean?
GMTC Departed simply means that the consignment has left the Global Mail Transit Country and is on the next leg of its journey.
This could be onward towards the destination country. In some cases (sea cargo from China for example), it could be towards another intermediate transit country.
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What to do When You Receive a GMTC Tracking Status?
The good news is it is very little you need to do if you receive a GMTC status alert. It means that your package is progressing as it should.
These alerts are simply communicating the steps of the international shipment process and are completely normal.
Which Carriers use GMTC Tracking Alerts?
GMTC tracking alerts are most common with carriers responsible for shipping goods from the far east to Europe or the USA, (AliExpress shipments, SunYou, PostNL, and China Post for example).
This is because it takes a considerable shipping distance to warrant the use of intermediate transit countries.
Only where the consignment needs to pass through connecting countries on its way to the destination country will you see the GMTC alert.
Even then, carriers such as DHL or FedEx do not use the term in their tracking status information.
What to do When Your Package is Stuck on a GMTC Update?
If your package is stuck on GMTC arrived for a number of days it is important to be aware of the shipping speed used for the order and where the package is currently located.
For example, a standard AliExpress shipment can take between 15 to 45 working days to arrive.
Traveling via sea cargo, your package could have arrived at a port where delays prevent unloading. The consignment may then miss the ship it was scheduled to leave the transit country on.
The impact of this can mean you see the GMTC arrived alert for multiple weeks as the shipment awaits departure.
These kinds of delays are very common with sea cargo shipments from China. With this knowledge, it is important to realize you are in for a wait.
That being said, if an unreasonable amount of time does pass you can contact the seller for information on the carrier and linehaul service used.
In the case of an AliExpress order, you can also open a dispute within your 60-day buyer’s guarantee period.
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Ultimately, Global Mail Transit Country (GMTC) alerts are standard tracking updates that inform parties that the shipment is making progress.
The fact the consignment is passing through a transit country does mean there is still a way to go before delivery.
In the case of standard shipments from China, your package could still be several weeks away.