The 6 Most Common Reasons Packages Get Lost In Transit

Packages Get Lost
Packages Get Lost

Damaged packages, delayed, misplaced, or even lost shipments happen daily. It can cause dissatisfaction among customers and can even backfire on you or your business. Often, people blame the companies or individuals sending the goods their way and rarely take into account all the other procedures that take place. 

Even though a lost package may be a product of misspelled address or simply an honest mistake of the shipping crew, the results can be dire. Today, we break down some of the most common reasons packages get misplaced or lost in transit, so you can learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid facing the same faith.

Let’s dive right in!

Prevention Is the Best Medicine: What Can I Do to Avoid Lost Packages?

When shipments pass through too many hands, there is a higher risk that your package will become delayed, damaged, or even lost entirely. The easiest way to minimize the risk is to hire a professional shipping company since they know which steps to take in order to deliver your package safely and on time.

They usually offer insurance on your packages and take full responsibility for any unfortunate outcomes, because they understand the risks that may cause your package to get lost. Of course, there are numerous reasons that can lead to delayed or lost packages, as well as other steps that you can take to lower the risk of that happening that you can learn more about here:

6 Most Common Reasons Packages Get Misplaced During Transit

Packages Get Lost

1. Wrong Custom Documents

It often happens that we fill our mailing information automatically, which can lead to mistakes. Though sometimes unavoidable (after all, no one is perfect), the importance of ensuring everything fills out correctly is key when it comes to ensuring items arrive safely.

Make sure that all required information is provided to the shipping company, and double-check for any misspellings, along with your address number, e-mail address, and phone number.

2. Human error

This probably conjures images of people absent-mindedly filling out paperwork or simply taking their eyes off the game for one second too long. Indeed, even such small mistakes can have large consequences, like when a package ends up in the hands of the wrong recipient or goes completely missing.

In a world full of increasingly automated processes, human error still persists as one of the most common reasons packages get lost in transit. It’s not unusual for people working for delivery services to make mistakes. After all, to err is human and, sometimes, yours can misplace, pressed down by a heavier package, or forgotten completely. 

Unfortunately, this can cause delays and, over time, lead to your package labeling as lost and never delivered. The only thing you can do to try and prevent this is to choose reliable, trusted, and professional shipping services, whose priority will be that your package delivers safely and refund you for your troubles otherwise. 

3. Misdelivered Packages

If a package delivers to the wrong address and has no forward or return address, it usually labels as “orphaned packages”, or “dead mail”. In that case, the package can only stay where it is, or return to the shipment company, since it has nowhere else to go.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to always fill in the “return to sender” section of your package’s postal labels. You can also include a “return to sender if undeliverable” statement on shipping labels to add an extra level of security. 

4. High Volume Shipments 

There are a lot of cases of package loss during the holidays. That is the busiest time for shipping companies. Because the number of packages skyrockets compared to the rest of the year. It’s no surprise that a lot more packages get lost too, due to traffic being so dense. 

One thing you could do to avoid this is to make orders before, or even after the holiday season. Second thing is to insure your packages. So you can at least try to get compensation in case they get lost.

5. Customs

If you ship internationally, customs are often the reason for delay, returns and loss of packages. This refers to fees, duties and taxes on packages that transports from one country to another. You must make sure that you’ve filled all the required documents. Check if you have paid all the fees and taxes that may be requested. 

If you don’t meet these requirements, delays are inevitable. It can lead to further complications, such as authorities inspecting your cargo. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do beyond that. So it is adviseable to hire a reliable shipping company that keeps all necessary documentation accurate. 

6. Theft

Sadly, it is not uncommon for packages to steel. Whether by unverified shipping companies or by the so-called “porch pirates”. Unfortunately, no matter the culprit, the result remains the same – it’s unlikely that you’ll get your goods back. 

The only thing you can do in this case is to file a police report. Or you can contact the shipping company that was in charge of your package. You could also try putting in an insurance claim if your package has it by default. You can do it if the shipper bought insurance. Either way, the chances of you getting your stuff back are very low. 

What Happens to Lost Packages? 

Packages Lost

If a package has no label on it or the label is unreadable, and has no return address. It is very hard for companies to get it back to you. They could try to find it through barcodes or receipts if there are any. But it is most likely that the package will end up in one of the “lost packages” piles. There, the packages leave for a possible claim.

After a certain period of time, they remove from storage. Some items discard or donate, and some get auction off or disperse among employees. There are tons and tons of lost packages in the storage. So, the chances are that yours might still be out there. The search usually lasts about ten days, after which it is officially deemed lost.

So, are you lucky enough and submit your report file in time? You could still get ahold of your misplaced goods.

Wrapping Up

Reasons Packages Get Lost

There is not much you can do after a package leaves your doorstep. Make sure that everything is in a secured way nicely, that the label is visible, and that all the essential information is provided. 

Once picked up by a courier, you must leave your trust in the hands of the postal service or shipping company of your choice. Cross your fingers that it will get to its destination safely. If things ever go sideways, you can at least hope that someone else is enjoying your goods.