What does DHL shipment on hold mean?

Jason Breton

DHL has made the shipping of goods across borders seamless and effortless. If anything, it’s considered to be the leading international logistics company.

You can be sure whatever package you send or receive using the courier company will arrive at its destination safely, and with the least hustle.

However, at one time your package may not arrive at the intended destination on time, and thus, it’s put on hold. You may wonder what that is and why would it even happen in the first place.

Here, we will explain what on hold means on DHL, why your package is on hold and how long the company holds your package.

What does on hold mean on DHL?

It is easy to expect your package to be sent or received without any issues. But realistically speaking, anything can occur or happen and alter the shipping process.

When such instances arise while shipping with DHL, your package is put on hold.

DHL shipment on hold
Image: Pinterest/DHL

If the status of your package is “DHL shipment on hold” when tracking, it means your package is not yet at the destination. The shipment will likely experience some delay and won’t arrive at the estimated or expected time.

 Having your package temporarily stalled or delayed in transit is what leads to a DHL exception shipment on hold. Read on to know the reasons for delayed shipping and what you can do about it.

Why is my DHL shipment on hold?

For one reason or another, you may get a message that your DHL shipment is on hold in the tracking system. It will be great to know some of the reasons so that you can know why your package is yet to be delivered.

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Here is a list of reasons why your DHL shipment is on hold:

  • The receiver of the shipment is not taking deliveries because they are closed
  • Change of shipping routes
  • Incomplete documentation process at customs
  • Incorrect address or contact information
  • Hindrance because of shipping rules and regulations of a different country
  • Bad weather that can’t allow deliveries to take place, e.g. heavy rains
  • Natural disasters such as a pandemic like Covid-19
DHL Express
Image: Flickr

An example is, on the onset of the outbreak of Covid-19, DHL announced on its website on expected delays in deliveries. The DHL shipment on hold message would be likely because of the closure of companies caused by the outbreak.

How long does DHL hold your package?

Knowing your DHL shipment has been put on hold should not worry you so much. Even with the unexpected delay, you will still get to receive the shipment within a short period.

The company sorts out and delivers packages within a week. So, you can be sure your package be delivered to its intended destination shortly after the delay.

What to do with a DHL shipment on hold?

You can take different measures to deal with the issue. This depends on the circumstance or reason why your package is on hold.

It is best advised to contact the company’s customer service for assistance with any of the reasons mentioned above.

It is also good to ensure the receiver of your package is open for deliveries. Also, ensure you have given out the correct address and contact information details.

See Also:  What “tendered to delivery service provider” means on DHL

This will prevent delays before the shipment is sent. It would be in order to ensure that whatever you’re shipping complies with the shipping rules and regulations of the country it’s sent to or received.

When it comes to bad weather and natural disasters, there is nothing much you can do. Those are circumstances that are beyond your control and you just have to be patient with the company as they work on sorting out the delay.

Present proper and complete documentation at the shipping customs to prevent any delays.

You can also do a product compliance check on your package to reduce DHL exceptions shipment on hold, and ensure it passes customs smoothly.

DHL package delivery
Image: Pinterest/enviaya


In summary, having a DHL shipment on hold simply means that there will be a temporary delay in the delivery of your package.

It happens for reasons such as the receiver being closed, incomplete documentation, wrong contact information, and natural disasters, among others.

 However, that should not worry you because you will receive your package within a week with the delay. You can get contact the company’s customer service for assistance with a DHL shipment on hold.

 Finally, you can reduce the risk of delays in the future by providing complete documentation at customs, ensuring your receiver is open, and doing a product compliance check before it is shipped.

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