Will your package arrive on time? Here's how to get this information

  (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

These days, shipping packages have woven themselves into the fabric of our lives, especially as e-commerce continues to flourish with packages mainly coming from China. But let's be honest, the delivery process can be a bit of a wild card, with packages sometimes arriving later than we'd like. Here’s how you can minimize the risk of getting additional delays, but also locate your package and get a projection for its delivery date. 

Staying in the loop about your package's estimated arrival date and journey is crucial. Thankfully, for packages coming from China there are online tools like China post tracking services that have our backs, making it a breeze to keep tabs on our shipped packages and ensure an accurate traceability for the orders. 

Factors Affecting Package Delivery

Navigating the ins and outs of the shipping process can be a bit tricky, as numerous factors can impact when your package shows up on your doorstep. But fear not! Getting a handle on these variables can help you more accurately predict when your eagerly-awaited delivery will arrive. Here are some key elements to keep in mind:

Shipping Method

Carriers provide a wide range of shipping options to cater to the varying needs of their customers. These options can include economy, standard, priority, and express shipping. Each method offers a different balance of delivery speed, reliability, and cost. 

For example, economy shipping is more budget-friendly but may take longer and be less reliable, while express shipping offers faster delivery and better tracking capabilities but can be significantly more expensive. When selecting a shipping method, consider your budget, the importance of the package, and the urgency of its arrival.


The distance between the origin and destination of a package directly impacts its delivery time. Local shipments within the same city or region typically arrive quicker, while international shipments often require more time due to customs clearance, additional paperwork, and potential logistical challenges. 

Furthermore, deliveries to remote or hard-to-reach locations may take longer due to limited transportation infrastructure or the need for specialized delivery methods. When anticipating your package's arrival, consider the distance it needs to travel and any unique geographic or logistic obstacles it may encounter.

Carrier Policies

Each shipping carrier operates within a unique framework of policies, rules, and regulations. These can include factors such as shipping restrictions for certain products, weight, and size limitations, or delivery surcharges for specific locations. Understanding your carrier's policies can help you avoid shipping delays, additional fees, or even package returns. 

Researching the carrier's guidelines and confirming that your package complies with their requirements is crucial. Additionally, stay informed about any potential service disruptions, like strikes, natural disasters, or holidays, affecting your package's delivery time.

Practical Tips to Avoid Delays

If you're ordering a package for a specific event, plan ahead and order well in advance. This gives your package enough time to arrive and allows for any unexpected delays. Apart from planning ahead, here’s what you can do: 

Double Check Your Address

Ensuring that you provide an accurate and comprehensive address is crucial for a smooth delivery process. By doing so, you'll help prevent any potential delays caused by incomplete or incorrect address information.

Package Your Item Properly

Safeguard your package during transit by using proper packaging materials and techniques. A well-packed item reduces the likelihood of damage or loss, giving you peace of mind that your package will arrive in the best possible condition.

Choose Reliable Carriers

When entrusting your package to a shipping carrier, it's essential to select one with a reputation for timely deliveries and exceptional customer service. Research different carriers, read customer reviews, and compare their offerings to make an informed decision.

Opt for Faster Shipping Methods

If you have a time-sensitive package, it's worth considering faster shipping methods like priority or express shipping. While these options may be more expensive, they provide quicker delivery times, helping ensure your package reaches its destination when needed. Always weigh the costs against the importance of timely delivery to make the right choice for your shipment.

What to Do If Your Package Is Delayed?

Despite your best efforts, sometimes packages can still be delayed. If your package doesn't arrive on time, here are some steps you can take:

Check Your Tracking Information

Start by examining your tracking information for any updates or explanations for the delay. This info can be found using the tracking number and allows to shed light on the cause of the delay, its current location and status, and sometimes even a projection of when your package should arrive.

Reach Out to the Seller

If you purchased the item from a seller or retailer, don't hesitate to contact them as well. They might have further information about the delay or be able to propose a solution, such as sending a replacement item or issuing a refund.

Contact the Shipping Carrier

If the tracking information doesn't provide any helpful insights, it's time to contact the carrier. Most carriers offer a customer service hotline, which you can call to get more details about your package's status. They may be able to explain the delay and suggest possible solutions.

File a Claim

Should your package be lost or damaged, you might be eligible to file a claim with the shipping carrier. Each carrier has its own claims procedure, so make sure to visit their website for specifics. You'll probably need to provide information like the tracking number, shipping date, and item details.

Be Patient

Lastly, remember to stay patient. It's understandably frustrating when packages are delayed, but delays can occur for various reasons, such as weather, customs inspections, or unexpectedly high package volumes. Allow the shipping carrier and seller some time to look into the issue and come up with a solution.


Predicting the exact arrival time of your package can be challenging due to the numerous factors involved in the shipping process. However, by understanding the shipping process, using parcel tracking tools, following practical tips to avoid delays, and knowing what to do if your package is delayed, you can stay well-informed about your parcel's journey and estimated arrival time.

With the right information and tools at your disposal, you can ensure timely delivery of your packages and avoid any unpleasant surprises. 

This article was written in cooperation with Esther Howell