Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Post Reply
User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2589
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:28 pm

So I'm having something (a small item, worth under $200) mailed to me from Germany. It was sent over two months ago, and I still haven't received it yet.

Checking my tracking number with Deutsche Post gives me this:

The item was handed over to the International Logistics Center Frankfurt on [date] to be forwarded to the country of destination. Unfortunately the tracking and tracing of the destination country does not offer a data interface with the tracking and tracing of Deutsche Post AG. Further information is also provided by the website of the country of destination.


And checking it on my end with the USPS website gives me this:

Status of Item: Origin Post is Preparing Shipment.We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece.


It has said this same thing for several weeks. :annoyed Under that, it confirms that it was "Processed Through Sort Facility" in Frankfurt on the same date in November Deutsche Post says, but there's no information beyond that.

A.) Am I correct in assuming that my package is stuck in customs limbo?

B.) How long does this usually take?

C.) Is there anything I can do?

Thanks!
Stay on target...

hicabob
Posts: 2584
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: cruz

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by hicabob » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:41 pm

I stick with UPS or FedEx for international packages. Costs a bit more but they are both well set up for clearing customs, the local reps are usually friendly and quite knowledgeable about the forms required, and the tracking works properly.

User avatar
Epsilon Delta
Posts: 6574
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:00 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by Epsilon Delta » Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:44 pm

How was it sent?

For surface mail from Europe two months is not out of line, it could still be sitting in the hold of a ship chugging across the Atlantic.

User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2589
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:03 pm

hicabob wrote:I stick with UPS or FedEx for international packages. Costs a bit more but they are both well set up for clearing customs, the local reps are usually friendly and quite knowledgeable about the forms required, and the tracking works properly.


Well, I didn't really have a choice of method in this case, but I'll be sure to remember that for those times when I do.
Stay on target...

User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2589
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by JupiterJones » Wed Jan 27, 2016 5:09 pm

Epsilon Delta wrote:How was it sent?

For surface mail from Europe two months is not out of line, it could still be sitting in the hold of a ship chugging across the Atlantic.


Not sure. I do believe it was sent registered mail, but that can be surface or air, right?

So I'll just assume surface, keep waiting, and hope for the best. Surface would probably be the most efficient choice, and I am dealing with Germans here, after all... :P

They are time-sensitive documents, basically, but I still have a good bit of wiggle room. (I do have a Plan B if they don't get here in time, but it sure would be more comforting not to have to fall back on it.)
Stay on target...

likegarden
Posts: 2412
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by likegarden » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:30 pm

Do realize that there was the very busy Christmas time. 2 years ago I sent a heavier envelope with nothing to declare from the US to Germany, it took 5 weeks. It was sitting in Frankfurt customs for more than a week.

livesoft
Posts: 57317
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by livesoft » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:40 pm

I had an entire container shipment of my household (furniture, clothes, everything) show up at US customs and it was never seen again. So theft is possible even from a warehouse owned by after US customs.

Update: I made a correction.
Last edited by livesoft on Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Sachay
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:40 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by Sachay » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:14 pm

I ship all over the world through 'regular' mail often. 2 months is probably time to admit defeat and that you'll never see your package again. Small chance it has been returned to sender, German customs can be ridiculous.

Other countries to avoid: Italy, Brazil.

User avatar
macaroon
Posts: 51
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:06 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by macaroon » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:06 pm

livesoft wrote:I had an entire container shipment of my household (furniture, clothes, everything) show up at US customs and it was never seen again. So theft is possible even from a warehouse owned by US customs.

FYI, US Customs doesn't own warehouses. Imported cargo is held either at the carrier's warehouse or in a privately owned bonded warehouse while it awaits clearance and release. Don't blame CBP for your shipment going missing!

(Sorry, I'm a former Customs inspector. I hate to see bad info out there.) :annoyed

OP, I don't think your missing package is a Customs issue. German Customs wouldn't have anything to do with an outgoing shipment, and it doesn't sound as if it has even arrived in the US yet so US Customs isn't delaying it. Sounds like it's held up in the "International Logistics Center" in Frankfurt. Can you check with the shipper?

stlutz
Posts: 4025
Joined: Fri Jan 02, 2009 1:08 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by stlutz » Wed Jan 27, 2016 10:13 pm

I've ordered stuff from the UK and it generally gets to me in the US faster via Royal Mail+US Mail than Fed Ex/UPS Ground is for domestic shipments.

User avatar
dratkinson
Posts: 4008
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 6:23 pm
Location: Centennial CO

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by dratkinson » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:44 am

hicabob wrote:I stick with UPS or FedEx for international packages. Costs a bit more but they are both well set up for clearing customs, the local reps are usually friendly and quite knowledgeable about the forms required, and the tracking works properly.


+1

USPS package to China never arrived. FedEx and UPS packages did. Chose the cheapest each time. Each took a ~week to arrive. If you mark the shipping form wrong (confusing verbiage), recipient must come to FedEx/UPS office to pay an import tax (based on declared value?). Mark the shipping form correctly and any tax due is added to your shipping invoice (credit card) so package is not delayed at office, but instead delivered to recipient. Workplace delivery address with signed delivery receipt, preferable to unattended residence.
Last edited by dratkinson on Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
d.r.a, not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.

User avatar
lthenderson
Posts: 2470
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:43 pm
Location: Iowa

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by lthenderson » Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:46 am

I ship packages from the U.S. to the far east quite regularly and it is not uncommon for it to take 3 months for them to arrive.

User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2589
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Jan 28, 2016 11:16 am

macaroon wrote:German Customs wouldn't have anything to do with an outgoing shipment


Good point. I didn't think about that!

Sounds like it's held up in the "International Logistics Center" in Frankfurt. Can you check with the shipper?


Unfortunately the shipping business can't do much beyond what I'm doing myself... checking the appropriate websites with the relevant tracking number. (Well, I guess they could get on the horn with Frankfurt, but my German isn't good enough to try to talk them into doing that just yet!)

I'm assuming now that they simply don't have the ability to track during that space between entering the logistics center and before getting to the US, and I'll just have to wait until it come back around from the dark side of the moon and radio contact can be reestablished. :P
Stay on target...


ZumZabo
Posts: 116
Joined: Mon Dec 01, 2014 1:33 pm
Location: I'm in a secure location

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by ZumZabo » Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:41 am

I send and receive letters and packages to and from Germany a few times a year (have done so for decades) and it can take anywhere from 4 days to 5 weeks with no logical explanation as to why. The German workers are pretty pampered and work at their own pace. Also they strike very often and as recently as a few weeks ago. Possibly more more recently. No one is waiting for anything from me currently so I haven't heard of any strikes. That may be a factor. Time is usually not of the essence for us other than a birthday or holiday card arriving late. In your case you may have to resort to plan B but I suspect it will eventually arrive.

I just ordered an iPad mini bumper case from Amazon that shipped from Asia. It was supposed to take up to 5 weeks. I received it in 5 or 6 days. Just luck of the draw.
What made me think I could start clean slated? The hardest to learn was the least complicated: Emily Saliers / And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know: Kerry Livgren

Vivelapais
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:00 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by Vivelapais » Mon Jan 02, 2017 11:05 am

Hi Jupiterjones,

Did you ever get the package from Germany? How long did it take in the end? I am having the exact same problem. Since November 28th it's been "processing" in Frankfurt's customs but I do not understand what is taking so long

User avatar
JupiterJones
Posts: 2589
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:25 pm
Location: Nashville, TN

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:20 am

Nope, never got it.

They were concert tickets. Luckily, the folks at SAP Arena in Mannheim were sehr freundlich und hilfreich. I showed printouts of my email receipts at the Will Call window, and they had a security guy personally escort us past the ticket takers and right to our seats! Really outstanding customer service.

There were several other people in line with us who had the same problem. I'm not sure if the problem was German customs or the shipper. Are you using DHL?
Stay on target...

User avatar
alpenglow
Posts: 479
Joined: Tue May 31, 2011 12:02 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by alpenglow » Tue Jan 03, 2017 11:37 am

Wow - that's great that they were so helpful and friendly! I'm sure it wouldn't play out as well in the USA.

lynnseyp
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:31 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by lynnseyp » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:33 pm

Vivelapais wrote:Hi Jupiterjones,

Did you ever get the package from Germany? How long did it take in the end? I am having the exact same problem. Since November 28th it's been "processing" in Frankfurt's customs but I do not understand what is taking so long


Hey! I'm so glad I found this thread. I sent a package to the US from Berlin on the same date as you and am getting the same message. "We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece.".

Maybe it's a wider issue since both of us are experiencing this for packages sent at the same time?

ericb614
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:45 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by ericb614 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:50 pm

lynnseyp wrote:
Vivelapais wrote:Hi Jupiterjones,

Did you ever get the package from Germany? How long did it take in the end? I am having the exact same problem. Since November 28th it's been "processing" in Frankfurt's customs but I do not understand what is taking so long


Hey! I'm so glad I found this thread. I sent a package to the US from Berlin on the same date as you and am getting the same message. "We have received notice that the originating post is preparing to dispatch this mail piece.".

Maybe it's a wider issue since both of us are experiencing this for packages sent at the same time?


Hi I just was reading this thread today, I have the same exact issue from ordering something from Berlin to go to NYC. Since November 16th it's been 'processing' in Frankfurt. Relieved I'm not the only one having this problem, but not sure what can we do from here? I've called USPS numerous times which they said the sender is supposed to fill out an international inquiry on the package. Which the sender said they did do that but haven't heard any updates, which was about a month ago:-(

mouses
Posts: 2472
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2015 12:24 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by mouses » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:12 pm

JupiterJones wrote:
Unfortunately the shipping business can't do much beyond what I'm doing myself... checking the appropriate websites with the relevant tracking number. (Well, I guess they could get on the horn with Frankfurt, but my German isn't good enough to try to talk them into doing that just yet!)


I don't know if they still do this, but it used to be that you could request a translator from AT&T on international calls.

Ampannell
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:03 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by Ampannell » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:06 pm

Awesome. So I mailed a package from Berlin to the US on January 2nd. On the 9th is said it was in Frankfurt. Then nothing. And now I'm hearing you guys have been waiting months with the same issue..

Fantastic.

Lenakk
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:27 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by Lenakk » Wed Feb 01, 2017 3:41 pm

Hi guys!

I am happy I fought this thread so I can share my experience about the Deutch Post. It will take me awhile to tell about this nightmare.

First of all, please if somebody already receive the package sent in November 2016 to USA, let me know!!

Here is what happened to me. I bought very expensive handbag and it was shipped from Germany. On November 28, 2016 the tracking info has stuck! On DHL it says that the package will be transported to the destination country and on the USPS it says that they received the notice that DHL preparing to dispatch the package. There was no update for more than 2!!! Months.

About one month ago I filled international search request ( needless to say that my husband and I have called both -and USPS and DHL many many times, sometimes we had to stay up till 3-4 am so we could get a hold of somebody in Germany , also had to get translator ) , I got the official letter from Deutch Post about 1 week ago saying that due to Lufthansa strikes there delays and that I should wait till February 28!!!!!! And if by then the package will not appear anywhere I should contact them again!!!!

It was my first time using Deutch post and obviously -the last!!!!
Please let me know if some of you got their packages! I'm so worried and hope that the package will arrive adventually

TravelGeek
Posts: 1249
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:38 pm

Hmmm. I ordered a few items on Amazon.com for our Miele vacuum and dishwasher that were shipped from Germany. No problems. Checking my order history, that was in late 2015.

Those that ordered something and presumably paid via credit card, have you asked the seller to research the issue? They are the customer of DHL in this case. If they are not responsive, I would dispute the charges with the credit card company. The tracking information should show that you never received the goods you paid for.

meurer44
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:09 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by meurer44 » Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:43 pm

Hi Guys,

I am German, but living in California. I was in early December in Germany and sent 10 parcels with Christmas goodies to California
and none of them arrived. The parcels in Germany are handled by DHL, owned by the German Post Office. Like everybody else,
the tracking ends at Frankfurt with the notation "Origin Post preparing shipment". So all the parcels never left Germany.

I checked German websites, similar to this, where there are hundreds of complaints about parcels sent in November and December
to the US, which never arrived. DHL stated that all parcels have been sent by sea, due to a strike by Lufthansa. Ever heard of
other airlines? A vessel from Bremen to New York takes ten days, that still does not explain delays of several months.

I suggest filing a theft claim with the US Post Office may help. Here is the website: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/cont ... laint.aspx
If everybody does it and they get thousands, may they will finally act and issue a press release, stating what is going on and what they will
do about it. Tens of thousands of parcels, may be more have vanished and nobody gives a damn. I think eventually we will get the parcels,
but it may take another few months. When I hear the stories of the on-line companies, it is just awful. A lot of them sent high value items,
they never arrived and customers are claiming their money back through Pay-Pal. A lot of these small outfits lost tens of thousand of Euros
each. Some even went bankrupt. Again nobody cares and DHL loughs all the way to the bank. They received the postage and delivered
nothing. Hang in there!

ericb614
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2017 4:45 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by ericb614 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:43 pm

meurer44 wrote:Hi Guys,

I am German, but living in California. I was in early December in Germany and sent 10 parcels with Christmas goodies to California
and none of them arrived. The parcels in Germany are handled by DHL, owned by the German Post Office. Like everybody else,
the tracking ends at Frankfurt with the notation "Origin Post preparing shipment". So all the parcels never left Germany.

I checked German websites, similar to this, where there are hundreds of complaints about parcels sent in November and December
to the US, which never arrived. DHL stated that all parcels have been sent by sea, due to a strike by Lufthansa. Ever heard of
other airlines? A vessel from Bremen to New York takes ten days, that still does not explain delays of several months.

I suggest filing a theft claim with the US Post Office may help. Here is the website: https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov/cont ... laint.aspx
If everybody does it and they get thousands, may they will finally act and issue a press release, stating what is going on and what they will
do about it. Tens of thousands of parcels, may be more have vanished and nobody gives a damn. I think eventually we will get the parcels,
but it may take another few months. When I hear the stories of the on-line companies, it is just awful. A lot of them sent high value items,
they never arrived and customers are claiming their money back through Pay-Pal. A lot of these small outfits lost tens of thousand of Euros
each. Some even went bankrupt. Again nobody cares and DHL loughs all the way to the bank. They received the postage and delivered
nothing. Hang in there!


Thanks for the update here, it seems like we are all having the same issue about the strike in Lufthansa if our items were supposed to be shipped in Nov or Dec. Just an update on my end, I haven't received any new tracking updates since November 18th on USPS and DHL's website. All who is experiencing the same issue, please let one of us know if you end up receiving your package. I was going to try to get a refund by February 18th, since then that would be about 3 months I had to wait:-( But I'll wait until February 28th to see if anything has happened yet from the previous post info. I'm going to fill out a complaint too to that link you provided!

dougal98
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:37 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by dougal98 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:43 pm

Hello, I am so glad I found this thread!

I ordered some items off of ebay germany in early december, I have yet to receive them in the mail! They were sent via Deutsch Post (DHL subsidiary). My item was accepted December 8, then on December 27 was processed through the facility at Frankfurt/Flughafen. When I check on USPS, the latest tracking info I get is "Origin Post is Preparing Shipment". I like everyone else am wondering when my stuff will arrive.

Not a very good first experience from DHL. Hopefully my stuff arrives later this month.

meurer44
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:09 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by meurer44 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:51 pm

Hi everybody,

All my 10 parcels arrived late last week in Jersey City. This is the first entry point in the US. They were immediately
forwarded to California. I guess US Customs, knowing about the delay, didn't spend too much time examining them.
Two arrived this morning, one actually from France, where there was no tracking trough USPS. Both of them were
soaking wet. The French one was in such bad shape they placed it in a heavy plastic bag. So, you will eventually get them,
but in what shape that's a different story.

amorgvida
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:05 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by amorgvida » Thu Mar 09, 2017 11:14 am

Hi all!
I am happy I found this thread. I seem to have the same issue, that you all did.
On Nov 19, 2016 I sent 5 boxes from Frankfurt, DE to the US. 3 of them arrived, individually, about 3 weeks apart from each other. 2 of them are still missing.
One of my boxes is stuck in Lexington Park, MD. For some reason, they can't find it there. I had to start a MSR (Missing Search Request) with USPS directly, as well as with Deutsche Post. No update yet. The package is there since January 31.
The other box, Deutsche Post website says, is still stuck in Frankfurt at customs. IPZ Frankfurt , to be exact. No update on it since November 25th. Now I can't even open it on their website anymore. They said "Due to transport issues, we are unable to deliver your package" and basically "Here, we refund you 50 Eur for whats in it". The thing is that, my box had a value WAY more than 50Eur. I've written complaint letters, emails, talked to their customer support, NOTHING. Nada. Niente. More than angry at this point.
Also, I was told after the Nachforschung and their miserable 50 Eur, that I can argue that. I had to send a letter to their customer service center in Hamburg. 2 weeks later on, they tell me even the letter hasn't arrived. Mind you, I had a friend of mine send the letter from Frankfurt. So, it should've been there for 2 days, not weeks.
I don't know what else to do, and I even started thinking about going after them with a lawyer. They just seem to not care....

Dieda
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:14 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by Dieda » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:28 am

Seems the problem still exists. My package to NC is also stuck in Frankfurt. I have inquired after it, but DHL says they no longer care because it was forwarded to the USPS, while the USPS says my package was only announced for shipment but never transferred to their care. This is extremely annoying because some small family heirlooms are now lost - not much monetary value, but priceless for the one who should have received that package. Until now I still had some hope that the package will be delivered still, but after having read all your posts, I think I must get used to the thought that the package is lost forever. What a sad day ... :-(

myleaf
Posts: 36
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:55 am

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by myleaf » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:13 am

I shipped a package to china with USPS using a less expensive method without tracking. The recipient did not receive the package after 3 weeks. I called USPS but was told that it was not possible to track the package. The shortly after the China post office called the recipient to tell him that the package was at the post office. Maybe USPS may have an internal method way to help find the package ??
"Never met an electron I did not like"

maylikesun
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:46 pm

Re: Is my package stuck in German customs? Now what?

Post by maylikesun » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:31 am

Oh my DHL.....
Let me share my experience with you of using DHL. We shipped only several packages using DHL from Germany to US when we relocated to US for job earlier this year. In addition, we also shipped more than 10 boxes using FEDEX. All FEDEX boxes arrived within about 1 week. Although some boxes looked being beaten up, they were still one piece.
We waited more than 1 month and a half for DHL boxes. Tracking number is a joke, we got the same message as you: "The item was handed over to the International Logistics Center Frankfurt on [date] to be forwarded to the country of destination. Unfortunately the tracking and tracing of the destination country does not offer a data interface with the tracking and tracing of Deutsche Post AG. Further information is also provided by the website of the country of destination."
Finally one day we received the boxes, they were all literally broken. One box was even not our original box, they replaced it with another one and the box became so light that we lost most content in it.
We sent an letter to DHL to claim for the loss, after 2 MONTHS we got an letter saying we should go to USPS to complain.
Take home message: DHL only ship boxes to the airport, then it will be transfer to USPS' hands. And of course, neither side is taking the responsibility. JUST NEVER USE DHL AGAIN.

Post Reply