Why can a parcel get misrouted?

Home > Blog > Why can a parcel get misrouted?
Written by Ecoparcel March 24, 2021

Even though modern parcel shipping is pretty much fool-proof, mistakes sometimes do happen, especially if there's an increase in goods being shipped out at a similar time.

This factor remains a concern not only for shipping companies but for retail businesses as well, who depend heavily on fast times to satisfy their clients needs.

Naturally, as a businessperson, you want to make sure that this happens as rarely as possible and your shipped goods reach the destination they were intended for and on time.

In this post we will talk about how a misrouted parcel can occur.

Reasons why parcels can get misrouted

Quite often, in the world of business especially, everything depends on the speed of delivery. If your client expects to receive something in a matter of days and then receives a frustrating message that the parcel has been misrouted as it won't be coming in any time soon.

Disappointment, of course, grows. So, what could be the reasons for a parcel to be mis

The information on the package was incorrect

When a person enters their address information, they can make mistakes either by misspelling a street address, typing in the wrong house number or something similar. This means that parcel carriers will have to work with what they get, which is false info.

It's not uncommon that a package then gets sent to another person or company completely, sometimes even in totally different cities.

In the event that this happens, there's nothing left to do but to inform the person there's been a mistake with the key information, which led to their parcel being sent out somewhere else.

Human errors

Even though most shipping companies operate heavily automated, personnel is still needed in warehouses not only to control the machinery, but to take care of things like sorting and so on.

Simply loading a package on the wrong platform can lead to a shipment leaving for a completely different destination than intended and delivery delays.

Here are a few examples of what can happen in the warehouse:

  • Special packages - priority packages are often stored in a separate place in preparation for the flight and are handled with much more care than others. This is especially relevant when there are sensitive or life-saving shipments involved like medical equipment or organ transplants. This may lead to more simple packages being accidentally abandoned.
  • Change of gate - parcels are typically placed in carts and are moved towards a certain gate to be placed on a plane or other form of transport. If the gate changes, some parcels may be accidentally left at a ramp.
  • Look-alike shipments - most packages are pretty similar in the way they're packaged, which leaves to the people sorting to place everything correctly. Sometimes the key info like addresses are written by hand, which gives even more room for error.

And other things.

Automated system errors

Believe it or not, the systems used in warehouses are completely error-prone. Anything can happen on a conveyor belt that usually operates 24/7 to sort thousands or even millions of shipments over a period of time.

Sometimes the labels can appear pretty much identical, which can leave the system to place packages towards another destination and thus misrouting it. Errors like this are impossible to see immediately and can only be found later on after a package is already delivered.

What to do if a package gets misrouted when I'm sending with Ecoparcel?

Our partners make sure that parcel deliveries are being held with the utmost care, which leaves little room for errors. In the case that a misroute indeed happens, the package gets rerouted in the next 24 hours.

There's nothing to do from your side, unless you don't receive an update on your tracking status within the 24 hours. Be sure to contact our support team with your issue if that's the case.

All in all

Even though this happens on rare occasions, misrouted parcels are a real issue that shipping companies are always working on tackling. A delayed shipment can bring many problems for all involved sides, so careful handling is the way to go here.


Based on 6724 reviews