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Package Lost In Transit: The 7 Most Common Reasons


Unlike most shipping insurance companies, UNIVAL Logistics is involved in both global shipping and package insurance. We know firsthand how important it is to protect yourself, especially when sending items overseas or through multimodal means. Unfortunately, some packages are lost in transit due to insecure shipping methods.

When you run a company that delivers to customers, your reputation takes a hit when a package is lost in transit, regardless of whether it was through no fault of your own. Consequently, you should be aware of the most common reasons packages are lost, or worse, destroyed, in order to prevent it from happening.

Why Are Packages Lost in Transit?

While a package can be lost in transit for any number of reasons, the most common are:

  1. A package could be crushed by heavier items on top of it. Consequently, all cargo should be assessed for both weight and value before being loaded onto a truck, plane, or ship, as most professional carriers do.
  2. The wrong customs documents were filed when shipping internationally. Although you would presume that a logistics team would understand how to make sure an international package makes it to its destination, some shipping companies are less than professional and do not pay attention to these important documents.
  3. An accident or inclement weather could affect shipping time. It is rare, but carriers' trucks do sometimes get in accidents, and in inclement weather, containers have been known to fall off cargo ships.
  4. Human error can play a big part in cargo loss. While it is true that everyone makes mistakes, when it comes to handling someone's property, there is no room for error. Every package needs to be accounted for and placed into safe, capable hands.
  5. There could be a shipper error. If an address is misspelled, the wrong packaging is used, or if the address label falls off a package, the package cannot be delivered successfully.
  6. A package may be misdelivered. In other words, the package may be delivered to the wrong place. Address labels need to be clearly displayed and a shipping associate should be absolutely sure that the package is getting to its proper destination before moving on.
  7. Unfortunately, packages get stolen. Even after traveling all over the world, the package could still get stolen while sitting on the recipient’s front porch. Thefts grow increasingly common during the holidays, especially when large shipments are made and the recipient is unable to sign for the packages.

What Happens When a Package Is Lost In Transit?

After you report a package as lost, your carrier will begin a search, likely from the last depo where it was scanned. Because the carrier needs to go through thousands of packages and often identify them based on size and weight, the entire process can take weeks. If the package cannot be located after a set amount of time, it will be declared lost.

Specific Warehouses for Undelivered Packages

Some carriers operate specific warehouses where they store packages that were not delivered but are in their possession. So, not packages that were destroyed, stolen, or cannot be found for other reasons. If the carrier operates such a warehouse, finding a mislabeled package can be done much more quickly.

What Happens to Packages that Can Not Be Identified?

Packages that can not be identified do not remain in depots or warehouses indefinitelly. Depending on the carrier’s policy, they may be auctioned off, disposed of, or even shared among the staff. Each carrier has specific rules and regulations that govern what happens with unclaimed packages.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

To avoid losses, it is important to obtain insurance for shipping orders, no matter how small. Shipping with insurance is the only surefire way to make sure that the order arrives safely to the right person. However, be mindful that most major carriers only offer insurance up to a limited value, which is often not enough to cover high-value goods.

Making Sure Your Package Arrives Safely

Packages getting lost, stolen, or damaged is unavoidable, but the rates at which it happens are not the same across all carriers. With a truly professional logistics company, such an occurrence should be one in a million. At UNIVAL Logistics, we pride ourselves on the fact that we accompany your package everywhere, from start to finish.

We offer insurance for shipping and keep a close eye on your cargo to guarantee secure shipping. Even if the worst happens, our full-value insurance will allow you to recoup your losses and we will process your claims quickly to make sure you're paid within a reasonable amount of time.

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