What to do if a parcel appears to be missing?

6 minuten leestijd
vermist pakket hond doos

Your parcel may have been delivered to the neighbours, may not have received a delivery scan, may be delayed or something else might have happened. Whatever the reason, there are a number of things you can do when your shipment has not been received by the correct person and you think it is lost. In this blog, we will tell you more about this and help you work out the best thing to do if you think a shipment is lost. This will help you help your customer receive their order.

Tip 1: Does your parcel’s status say ‘In distribution’ when it should have been delivered by now?

Please be patient and wait a little longer to be sure. The parcel may be delayed to due unforeseen circumstances, but it is on its way to the recipient. If the status of your shipment does not change for a longer period of time, then make sure you report this within 30 days (for PostNL- en DHL shipments) or 60 days (for UPS-shipments). In just a few simple steps you can report your delayed shipment within your account. Click here to start. 

Tip 2: Does your parcel’s status say ‘In distribution’ but you are unsure whether it has been delivered?

Your shipments summary states that a shipment has not yet been delivered but you think it should have been delivered by now, you could ask your customer whether the order has been received. The shipment might not have received its delivery scan correctly when the customer received their order. If that isn’t the case, you can report it through your account. We can then launch an investigation into your missing parcel shipment.

  • Missing parcels with destinations within the Netherlands and the European Union need to be reported to us within 30 calendar days (for PostNL- and DHL shipments) and 60 days (for UPS shipments) after the last scan through your account. For countries outside of the European Union, a deadline of 45 days applies. In order to launch an investigation, we need the sales invoice. That’s the invoice you sent to your customer. If you do not report a suspected missing parcel to us within the agreed term, we cannot reimburse you. 
  • The processing time for investigations is two to three weeks on average. We recommend that you send a second shipment (order) to the customer during the investigation if possible. 
  • If the first shipment turns up and is presented by the delivery worker to the recipient again a short while later, the recipient can refuse it at the door and the parcel will be returned to you. Please note! There may be costs involved.
  • If a shipment is not expected to turn up, provisional compensation is usually paid by PostNL within two weeks after the start of the investigation. This may take longer for DHL and UPS shipments.
  • The compensation depends on the shipment, shipping options and carrier. If you sell homemade products for which no purchase invoice can be submitted, the sales invoice is enough. 60% of the market value of the product will be reimbursed excluding VAT up to the insured amount. We will also credit your shipping costs.
  • If compensation is paid for a missing shipment and the shipment does turn up and/or is returned, this compensation will be reversed by PostNL. This excludes shipping costs, which will always be reimbursed.
  • The returns process takes longer than the outbound shipment. If the shipment has still not been returned after three weeks, please inform us.
  • You are only eligible for compensation in the event of a missing parcel for insured shipments.
  • Be aware that certain goods, which may have a foreign destination, are excluded from insurance; e.g. documents, banned items, fresh produce and precious metals.

Tip 3: Does your shipment have the ‘Delivered’ status when your customer hasn’t received anything?

The order has probably been delivered to the neighbours or to a PostNL location near your customer. If this is the case, your customer will have received a card stating where the parcel has been delivered. If this is not the case, please view the Track & Trace information to find out where the shipment has been delivered. If this does not provide any answers, you can advise your customer to ask their direct neighbours whether they have received the shipment.  If the parcel has not been delivered there either, we recommend that you report the missing parcel through your account and provide us with the necessary information. We can help you from there and view the journey information for the parcel.

  • For shipments within the Netherlands and Belgium, this enquiry needs to be made within seven calendar days so that there is a better chance that the delivery worker will remember where they delivered the shipment.
  • For parcel shipments outside of the Netherlands and Belgium, the report needs to be sent within 30 calendar days (for PostNL- and DHL shipments) or 60 days (for UPS shipments). 
  • If the scans show that the shipment was delivered, ask for a statement of receipt through your account in just a few simple steps. Please note, this is only necessary for a PostNL shipment. Your customer can use this statement to officially show that they have not received or signed for the parcel. The statement needs to be manually completed and signed by your customer. Click here to report your missing parcel and receive the statement of receipt.
  • If the shipment is insured, you can make an insurance claim. To do so, we need the purchase invoice and sales invoice as well as the completed statement of receipt. Please note, this is only necessary for a PostNL shipment. Submit the required document through your account in just a few simple steps.

Tip 4: Does your shipment have the ‘Delivered’ status but your customer has indicated that part or all of the contents of the shipment are missing?

If your customer has indicated that part or all of the contents of their order are missing, the shipment is subject to damage. You need to submit a claim and send all of the details within seven calendar days after the last scan. Guidance on how to submit a claim is available here.

More information?

If you have any questions about missing parcels, we’re here for you! Email us at We’re happy to help.