Curious about what happens when your DHL shipment is put on hold? Why does it occur, and how does it affect your package? When your DHL shipment is put on hold, it means there’s a temporary pause in its movement. 

This can happen for various reasons, such as customs clearance, address verification, or security checks. The “Shipment On Hold” status may delay the delivery timeframe but don’t worry. You can take steps to resolve the hold and ensure successful delivery. 

Companies like DHL care most about getting packages to customers on time and making sure they are happy. Even though bad weather can sometimes cause delays, they try to keep them to a minimum and ensure packages arrive safely and on time. 

DHL, and similar shipping companies, employ reliable tracking systems and dedicated customer support teams to address concerns or inquiries. If you encounter any issues with your package, don’t hesitate to contact DHL’s customer support for assistance. They are committed to providing helpful solutions and ensuring a smooth shipping experience. 

Reasons for DHL Shipment On Hold

Cargo boxes with a DHL aircraft in the background.

If you follow your DHL package, you may see “Shipment On Hold.” Your package’s journey is temporarily halted. 

DHL has procedures to address shipment holds and ensure delivery. Let’s look at common shipment holds and how DHL manages them: 

Inaccurate or Incomplete Documentation

One common reason a shipment is put on hold is when there are inaccuracies or missing information in the documentation. This can include incomplete shipping labels, incorrect customs forms, or missing invoices. 

To avoid such holds, ensure all required documents are accurately filled out and included with your shipment. Double-check the information provided to ensure it matches the package contents and complies with customs requirements.

Customs Clearance Issues

Customs processing is a vital part of exporting goods around the world. It includes the steps to follow customs rules and ensure that things can move quickly across borders. But sometimes packages are delayed because of problems with customs. 

There could be missing or false declarations, restricted or banned items in the package, or a difference between the declared value and the real value of the goods. 

To avoid these delays as much as possible, it’s essential to know how customs works in the place where you’re going. Ensure you have all the papers you need, that they are filled out correctly, and that they meet the import/export rules of the country you are shipping to.

Address Verification and Delivery Issues

For a shipment to go smoothly, the delivery location must be correct. When there are problems, like an incomplete address, missing contact information, or a difference between the name and address of the receiver, a shipment may be held. 

To avoid these holds, ensure your address information is complete and correct when placing your order. If you find mistakes or changes in the location, let DHL know as soon as possible so they can fix it.

Security Concerns and Restricted Items

DHL puts a lot of importance on safety and following strict safety rules. Shipment holds can happen if there are security concerns about the package or if it includes items that aren’t allowed to be shipped. 

This can include dangerous materials, guns, chemicals, and other things that aren’t allowed. Knowing what DHL won’t ship and following their sending rules is important to ensure your package meets all safety standards.

Weather Conditions and External Factors

Even though they are not directly under DHL’s control, weather and other outside factors can sometimes cause shipments to be held up. Bad weather, natural disasters, or transportation network problems can slow package flow. 

When this happens, DHL will take the necessary steps to ensure that both the goods and their workers are safe. When this happens, patience and understanding are welcomed, as DHL tries to keep delivery delays to a minimum.

What to Do If Your DHL Shipment Is On Hold

Boxes piled for shipment being arranged by the worker

You can take steps to fix the problem and get your package going again. Here are the most important steps to take:

  1. Contact DHL Customer Service: Reach out to DHL’s customer service immediately. You can find their contact information on the DHL website. Inform them that your package is on hold and provide them with your tracking number. They will be able to assist you in understanding the reason for the hold and guide you in resolving the issue.
  2. Gather Documentation: Check if any specific documents are required to resolve the hold. This may include a packing list, bill of lading, or other necessary paperwork. Ensure you have all the requested documents ready, as they will be crucial for addressing the issue.
  3. Provide Accurate Information: If the hold concerns incomplete or incorrect documentation, provide the required information accurately and promptly. Double-check the details to ensure everything is filled out correctly. This will help expedite the resolution process.
  4. Follow Instructions: Listen carefully to the instructions given by the DHL customer service representative. They will guide you on the specific actions needed to resolve the hold. Follow their guidance step by step to ensure a smooth process.
  5. Cooperate with Customs Offices: If the hold is due to customs clearance, cooperate with the customs authorities. Provide any necessary information or documentation they require to complete the clearance process. Be patient and responsive to any requests they may have.
  6. Stay in Touch with Customer Care: Maintain regular communication with DHL’s customer care throughout the resolution process. They will update you on the progress and provide any additional information or assistance you may need.

Contact them immediately to rectify the situation. Provide accurate package information and follow their instructions. Doing so increases the odds of the hold being lifted and your shipment resenting. Stay in touch with customer care and follow their instructions throughout the process.

Tips to Avoid Shipment Holds on DHL

A man working with cargo packages for shipment

When shipping with DHL, following some helpful advice is essential to avoid shipment holds. Here are some best practices to keep in mind:

Complete and Accurate Documentation

Make sure to fill out all the required forms accurately and provide complete information about your shipment. Include details such as the contents of the package, its value, and the recipient’s address. Double-check everything before submitting the paperwork to avoid any errors.

Stay Updated on Customs Regulations

Before shipping internationally, take the time to learn about the customs regulations of the country you’re sending to. Research any restrictions or prohibited items to make sure you comply with the rules. By understanding and following the guidelines, you can prevent delays caused by customs officials.

Secure and Proper Packaging

To protect your items during transit, pack them securely using suitable materials. Consider the fragility of the goods and use appropriate cushioning. Proper packaging helps prevent damage and ensures a smooth journey for your shipment.

Check Shipping Restrictions

Be aware of any restricted items or goods not allowed for transportation. This can include hazardous materials, weapons, or perishable items. By avoiding prohibited items and adhering to the shipping guidelines, you can minimize the risk of shipment holds.

Plan Ahead and Track Your Shipment

Plan your shipments to allow for unexpected delays. Use the tracking number provided by DHL to keep an eye on your package’s progress. By staying informed about its whereabouts, you can address any issues promptly and avoid potential holds.


To avoid shipment holds, we recommend precise documentation, familiarizing yourself with customs regulations, utilizing adequate packaging, checking for shipping limits, and tracking. We also stress the importance of contacting DHL’s customer care for help with shipment holds.

If you follow these best practices and address any concerns, shipping with DHL may be easy and reliable. Be patient and accommodating when dealing with customs authorities or external variables, like civil turmoil, port congestion, or blocked borders that could affect shipping. 


What Does “Shipment on Hold” Meaning?

“Shipment on hold” refers to a situation where a package or cargo is temporarily delayed or put on hold during its transit or delivery process.

What Does It Mean When a Shipment is on Hold?

When a shipment is on hold, there is a temporary delay or pause in the delivery process. This can occur for various reasons, such as customs issues, incomplete documentation, or other factors requiring further attention or verification. Contacting DHL’s customer support is recommended for specific details regarding your shipment.

How Can Social Unrest Affect My DHL Shipment?

Social unrest in certain areas can impact transportation and logistics operations, potentially causing delays or disruptions to DHL shipments. Local protests, strikes, or civil unrest can affect the movement of goods and the ability to deliver packages safely. 

Can Closed Borders Impact My DHL Shipment?

Yes, closed borders might affect international shipping. Shipments may be delayed or held if borders are closed. It’s important to note that border situations can change fast, so call DHL’s customer service for the latest shipment information.

What Kind of Support Can I Expect From DHL’s Customer Support?

DHL customer support can advise on shipping questions. They can explain your shipment’s status, help you resolve holds or delays, and answer other DHL package questions. 

Why Is My DHL Shipment On Hold?

DHL shipments might stop for many reasons. Customs clearance, further verifications, weather, or logistical issues could cause it. DHL’s customer service is the best approach to learning about your shipment’s status and issues.

How Many Times Will DHL Attempt To Deliver a Package?

DHL usually resends packages. Delivery attempts vary by country and other circumstances. Local laws may limit delivery attempts. DHL customer support provides the most accurate delivery attempt information.