What Does “En Route” Mean With DHL?

Have you ever noticed “en route” on your DHL tracking information and wondered what that means? Fortunately, there’s a simple answer that tells you exactly what your package’s status is!

En route” often means that your DHL package is in a vehicle moving between destinations – possibly on a plane or a truck or even a ship. It could also mean that it is at a sorting facility, waiting for the next stage of its journey.

What Does DHL Shipment En Route Mean?

DHL shipment en route means that your package has been dispatched and is in the hands of DHL. The company is shipping it to you via whatever forms of transport are necessary (e.g. vehicle, train, truck, ship, plane) and it is still traveling.

Confusingly, “en route” can mean that the shipment is at a hub, rather than it is actually traveling.

The literal translation of “en route” is “during the course of a journey” or “on the way,” so it doesn’t mean that the package is actively traveling when you see this message; it just means that it is on its journey to you.

The term “en route” is equivalent to USPS’s phrase “In transit,” and means pretty much the same thing. It is fairly unspecific and doesn’t give you a lot of information about the package’s current status, except that it has been dispatched and left its original location.

What Does En Route DHL eCommerce Mean?

This message is slightly more difficult to decipher. It appears when a shipper has put the package in the trailer of packages that DHL needs to collect, but before DHL has collected it. DHL will not yet have scanned the item, and only has the shipper’s word that it has entered their system.

Once the package has been picked up and scanned, this message should disappear; it refers only to items on DHL’s pallet of shipments to collect.

Once scanned, packages will be entered into the DHL tracking system.

This can take a few days, depending on the number of items on the pallet and how busy DHL is, so don’t be alarmed if this message doesn’t disappear straight away.

It may take time for the staff to process all the items on the trailer.

How Long Does DHL Take To Deliver After An En Route Message?

How long DHL will take to deliver depends on the kind of shipping that has been paid for, and how much distance there is between the shipping country and the destination country.

If you are shipping packages a long way, it may take longer for them to arrive, although DHL does offer surprisingly good shipping speeds.

As a rough guide, DHL Express usually takes less than five working days to deliver an international package once the en route message is being displayed.

This is only an estimate, and it may take longer, but it is a useful guide.

By contrast, DHL International Standard takes between 1 and 3 weeks to arrive, and DHL International Expedited takes between 4 and 12 business days.

If you are shipping within the country, DHL will often only take between 3 and 8 working days, assuming you pay for standard shipping.

It’s a good idea to find estimates for the specific countries you are shipping between if you need a more accurate idea of how soon a package will arrive.

For example, deliveries between China and America can take longer, and it may be 3 to 6 working days before the package arrives.

If you are the shipper, you should see delivery estimates on the website when purchasing your shipping from DHL. If you are the recipient, you may be able to see a delivery estimate on the tracking information.

These should give you an idea of when a package is likely to be delivered.

Why Is My DHL Package Still En Route?

There are a number of reasons that your package may be delayed, and if in doubt, it is best to contact DHL for an update about it.

The issue may be a result of poor weather, transport delays, international problems, customs issues, a third-party delivery company holding things up, or other problems.

When packages are traveling internationally, there is a lot of scope for things to go wrong. Any natural disasters, trade embargoes, transport problems, or other issues can result in a major delay, and your package will continue to show “en route” until the problem clears up.

It is also possible that your package has got lost and if so, it may show the “en route” message for a long time. Get in touch with DHL customer services for help with this problem.


“En route” simply means that DHL has collected your package from the shipper and it is traveling.

You don’t get many other details from this message, but you should hopefully have the package within a few weeks, depending on the shipping method chosen.