DHL Shipment En Route: Meaning, Delay Possibilities & How Long You May Have To Wait

“En Route” is a tracking update used by package carriers to describe a shipment progressing toward delivery. For context, the sender has dispatched your item and is already in a sorting facility or moving toward your address. 

Mind you, not all shipping companies use the tag “en route” tag. For example, USPS and UPS prefer “in transit.” Other tracking portals may display “shipped” or “arriving” instead. Any of these updates have similar implications to the “en route” tracking update.  

This guide discusses what “shipment en route” generally means, how long it takes, factors that can delay it, and what to do. You will also discover how it differs from the “out for delivery” tracking update and its affiliation with DHL. 

Meaning of “Shipment En Route” 


“Shipment En route” means a package is progressing towards delivery directly or indirectly. In other words, your package is either: 

  • At a distribution center, waiting to undergo sorting and scanning into the carrier’s database. 
  • In transit towards another local facility or your address. 

It is a tracking update commonly used by (but not limited to) DHL and is not very specific compared to the “out for delivery” tracking update. 

How Long Does “Shipment En Route” Take?

How long a shipment takes to arrive at your doorstep once it is “en route” depends on several factors. They include: 

Shipping option 

Most shipping companies offer both standard and express delivery. Packages under standard shipping may take up to 3 to 8 business days to arrive at their destinations. 

On the other hand, express or expedited shipping options may arrive between 24 to 48 hours, depending on the type and what works for the carrier. 

Your location 

Packages shipped within a country or city tend to arrive faster when they are “en route” than those going overseas. This is because international packages undergo customs clearance procedures and must travel a long distance. 

Standard shipping may deliver such shipment within 1 to 3 weeks. Expedited shipping usually completes the process in less than 2 weeks. 

The easiest way to know when your package will be delivered once it is “en route” is to check the estimated delivery date promised by the carrier or on the tracking portal. 

Why Is Your Package Still En Route?

It is not unusual for a package to be stuck on the “en route” or “in transit” update. When this occurs, it is usually due to: 

  • Delivery exceptions such as poor weather, customs delays, and logistic issues (faulty equipment or technical glitches).
  • Your package might also be missing, lost, stolen, or yet to be scanned. 

You may need to contact the carrier’s customer service for an update about your shipment. 

En route to DHL eCommerce Vs. En Route to DHL eCommerce for a Week

En route to DHL eCommerce is DHL’s way of saying your package is “en route.” It simply means the sender or seller has dispatched your package to DHL. However, it has not been scanned. 

This differs from the “en route to DHL eCommerce for a week” update. This update signifies the presence of several items (than usual) at DHL’s distribution center and the need to be patient. 

In other words, if your package is supposed to be scanned within 3 days, the “en route to DHL eCommerce for a week” may extend it to 5 days.

Does “En Route” Mean “Out for Delivery”?

Not always. This is because a package “en route” can be anywhere between a sorting facility, in a vehicle towards another facility, or on its way to your address. 

On the other hand, “out for delivery” is more specific. It usually means your package has left a local facility and should arrive within a few days. 

In other words, a package “out for delivery” is rarely static, and you can estimate when it should arrive. 


What is the difference between dispatched and en route?

Dispatched means the package is no longer with the seller, whereas en route means it is now at a shipping facility, awaiting scanning or on its way to you. 

How do you know if your package is in transit?

The easiest way to know if your package is in transit or en route is to track it actively. Visit the tracking portal of the courier and input your package’s tracking number to know its status. 

Does dispatched mean it will arrive today?

Dispatched does not mean you will get your package that same day. It only means the seller or sender has dropped it at a shipping facility and is looking forward to delivery the same way you are. 


The “shipment en route” tracking is usually a good signal. It means your package is progressing towards delivery and should arrive based on the estimated delivery date. 

However, you should note that not all shipping companies use the phrase “en route.” Tracking updates synonymous with it include “in transit,” “shipped,” “arriving,” and “processing.”

Lastly, ensure you closely track your package and report any issues or delays to DHL customer service. 

I hope you found this guide helpful. Feel free to learn more about the meaning and importance of an estimated delivery date for a shipment. 

Thanks for reading.