What Does “DHL Shipment On Hold” Status Mean? | What You Should Do

Last Updated on 25/06/2022 by Miki Yoshida

We all hate having to wait for packages that we’ve been anxiously waiting for. You go live-tweeting about how long it is taking and your friends and family show sympathy and say, “I feel your pain.” But, what do you do when you don’t know how much longer you’ll have to wait? If you’ve been holding your breath and it’s becoming clear that your DHL shipment on hold will be on more than a short-term hold, then it’s time to take a step back and consider what you can do to get the package delivered. It might be time to reach out to the company that was supposed to deliver your package and find out what’s going on.

DHL shipment on hold


What Does “DHL Shipment On Hold” Status Mean?

If you’ve ever tracked a DHL shipment, you may have noticed the “on hold” status at some point during the process. So, what does this “DHL Shipment On Hold” status mean? Basically, it means that DHL is waiting for something – whether that’s more information from the sender, payment, or the required documents for customs clearance. Once DHL has what it needs, the shipment will move on to the next stage in the process.


Why Is Your DHL Shipment On Hold?

Your DHL shipment is on hold if action needs to be taken to process it. Holds are given for various reasons, including:

  1. A required document or signature is missing
  2. The shipment is too heavy or large.
  3. An unpaid invoice.
  4. Customs clearance has not been arranged.
  5. The shipment is not packed according to DHL standards.
  6. A required shipment category is not selected.

1. A required document or signature is missing.

One possible reason a shipment can be on hold is due to a lack of a signature on the shipment. This typically occurs when someone has been expecting a shipment but has not been home, or because the authorized person has declined to sign for the shipment.

2. The shipment is too heavy or large.

Another reason could include the shipment being too heavy or large. This could apply in instances where someone is not legally authorized to receive the shipment, or for places where they are not allowed to receive the shipment.

3. An unpaid invoice.

Alternately, there could be an unofficial hold on the shipment due to an unpaid invoice. This typically occurs when the purchaser has not paid for the shipment in full.

4. Customs clearance has not been arranged.

“DHL Shipment On Hold” status indicates a potential customs issue. Your shipment may be held up by a customs detector or may suffer a delay due to a customs hold. Customs detectors work to help eliminate potential threats to public safety by scanning for prohibited items. Customs holds occur when the Customs and Border Protection Agency senses an increased likelihood of prohibited merchandise being shipped.

5. The shipment is not packed according to DHL standards.

All packages must be packed securely and safely to ensure that they arrive at their destination in good condition. A shipper will need to take a look at the shipment and make sure that it meets the DHL standards for packing before resending it.

6. A required shipment category is not selected.

If you’re shipping with DHL and find that your shipment is on hold, it’s likely because you haven’t selected the required shipment category. Make sure to check the requirements for your specific shipment category before proceeding with your shipment.

A DHL shipment on hold status may result in a form being sent to the shipper with information on how to proceed. If you’ve been tracking a package from DHL and it has been labelled as “shipment on hold,” this usually means that there has been a problem with the shipment. In some cases, goods can be sent back to the sender, which will explain why your package is on hold. In other cases, a shipment will be put on hold to be manually processed. If you have a package that is on hold with DHL, there could be a variety of explanations for this status as mentioned here.


What Should You Do If You Find “DHL Shipment On Hold” Status?

If you find that your DHL shipment is on hold, there are a few things you can do in order to get it moving again.

  1. First, you’ll want to check with the DHL customer service representative to see if there is anything you can do on your end to get the shipment moving again.
  2. If not, you can always reach out to the shipper to see if they can help resolve the issue.
  3. Lastly, if all else fails, you can always file a claim with DHL to get your shipment moving again.
  4. Alternatively, if you are sure that the DHL shipment is on hold because of the DHL processing the shipment, you can file a complaint with DHL customer service.

DHL shipment on hold


How To Know If You’ve Got “DHL Shipment On Hold” Status

Determining whether your DHL shipment is on hold can be complicated, but we’re here to help.

  • When a shipment is at the pickup station and not yet on its way to the destination, it is considered on hold. The notification indicates that the customs fees haven’t been paid by the sender. When customs fees are paid, the status of the shipment will be changed to “Processing”. Shippers are given the option to either pay the customs fees for holding shipments or process the shipments themselves.
  • If a shipment is on its way to the destination and at the destination, the shipment is considered not on hold. When a shipment is in transit in the destination country, but in transit in the United States, or in transit in whatever country it is leaving from, the shipment will have the DHL Shipment On Hold status. This means that there are delays in the shipment, which are being communicated to the loader in charge of the shipment. The loader in the destination will then wait for this shipment to come into the destination country, at which point they will be advised to retrieve it.
  • When a shipment is on its way to the destination and not yet at the destination, it is considered an “on hold” status. This means that the shipment has not yet reached its destination.
  • If a shipment is at the destination and not yet delivered, it is considered on hold. In this case, it can be unclear what is holding up the delivery or whether something has happened with the recipient. If you want to check on the status of a shipment, you can communicate with your DHL contact with the shipment’s reference number.
  • If a shipment has been delivered and is on its way back, it will be on hold once it reaches the pickup station. The customer will be informed that the shipment has been successfully delivered. This means that the shipment remembers that it was delivered to the pickup station, and it does not need to be delivered again.



It can be frustrating when you need to send a package on time and the delivery company tells you that it is on hold. This may be because the package is too heavy or has some other issue that prevents it from being shipped by ground, air, or international. This is something of a mystery to some people, but the hold means that the package is waiting to be picked up later or that it’s not appropriate to be shipped. We hope you have understood what “DHL Shipment On Hold” means and what to do with it after reading this article. You can also read about our DHL weekend delivery article to learn more regarding DHL.

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