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Lost items are something e-com businesses may confront. Are you prepared?

(Source: Bigstock.)

Have you wondered why your packages may not get delivered? There are a few reasons why they may not make final delivery, including: 

  • A package was lost in transit: If a package’s tracking has not been updated in a few days, it’s possible the package has gone missing in transit or has been misplaced at a sorting facility. 
  • It was delivered to the wrong address: If the tracking information shows the package was delivered, but your customer hasn’t seen it, double-check your customer’s address against the address on the shipping label. 
  • A package was stolen: Some carriers require the sender of the parcel to file a complaint, and the customer can file a police report if they would like. 

What to do if a customer has a lost or damaged package

You want to keep your customers happy and returning to you in the future. As a result, you will need to help them with their lost or damaged merchandise by: 

  • Replacing the item: Don’t wait to begin reconciling the issue with your customer. If you’re able to replace the item, go on and do so. 
  • Offering store credit: If an item isn’t able to be replaced within the customer’s preferred timeframe, offering store credit may be an alternative. 
  • Giving the customer a refund: Keep in mind that 85 per cent of consumers believe it’s the retailer’s responsibility to ensure products are delivered as expected. 

Tips to avoid missing or stolen packages

  • Signature confirmation: Signature confirmation may be more expensive, but it is the best way to ensure that packages are delivered correctly. For items like cellular phones or jewellery, signature confirmation has become standard. 
  • Hide parcel/use back door: Encourage your customers to leave specific instructions about where to hide packages upon delivery. 
  • Consider shipping insurance: Shipping insurance is a great way to ensure that any lost or damaged parcels get their full refund. While some services have limits on what is covered, you can always purchase additional insurance to cover high-value items.  

How to file a claim with the carrier

To file a claim, you need to know each carrier’s process as each has different turnaround times and requirements. Follow the links in each article to fill out a claim with a carrier directly. 

Aramex: To file a claim with Aramex, simply fill out its claim form

Australia Post: Australia Post recommends contacting it if a shipment hasn’t been delivered within a corresponding timeframe of the estimated date. Australia Post also investigates refunds for each case presented, so the refund amount may vary.  

DHL: DHL requires claims to be filed within 30 days of when the carrier received the shipment and photos of damaged shipments. If the tracking information hasn’t been updated in more than 24 hours, reach out to your local customer service department. It also recommends taking photos of your package before shipping.

FedEx: FedEx has a very detailed claims process. You can file a claim for a missing parcel up to nine months after the shipping date, and its claims portal allows you to file a claim of up to 200 unique tracking numbers at a time. 

While it’s impossible to rule out the possibility of lost or damaged products, having a good strategy for lost, damaged, and stolen shipments is crucial for e-commerce businesses. ShipStation can help streamline your shipping and keep your shipments moving smoothly. To see how we can help you ship, track, and manage the returns of your packages, try ShipStation free for 30 days