DHL delivery attempt could not be completed

a good delivery experience reflects positively on a merchant’s brand image

  • Written by Ellie Kwon
  • Published on September 7, 2023
  • Time to read 9 minutes

What Does “DHL delivery attempt could not be completed” Mean?

“DHL delivery attempt could not be completed” typically means that the DHL courier or delivery person could not deliver the package. 


Recipient Absent

• First, the recipient might not have been at the delivery address when the courier tried to deliver the package.

Incorrect Address

• Second, the address provided might be incorrect or incomplete. This makes it hard for the courier to locate the recipient.

Restricted Access

• Also, some delivery locations might have restricted access or security measures. Further, these prevent the courier from reaching the recipient.

No Safe Location

• Next, packages that require a signature need to be physically there to receive it. Thus, if there’s no one there to receive it, the courier might not be able to complete the delivery.

Delivery Hours

• The courier attempted the delivery outside the recipient’s regular business hours. 

Weather or Traffic Conditions

• Finally, external factors like severe weather or heavy traffic might prevent the courier from completing the delivery.

When the DHL delivery attempt cannot be completed, DHL usually notes that there was an issue preventing successful delivery. In many cases, the courier will leave an attempt notice. On it, they ask the recipient to arrange for redelivery or pickup from a local DHL facility. Refer to any contact or notice from DHL to understand the specific reason for the unsuccessful delivery. From there, one can arrange for the package to be delivered successfully.

What To Do Now

If you receive a notification stating that a DHL delivery attempt could not be completed, here’s what you can do.

Check for Communication

• First, look for any communication from DHL. This includes emails, text messages, or physical notices left at the delivery address. Further, this will provide information about the attempted delivery. Also, it will include instructions on what to do next.

Contact DHL

• Next, use the tracking number to track the status of your shipment on the DHL website or app. Thus, this can give you more detailed information about the delivery attempt. Further, it will provide options for re-delivery or pickup.

Follow Instructions

• Then, if there’s a notice left by the DHL courier, it might provide instructions on how to proceed. It could include information about arranging a re-delivery. Further, it can also discuss picking up the package from a DHL facility or provide further delivery instructions.

Redelivery or Pickup

• Also, you might have the option to schedule a redelivery. This depends on the situation. Further, this allows the choice of a better time or to pick up the package from a nearby DHL facility. To do so, follow the instructions provided by DHL. Then, choose the option that works best for you.

Update Address Details

• The delivery attempt may be unsuccessful due to an incorrect address. Therefore, ensure address details are valid and current in your DHL account.

Contact Customer Support

• Finally, if you’re unsure about the next steps or encounter any issues with arranging re-delivery or pickup, contact DHL’s customer support. They can guide you through the process.

Consider Time-Sensitive Shipments

• If your shipment is urgent, take prompt action to avoid delays.

A customer review is shown, with 1 star, and the customer clearly upset that their package wasn't delivered

Why Does This Matter to the Merchant?

The successful delivery of a package matters to the merchant for a few reasons.

Customer Satisfaction

A successful delivery adds to positive customer satisfaction. Prompt and easy deliveries leave a positive impression of the merchant and their products or services. A satisfied customer is more likely to become a repeat customer. Again, if customers have a good experience with the delivery process, they are more likely to return for future purchases. Also, the delivery process is a touchpoint between the customer and the merchant’s brand. So, a good delivery experience reflects positively on the merchant’s brand image. Further, delivery issues can lead to negative perceptions.

Cost Cutting

Also, when customers receive their orders without any problems, there are fewer inquiries and complaints that the merchant’s customer support team needs to handle. Thus, it frees up resources for other tasks. The merchant invests in shipping and delivery services to ensure products reach customers. If a delivery attempt fails, it can impact the merchant’s return on investment for the shipping costs. Again, unsuccessful delivery attempts can lead to additional costs for the merchant. For example, redelivery attempts, package storage, or returns can incur extra expenses.

What Can The Merchant Do?

Communication with Customer

Contact the customer immediately to inform them about the unsuccessful delivery attempt. Provide them with accurate and precise information about why the delivery could not be completed. Provide responsive customer support to assist the customer with any questions or concerns. This could involve helping them with rescheduling delivery or addressing any specific requirements.

Provide Options

 Offer the customer different options to address the situation.

• Redelivery Pickup

• Address Confirmation

• Delivery Instructions

• Coordinate with DHL

• Resolve Address Issues

Monitor and Follow Up

Keep track of the situation and follow up with the customer to ensure the chosen solution succeeded. If necessary, intervene with DHL again to ensure the next delivery attempt succeeds.

Preventive Measures

Take steps to prevent issues in the future. This might include improving address verification processes, clarifying delivery instructions, or using other shipping options.


Recipients and merchants are essential in navigating situations where DHL delivery attempts are unsuccessful. Open communication, prompt action, and problem resolution contribute to a positive outcome for all parties involved.

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