Can DHL Express Packages Arrive Early

You’re expecting a package to arrive via DHL, and you’ve noticed that it has reached a distribution center ahead of schedule. Great! Does this mean that you’ll be getting it sooner than expected? Can DHL Express packages arrive early?

DHL Express packages will usually be delivered on time. If the package reaches a distribution center ahead of schedule, it will generally be kept there until the date of delivery. However, it may be possible to pick up your package from the distribution center if it arrives there earlier than expected.

Keep reading to learn more about DHL protocol on early delivery estimates, how to track your package, and what to expect near the holidays. 

Can DHL Express Arrive Early?

Sometimes, if the delivery has been subcontracted to a local courier, you may get your DHL Express package ahead of schedule. But if DHL handles the entire shipping and delivery process, you will not likely receive your package ahead of schedule. 

This is because the day and time of delivery can not be changed once it has been set with DHL. Delivering a package early may result in the package arriving when the recipient is away from home, which would cause an inconvenience for the receiver and the DHL delivery driver. 

In addition, DHL Express is an incredibly fast service, and it’s likely that your package will arrive as soon as projected. For example, DHL Express offers domestic next-day delivery. That’s a very speedy route, and it would be difficult, if possible, to get a package cross-country any sooner than that. 

DHL Express is great for smaller items, but larger packages and extra-large commercial shipments may take more time to ship and deliver. A package is also more likely to arrive early during less-busy times, such as the Spring and Summer, and is less likely to be early, closer to Christmas and New Years. 

Can I Track My Package?

While DHL packages generally do not arrive ahead of schedule, tracking your package online using your tracking number is possible. Enter your tracking number into the website or the DHL app, and you can see where your package is and when it arrived. This can be especially useful for international shipments which arrive at multiple ports along the way. 

It is also possible to call DHL at 1-800-225-5345 and input your tracking number manually for an update as to the status and location of your package. If your package has arrived ahead of schedule, you can pick it up in person from a physical location. Bring your tracking number and a valid photo ID, and let the customer service representative know you are here for your package. This can save you the extra days’ wait in the meantime. 

Why Is My Package Early?

Any number of factors can influence a package arriving early. International shipping routes may be speedier than expected, forecast inclement weather may have failed to materialize, or a plane may have gotten a head start a day ahead of schedule. 

Alternatively, the shipper may have gotten to your order ahead of schedule, meaning your package is on its way a day or two early. Whatever the reason, while packages arrive at DHL hubs ahead of schedule, it is uncommon for them to be delivered to your home earlier than the agreed-upon date. 

If your package does arrive at the DHL hub ahead of schedule, expect to see “shipment on hold” next to your delivery status. This means your package is waiting at the center until it is loaded on a truck or into a van and delivered to you. 


DHL Express packages are unlikely to be delivered early due to the already-rapid delivery rate and the inability to alter delivery dates with DHL. However, if a package does arrive early, it is likely to be a smaller package delivered during slower seasons, such as Spring or Summer. 

DHL Express packages can be tracked online using the DHL website or the app and your package’s tracking number. If a package does arrive at a DHL hub ahead of schedule, you’ll likely see a delivery status reading “shipment on hold.” You may still be able to pick up this package from the DHL hub if you have your tracking number and photo ID. 

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