One of the most reputable shipping and logistics companies on the planet today, DHL is trusted to deliver packages in 220 countries around the world – including the US.
With a world-class logistical chain guaranteeing that they move packages quickly, efficiently, and safely all over the world, it’s not hard to see why so many people choose this shipping partner – even over companies like UPS and FedEx.
At the same time, DHL definitely has a smaller footprint in the United States compared to companies like the two we mentioned a moment ago.
Some of that has to do with the fact that both of those companies have a bigger presence in American neighborhoods, with trucks driving all over our cities, towns, and small communities on a daily basis.
It’s not hard to find a brown and gold UPS truck or a white, purple, and orange FedEx truck somewhere in your town – or the next town over – pretty much every day of the week.
Finding a DHL delivery van, though, is a lot less common.
That’s led to people wondering whether or not DHL is as fast as UPS or FedEx, how late they deliver in the day, or if they are anywhere near as reliable as people say.
Well, we run through all of that (and more) in the rest of this detailed guide.
Expecting a Package from DHL?
A major reason that a lot of the US households don’t see DHL vans driving up their driveway all the time has to do with the fact that this company is primarily an international shipping services.
UPS and FedEx (as well as USPS) have a pretty firm grasp on the domestic shipping operations in the United States. DHL, though, is the number one choice for facilitating packages that are either coming into the United States from other countries or headed overseas themselves.
If you are expecting a package from DHL the odds are pretty good that someone – or a business – overseas is sending it to you.
This isn’t to say that DHL doesn’t handle domestic deliveries, though.
They do have a bit of a domestic footprint – and it’s a footprint that continues to grow and grow year after year as more people wake up to just how great the shippers are at moving packages quickly, safely, and reliably.
Average Travel Times for DHL Packages in the US
As of right now, packages that are sent from US addresses to other US addresses via DHL are going to be delivered within 2 to 8 business days, depending on the shipping option that you choose from DHL.
For example, DHL Ground is the slowest of all the domestic US shipping options available for businesses and residential customers. You can expect your package to get to its ultimate destination through this shipping services anywhere between three and eight business days after it was sent.
DHL Expedited, though, shaves a considerable amount of time off of that delivery window. You can expect deliveries within 2 to 5 business days.
DHL Expedited Max makes things go even faster. Packages won’t take any longer than 2 to 3 business days to get to their ultimate destination.
It is, however, important to remember that these delivery windows are average delivery times and not intended to be guarantees. There are a whole bunch of things that can throw your delivery schedule out of whack with DHL (and any other shipping company, for that matter).
We touch on those things in just a moment.
Average Travel Times for DHL Packages Being Sent Internationally
Packages that are either coming into the US from overseas or are being sent from the US to addresses internationally have their own delivery windows.
DHL Express Envelope – Documents are some of the fastest international delivery services available, with an estimated delivery timeline of arriving before the end of the next business day.
DHL Express Worldwide has the same delivery window.
DHL Express 12:00, DHL Express 10:30, and DHL Express 9:00 all guarantee very specific delivery deadlines by the next business day.
DHL Express 12:00 will arrive by noon the next business day. DHL Express 10:30 will arrive by 10:30 AM the next business day. And DHL Express 9:00 will arrive by 9 AM the next possible day – which may or may not be the next business day.
DHL Same Day (intended for lightweight parcels and documents) guarantees delivery by the end of the same day, within and 8 AM to 6 PM delivery window.
DHL Delivery Windows
As a general rule of thumb, DHL is going to be delivering their packages Monday through Friday in the United States.
Deliveries are going to start rolling out and hitting doorsteps at eight in the morning (local time), with deliveries generally stopping at six in the evening (local time).
Weekend delivery – and holiday delivery, too – generally isn’t going to be available in the United States unless you are paying a premium with DHL. You might even have to make special arrangements, too.
From time to time, you’ll have a DHL delivery person boiling to start their day a little bit earlier than 8 AM (local time) or willing to stay a little bit later than 6 PM (local time).
This is all done at driver/delivery person discretion.
If you have a package that you are expecting from DHL you can be pretty certain that it’s going to be delivered within that 8 AM to 6 PM window of time.
If that window has passed, though, and your delivery has not yet arrived it might be a good idea to contact customer service and figure out exactly what’s going on.
What Impacts DHL Delivery Times?
As we mentioned a moment ago, there are going to be a couple of different things that can impact DHL delivery times – or the delivery times from any shipping company (including USPS, UPS, and FedEx).
The shipping option that you have selected is going to have a huge impact on whether or not your delivery time is as quick as you thought it was going to be.
Less expensive shipping options are almost always slower, and more expensive shipping options are generally much faster.
If you absolutely have to have a package delivered within a certain block of time, or need to get that package to its ultimate destination ASAP, expect to have to pony up a little extra money to get that done.
When Was the Package Sent?
The time of day (the day of the week) that you send your package will also impact how quickly it arrives at its ultimate destination.
For example, a package received by DHL bright and early on Monday morning at 8 AM (local time) is going to be accepted into that DHL facility, moved into the shipping infrastructure, and – sometimes – even head out to begin its journey that same day.
The same package dropped off after 1 PM (local time) on that same day might not make its way into the shipping infrastructure until Tuesday morning, effectively losing a whole day. That can slow things down.
Dropping your package off at any time on Friday (without paying extra for weekend or expedited delivery) pretty much guarantees that your package is going to take a little bit longer to get where it’s going.
Dropping your package off late on a Thursday can do the same thing.
Where is the Package Going?
The ultimate destination of your package will greatly influence how quickly (or how slowly) it arrives.
Sending something across town with DHL?
Same-day delivery – or next day delivery – might not be all that unreasonable.
Sending something across the state with DHL?
You’re probably not going to have to wait any longer than a day or two for your package to arrive.
Sending something clear across the country with DHL?
Now you’re looking at two, three, or four days of travel time – and maybe even a little bit longer.
Sending something across the world with DHL?
These packages are (obviously) going to take a little bit of time to get where they are headed.
Holidays ALWAYS Cause Delays
Holidays put a tremendous amount of stress on every shipping company worldwide, especially those that are responsible for the shipping and logistics of packages coming into the US from international locations (or vice versa).
If you have an opportunity to send your holiday packages early – even much earlier than you might have thought to before – you are going to avoid a lot of headache and a lot of hassle.
Are You in a Rush?
If you are really in a rush to get your DHL package delivered – or want to get your DHL delivery to you ASAP – it’s worth paying a little bit of extra money for the expedited (and guaranteed) delivery windows.
What Happens If I Miss My DHL Delivery?
If you happen to miss a DHL delivery (which happens every now and again) do not panic.
A quick call to DHL customer support (or even your nearest DHL location) will usually help you figure out:
- Why your package was not able to be delivered
- Where your package is right now, this moment
- When delivery will be re-attempted and what you need to do to make sure it goes through as planned and
- Where you can go pickup your package and what that process looks like
Maybe the DHL delivery person wasn’t able to make it into your driveway for one reason or another. Maybe there was a signature needed on a package and no one was there to sign. Perhaps your package just got delayed longer than expected and delivery will be attempted the next day.
You’ll only know what happened to your DHL package and why it wasn’t delivered when expected when you reach out to customer service and support.
The easiest way to get a hold of customer service is through their phone number, which for US customers is 1-800-225-5345.
Give them a ring as soon as you get a chance, provide them with your tracking information, your name, your address, and any other details they ask, and then go through the process of locating that missing package and figuring out the best way to move forward.
DHL Says “Delivery By End of Day” – What’s That Mean?
If you have recently checked your DHL tracking code and it tells you that your package is scheduled for delivery by the end of day, you can (pretty reliably) trust that your package is going to be sitting on your doorstep – or the doorstep of your intended recipient – by 6 PM local time.
We mentioned earlier that the delivery window (the United States, anyway) for DHL is 8 AM local time to 6 PM local time.
When DHL tells you that your package will arrive by the end of the day, that’s exactly what they mean. The end of the day for DHL is 6 PM local, and if your package hasn’t arrived by that you need to use the customer service number we mentioned a moment ago to figure out what’s going on.
Guarantee Safe, Secure, and Reliable Delivery with US Global Mail
If you want to avoid a lot of the headache and a lot of the hassle in tracking your packages as they find their way to you via DHL (or anybody else) you’ll want to look at US Global Mail.
For more than 20 years now US Global Mail has been the gold standard in the virtual mailbox industry.
Providing a physical, safe, and secure mailing address that you can have your mail and packages routed to – from any shipping company, including the USPS, UPS, FedEx, and DHL – you’ll be immediately alerted about the arrival of every envelope, package, and parcel you get.
Not only are you going to receive an instant notification about your package arrival, but you’re also going to get a digital scan or photograph of the package or envelope itself. That confirms you’ve received what you were looking for beyond a shadow of doubt, but it also helps you avoid going down to the local post office every day just to find the box empty.
And that’s just barely scratching the surface of the benefits US Global Mail has to offer their clients.
If you’d like to learn a little bit more about what this virtual mailbox provider has to offer, contact them directly or visit the US Global Mail website today!