Glossary of Delivery Terms

Shipment Dispatched

What Is Shipment Dispatched?

Shipment dispatched in shipping is a crucial step in the logistics and transportation industry, indicating that a package or cargo has been sent out for delivery to its intended destination. 

In this article, we will explore the meaning of “shipment dispatched” in shipping, the various elements of the dispatch process, and address some frequently asked questions here.

What Does Shipment Dispatched Mean In Shipping?

Shipment dispatched in shipping signifies that the goods or parcels have left the seller’s or manufacturer’s facility and are on their way to the recipient or final destination. It symbolizes the transition from the preparatory phase to the actual movement of the cargo. 

Before dispatch, various essential tasks are completed, such as packaging, labeling, and ensuring all necessary documentation is in order. The term “dispatched” clearly indicates that the items are no longer stationary but are on their way to their final destination. 

The shipment is handed over to a carrier for transportation, and the sender usually provides the recipient with tracking information to inform them about the shipment’s status. 

From this point, the dispatched cargo begins its journey to the intended destination, with the mode of transportation varying based on the specific logistics involved. 

What Happens During the Dispatch Process?

The dispatch process is a critical step in shipping and logistics that involves coordinating the movement of goods from the point of origin to the destination. While specific details can vary depending on the nature of the shipment, the carrier, and the shipping company, here’s a general overview of what typically happens during the dispatch process:

Shipment Preparation

Shipment preparation is the initial phase where goods are readied for transportation. During this step, the shipper meticulously packages the items, ensuring they are well-protected and secure for transit. 

This process also involves affixing labels to the packages, typically containing information such as the destination address, tracking numbers, and handling instructions. 

Additionally, all required documentation, including a bill of lading, packing lists, and customs documents (for international shipments), is prepared and attached to the shipment. Compliance with shipping regulations and safety standards is crucial at this stage to prevent any issues during transport.

Carrier Selection

Once the goods are prepared for shipping, the shipper must select an appropriate carrier or transportation method. This decision is based on several factors, including the size and weight of the shipment, the destination, the desired delivery timeline, and cost considerations. 

The shipper may choose from various shipping companies and modes of transport, such as ground transportation (trucks), air freight, maritime shipping, or railway transport. 

The choice of carrier and transportation method can significantly impact the cost, speed, and reliability of the shipment.


Scheduling is the step where the shipper arranges for the carrier to pick up the prepared shipment. This coordination may involve specifying a time and date for the carrier to collect the goods from the shipper’s location. 

Alternatively, the shipper may decide to deliver the goods directly to a carrier’s facility, depending on the agreed-upon terms. 

Effective scheduling is crucial to ensure the timely and efficient movement of goods and to meet customer delivery expectations.


With the goods in the carrier’s possession, the transportation phase commences. The selected carrier is responsible for moving the shipment from the point of origin to the designated destination. 

The duration and route of transportation depend on factors like the mode of transport chosen and the distance involved. 

For instance, land-based transportation by truck may take hours or days for domestic shipments, while international shipments transported by sea or air can take several weeks.

Final Mile Delivery

The final delivery phase marks the conclusion of the dispatch process. In this step, the carrier delivers the shipment to the recipient or the recipient’s designated location. 

Depending on the delivery terms and recipient preferences, the carrier may leave the goods at the recipient’s doorstep, arrange a pickup at a local facility, or engage in more specialized delivery services. 

A crucial aspect of this step is obtaining proof of delivery (POD), which may be in the form of a signed receipt or electronic confirmation, signifying the successful completion of the delivery.

Elements of the Dispatch Process

The dispatch process involves several key elements, each essential for ensuring the smooth and timely delivery of goods. Here is a detailed breakdown of the dispatch elements:

  • Packaging and Preparation – This initial step involves the proper packaging of the items to be dispatched. This includes selecting appropriate packaging materials (boxes, pallets, containers), ensuring that the items are securely packed to prevent damage during transit, and labeling the packages with essential information (sender’s and recipient’s addresses, handling instructions, and any necessary warnings).
  • Handover to the Carrier – Once the items are properly packaged, they are handed over to the chosen carrier or shipping company. This could be a courier service, a freight company, or any other logistics provider. The handover includes completing any required documentation such as bills of lading, waybills, or shipping labels.
  • Notification and Tracking Information – After handing over the packages to the carrier, it is essential to provide notification to the sender and sometimes the recipient as well. This notification may include details such as the estimated delivery date, tracking numbers, and a link or means to access online tracking services. Tracking information allows all parties involved to monitor the progress of the shipment.
  • Transit to the Destination – This is the phase where the carrier takes control of the shipment and transports it from the point of origin to the destination. During this transit phase, the carrier is responsible for ensuring the safe and timely delivery of the items. The tracking information is crucial in monitoring the progress and identifying any potential issues during transit.

Frequently Asked Questions about Dispatched in Shipping

Let’s address some common questions that people often have about shipments that have been dispatched in the shipping process.

What Is the Difference Between Dispatched and Shipped?

The terms dispatched and shipped are often used interchangeably, but they can have slightly different connotations depending on the context. “Shipped” typically refers to the entire process of sending goods from the seller to the buyer, including the initial processing, packaging, and handover to the carrier. “Dispatched,” on the other hand, specifically indicates that the shipment is on its way to the recipient after all the preliminary processes have been completed.

What Is the Difference Between Dispatched and Delivered?

“Dispatched” signifies that the shipment is en route to the recipient but has not yet reached its final destination. In contrast, “delivered” means that the shipment has successfully arrived at the recipient’s address and is in their possession.

Does Dispatched Mean the Order Will Arrive Today?

Not necessarily. The arrival time of a dispatched order depends on various factors, including the shipping method chosen, the distance to the destination, and any potential delays in the transportation process. While some shipments may arrive the same day they are dispatched, others may take several days or longer.

How Long Does an Order Take to Arrive After It’s Been Dispatched?

The arrival time of a dispatched order varies widely, primarily depending on the chosen shipping method. Same-day delivery ensures the order arrives at its destination on the same day it is dispatched, it is ideal for urgent items but often at an added cost and available only in specific areas. In contrast, economy shipping, while more cost-effective, takes longer, with delivery time depending on factors like distance and transportation efficiency.

Can a Dispatched Order Be Canceled?

In most cases, it cannot be canceled once a shipment has been dispatched. The dispatch process involves handing the shipment to the carrier, which is no longer under the sender’s control. However, if there is a valid reason for cancellation, customers should contact the seller or the carrier to explore possible solutions.

How Can I Track My Order Once It’s Been Dispatched?

To track your order once it’s been dispatched, you can utilize Detrack’s Tap to Track feature. This user-friendly feature allows you to monitor your shipment’s real-time status and location effortlessly. Simply tap or click on the provided tracking link, and you’ll be directed to a web page or app displaying your order’s live tracking information.

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