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“We Are Expecting It”: Royal Mail’s Parcel Tracking Status

The phrase “we are expecting it” on Royal Mail’s tracking can be confusing. This article explains what this status means and discusses the concerns shared by online sellers.

The status “we are expecting it” pops up on Royal Mail’s tracking system when a sender has created an order for shipment, and a tracking number has been assigned, but the item hasn’t entered Royal Mail’s delivery network for its first physical scan yet​​. Essentially, Royal Mail has received a heads-up that your order is on its way to them, but they haven’t received the actual item yet​​. This status indicates that the item has been given to Royal Mail, and more updates will follow once it’s scanned into their system​​.

Why Is This a Problem?

The “we are expecting it” status can become an issue when it stays unchanged for a long time. Without the first scan, there’s no proof that the parcel has been handed over to Royal Mail, which becomes problematic when parcels are delayed, and customers demand refunds.

Factors That May Delay Scanning:

Various factors can delay the scanning of your parcel into Royal Mail’s system:

  • The sender has only just dispatched your order.
  • There are postal delays or strike actions affecting Royal Mail service.
  • The item is coming from outside the UK, which takes longer due to customs clearance and travel time​​.

What to Do If You See This Status:

Seeing this status isn’t necessarily a cause for worry. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Be patient and allow some time for the order to reach Royal Mail based on standard delivery times.
  • Keep tracking your order every few days to see if the status has updated.
  • Verify the tracking number to ensure it’s correct.
  • If it’s been over 7 days with no change, contact the seller to inquire about the order.
  • If the order remains lost after 2 weeks, you might need to request a replacement


  1. Q: What does “we are expecting it” mean on Royal Mail’s tracking? A: It means Royal Mail knows about the parcel but hasn’t scanned it into their system yet.
  2. Q: Why is this status a concern for sellers? A: Without a first scan, there’s no proof that the parcel was handed over to Royal Mail. This becomes a problem if parcels are delayed and customers want refunds.
  3. Q: What can cause delays in scanning? A: Things like strikes or a busy holiday season can cause delays, leading to a pile-up of unscanned parcels.
  4. Q: What solutions are sellers considering? A: Some thought about dropping off parcels at the Post Office for a first scan, while others considered using different postal services like DPD.

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