Did your package get delivered to a neighbour, or not at all? Is it completely lost?

You're not alone! It's hard to receive packages in Germany. Even when you are home all day, your packages are often delivered to neighbours, nearby shops, or Paketshops1. I had to retrieve some packages in shops 3 kilometres from home. I also became an unofficial DHL Paketshop when the driver found that I work from home.

It doesn't matter if you use DHL, Hermes, GLS, Amazon Logistics or any other service. They are all pretty bad.

Where is my package?

Your package won't always be delivered at your door, even if you are waiting at home. The driver will not always ring your doorbell before leaving the package somewhere else.

  • It can be delivered to a neighbour
    Use the tracking number to find which neighbour has your package. Sometimes, they won't give you that information. You will have to find the package yourself!
  • It can be delivered to a nearby business or Paketshop
    If you don't pick up your package, it will be returned to the sender after a few days.
  • It can be in the delivery truck
    If you just got a delivery slip, wait until the next day. Your package will be returned to the post office at the end of the day.

You won't always get a delivery slip. Sometimes, you won't get any notification when your package arrives. You must use the tracking number to find your package. It's the most reliable way. I use paketda.de to track my packages.

Why are German delivery services so bad?

Delivery drivers have too much work, and are not paid enough. The drivers must deliver hundreds of packages every day for a very low salary1, 2. They save time however they can. This is why they don't ring your doorbell, deliver your packages to neighbours and forget to leave delivery slips.

How to get your packages every time

If you want to receive your packages reliably, don't use your home address.

  • Send your packages to a Packstation
    You can send your packages directly to pickup locations in your neighbourhood. This service is free. That includes Amazon Lockers, DHL Packstations, Hermes Paketshops and DPD Pickup locations. Your packages arrive where you want them to, and you don't need to wait at home. If the Packstation is full, they will deliver your package to another Packstation. You must sign up for DHL Packstations before you can use them.
  • Receive your packages at work
    If your workplace has a front desk, you can sometimes deliver your packages there. They can't claim that no one answered the door! (well, they do, but it's less common)
  • Get it yourself
    Sometimes, it's easier to get things from the store yourself.
  • Be extra nice to your driver
    Some people say that befriending your delivery driver helps1, 2. They give a better service if you tip them or offer them a drink.