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 I’ve ordered an item from China, and got a tracking number, but tracking information shows “Opening”. What does it mean?
Answer: China Post offers online tracking service for registered parcels, but sometimes the English information is not very clear. We recommend TCG’s tracking tool, which improves the official statistics and makes sure each status is clear and understandable.

You can track your small parcel (tracking number starts with R) and large package (starts with C) through China Post Tracking. Find the tracking information of your EUB (starts with L and A), EMS (starts with E), or China International Express (starts with CT) mails through the Tracking system:

The tracking information of small parcels and large packages includes the item No., Year, Status, Location, Destination Country, and Date. Hereunder is a sample tracking information:

Item No. Year Status Location Destination Country Date
RB*********CN 2013 Collection Shanghai US 20130507 1042
RB*********CN 2013 Opening Shanghai US 20130510 0429
RB*********CN 2013 Departure from outward office of exchange Shanghai US 20130510 1312
RB*********CN 2013 Shipping Shanghai US 20130511 0728
RB*********CN 2013 Final delivery US US 20130520 1200

In the Status Column, “Collection” means the post office received the parcel; “Opening” refers to the step of customs check; “Departure from outward office of exchange” indicates the parcel was ready for shipment; the last two statuses are quite clear.

The location part is also very clear. However, if you use the China Post official website, you will be confused as there are numbers like 20110600 and acronym as PVG, instead of “Shanghai”. The number is actually the zip code of Shanghai, and PVG is the airport code of Shanghai Pudong International Airport. 

  Why does my parcel status get stuck at “Departure from outward office of exchange”?
Answer: Sometimes, the tracking information does not update in time. Another possibility is that your parcel has already left China, but the following status can not be traced as the destination country does not support China Post Tracking.

 When can I receive my parcel?
Answer: It depends on what kind of China Post service you have chosen. Usually it takes 7 – 20 working days for AIR and SAL mails, and 40 – 70 days for a surface mail. Should there be any delay, it would be as long as 180 days. You can check the status through TCG’s tracking tool. If it is an urgent parcel, you are advised to pay more for an Air mail.

 I track my parcel at China Post, but it shows NULL. What does it mean?
Answer: The English information on the official website of China Post is translated from Chinese tracking status, but not all information can be successfully translated. So “NULL” is a technical problem of the website, not your parcel. TCG’s tracking tool borrows the original Chinese status and translates them into simple and understandable English terms.

 How can I contact China Post to consult detailed information about my package?
Answer: The customer service hotline of China post is 8610 11185; 8610 11183 for EMS service.

 I found the location of PVG/PEK/FOC/CAN when tracking my package. What do these initials refer to?
Answer: These are the ITIT codes for airports. PVG refers to Shanghai Pudong Airport. PEK refers to Beijing Capital International Airport. FOC is the ITIT code for Fuzhou Changle International Airport. CAN is the airport code for Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport.

 Can you give some instructions about how to address a Chinese envelope or dispatch note?
Answer: The format of Chinese envelope may be a little different from that common in other countries. Make sure you write the right information in the right place. The instructions on how to write an envelope are as follows: 

 Step 1: Zip code of the destination.
On the left front is the zip code of the addressee. Different areas in the country have different zip codes. You can refer to Area Code and Zip Code Directory to find the zip code. 

 Step 2: Address of the addressee.
The middle part should be your addressee's detailed address and name. In China, the address starts from addressee's country, province, city, district, street, number and name. If your can not write Chinese Characters, write it in Pinyin, the post officer won't mind. However, make sure that the pinyin is correct, or the letter may not be sent to the right place. The addressee’s telephone number should be put after the address. 

 Step 3: Return Address.
On the right bottom, you need to write your address, name, and telephone number as well as your zip code, in case the letter or parcel needs to be returned. 

 Step 4: Stick the appropriate-value stamp firmly on the envelope. A dispatch note does not require a stamp, but you should fill in Detailed description of contents, Quantity, Net weight, and Value.
Note: Writing in red ink is not allowed when addressing an envelope.

Related link:  Postage Rate of China Post International Parcels