“EXIT From the SORTING CENTER” on AliExpress

When Checking the Status of your AliExpress Order, you get a message regarding the “sorting center” and don’t know what it means? Don’t worry: in today’s article we are going to see what it is and what all the messages mean that may appear in the tracking of your order.

What is a Classification Center?

When the seller ships your AliExpress order from their warehouse, it will first be picked up by the Chinese courier agency in charge of managing it and taken to the sorting center. In these centers, all orders go through an initial customs inspection in China to dispose of prohibited items and later to be classified and diverted to be shipped to your country.

Do you know what these prohibited items are? Well, guns, fakes or loose batteries for example (although it is normal to buy them, they are considered weapons due to the risk of explosion and if they get you they can be kept). But having an order checked and held in China is not normal. Later we will explain better how you can know when this happened.

Possible Status of your Order in the “Sorting Center”

We will see the three possible states that your order can go through during the classification center:

  • Entry into the sorting center
  • Sorting center exit
  • Not entering the sorting center

Entrance to the sorting center

This means that your purchase has just arrived at the sorting center and customs clearance begins there.

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Important: be careful if you have a shipment with combined delivery

If your shipment is sent in bulk, all items are grouped in the classification center. Please note that each item has a different tracking number until it reaches the sorting center. Once they are grouped together in the same package, you will have a single tracking number that will be updated in the tracking of your order.
This is completely normal and you shouldn’t worry about anything.

Sorting center exit

If all goes well, the courier company will forward your order to the airport or seaport to be delivered to your country.

Not entering the sorting center

This message will appear in the status of your order when it is checked by customs brokers. Don’t suffer, most of the times your package will be released in a short amount of time without your having to do anything (although you can directly ask the seller to be calmer).

On the other hand, if there is a problem with customs or if they find an error in the delivery address, the package will be returned to the sender (the seller) and one of the following messages may appear in the status of your order:

  • Delivery: “Return to sender” or “Parcel goes back to sender”
  • Returns: “The package will be returned by National Express and it will be picked up correctly”
  • Returns: “The package is returned by National Express and successfully signed by the dealer”

What should I do if my order is returned to the seller from China?

The first thing you need to do is contact the seller here to see what solution they propose. The most normal thing is that they want to send you the product again. Since it won’t be long ago, you still have a long term of protection. So when it is offered, you can accept it without opening a dispute.


Remember that you will need to provide a new tracking number and also update it in your order so there are no problems. If you want to know more about it, you can read this post.

Last resort: open dispute

If the seller doesn’t reply to you or doesn’t offer you a fair solution, you can open a dispute directly by clicking here and clicking “view details” of your order.

Frequently asked questions

How long is an order in the sorting center?

This is difficult to calibrate as it depends on many human factors and the shipping method you choose. In general, it is not a process that takes many days and is usually quick.

My order has been in the sorting center for a long time. Something happens?

During the Chinese New Year (which starts between January 21 and February 18), China comes to a complete standstill for a month. Therefore, if you have placed your order on these dates, make sure that it is not during this holiday as your order may remain in the sorting center for a long time. If not, we encourage you to contact the seller to make sure everything goes smoothly.