Delivery Exception: What is it and How to Handle it

In the contemporary internet-oriented era, the trend of online shopping is growing every day. Online shoppers expect their parcels as soon as possible and when the delivery gets delayed, they are disappointed.

Shipping carriers try their level best to deliver the orders on time. However, there are many instances in which they are unable to deliver the parcels.

It is essential for shipping careers to stay prepared for this type of situation as it can affect customer satisfaction. Such a situation is known as a delivery exception or shipment exception. Here is an article with all you need to know about shipment exceptions, and how to deal with them.

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Nitty Gritty of Delivery Exception

For online shoppers, nothing is more frustrating than delayed delivery. According to a study, 69% of customers are less likely to shop again from a retailer if the item they ordered earlier is not delivered on time or within two days of the decided delivery date.  

Delays in delivery are known as delivery exceptions. They can negatively impact customer satisfaction and retention rate. Fulfillment Hub USA works with top-notch shipping carriers to ensure on-time delivery of goods to the customers. Additionally, it reduces the chances of carrier issues. However, no one can do anything about natural calamities or some other exceptions that can cause a delayed delivery. Continue reading the article to find out what are shipment exceptions. 

What is a Delivery Exception?  

A delivery exception refers to the status when a shipping carrier cannot complete the delivery of parcels at a determined time because of a delay in transit. There could be various reasons for the same ranging from issues with a delivery address to issues with carriers. 

Keep in mind that a shipment exception does not mean that the product will not be delivered or will be necessarily too late. It simply means that the expected delivery date of the parcel will be missed or dramatically impacted. 

Main Causes of Delivery Exceptions 

No matter how reliable the order tracking system you have, a lot of things can happen with parcels when they are in transit. It can cause delayed delivery which in turn leads to frustrated customers.  

According to a study, around 40% of shoppers consider delivery as the most important decisive factor in the overall shopping experience. Though shipment exceptions are unintentional and also unpreventable in most cases, they can cause customer dissatisfaction. Now that you know what a delivery exception is, let’s dive into its major causes. 


Federal Holidays 

There are higher chances of shipment exceptions if there is a national holiday either in the destination country or in the origin country. On federal holidays, shipping carriers do not operate. Due to the day off, it is normal for the shipping carriers to delay the delivery of the parcel.  

Customs Delays 

International shipping includes a lot of challenges. Many times, the customs hold the packages for a longer time and it can lead to missed or delayed delivery dates. Make sure to have the correct tariff codes as it can help to make the shipping process seamless and hassle-free.  

Missing or Damaged Labels 

It is common to have delayed delivery when the shipping labels are damaged or the barcode is unscannable, or the address is wrong. When the essential details are unscannable or illegible, it leads to generate a delivery exception code. The same thing happens if the label on the parcel has an incorrect address.  

Weather Conditions 

In case there is a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood that damages the delivery route or makes it unpassable, then there is a delay in the order delivery. These types of shipment exceptions are unpredictable and are out of control.  

If you use different warehousing services, you may be able to deliver the order to your customers from different locations. In order to deal with situations related to weather conditions, most shipping carriers keep contingency plans to resume the shipping services in affected areas.  

Incorrect Address 

If the delivery address present on the label of any package is wrong, incomplete, undeliverable, or unclear, then there are higher chances of delivery exceptions. It is one of the most common exceptions in international shipping.  

Missed Drop-Off 

It is another common shipment exception. It happens when a parcel reaches your apartment or home but no one is present to receive the parcel. In such cases, the delivery person attempts delivery the next day.  

Possible Outcomes of Delivery Exception

In case any of the above-mentioned events transpire, it is possible to avoid delays in the delivery. Here are some possible outcomes of shipment exceptions. 

Package is Delivered on Time 

In some cases, the shipment exception is only a notice that there are chances of delay in the delivery of your parcel due to different reasons. However, the parcel arrives on time.  

Late Delivery of Package 

The delays caused by shipment exceptions are usually short. In most cases, the parcel arrives the next day. For example, if no one is present at the delivery location to receive the parcel, the delivery person will attempt delivery the next day.  

Package is Returned 

In case the shipping carriers cannot deliver the package due to a shipment exception, then they return it to the seller or the sender.  

Tips to Handle Delivery Exception 

In the modern-day competitive era, big brands like Flipkart and Amazon have set high standards of delivery. It has led to higher customer expectations for delivery. Therefore, it is essential to understand what your customers actually want and when they want to receive the item.  

Ecommerce businesses should smartly respond to the shipment exception depending on the main causes of the exception. Below mentioned are some tips to follow if you notice chances of exceptions while the order or parcel is in transit. 

Contact the Carrier 

You can easily track the location of a parcel when it is in transit. It can help you to figure out the reasons for delivery exceptions. In such cases, it is a good idea to contact the carrier directly. They can provide additional information apart from the tracking status.

Make sure to find out the problem and try to resolve it. For example, if the shipment exception is due to an incorrect label or wrong address, then change the address.  

Provide Shipping Alerts to the Customer 

If you detect any delivery exception, make sure to inform the customer about it. According to a study, around 93% of shoppers expect proactive communication in case of issues with delivery. Inform the customer about the cause of the shipment exception.

Email the affected customers and apologize for the potential delay in shipment. Moreover, also thank the customers for their patience. Try to change this situation into a good experience for customers by providing them with some sort of compensation. It will help in customer retention and develop a loyal customer base.  

Resend the Package or Issue Refund 

In case the shipping carrier is unable to deliver the package, then talk to the customer about it. Make sure to issue a replacement or refund in this situation. If the parcel is damaged in transit, then you can get the complete cost depending on the insurance you have used to cover the parcel.  

How Fulfillment Hub USA Responds to Delivery Exception 


Fulfillment Hub USA is a third-party logistics company offering fulfillment services to e-commerce retailers and merchants. Our services include picking and packing items, storing inventory, and shipping orders. We use a 5-in-1 cloud-based software solution to keep your orders, shipping, and inventory in one place.  

With the help of our technology, you can use different measures to avoid or handle shipment exceptions adequately.  

Prevent Delivery Exceptions 

Fulfillment Hub USA’s platform notifies you in case of anticipated issues with deliveries like damaged labels or bad addresses. Moreover, it allows you to make changes to orders after purchase as long as the process of retail fulfillment is not started. With us, you can edit the information and address of the recipient, shipping option, parcel items, and quantities. Moreover, you can also create a new order manually to avoid potential delivery exceptions.  

Insuring Packages 

Fulfillment Hub USA allows you to insure your shipments. Moreover, the claim process is easy and fast. We offer flexible insurance settings to provide you with the right coverage you require for your shipments. It can help you deal with shipment exceptions caused due to lost or damaged items in transit.  

Tracking Shipment 

If you use our fulfillment services and book your shipment with us, you and your customers can easily track the package. Moreover, you can monitor its journey when it is in transit.

It will help you provide a better customer experience. Moreover, it will allow you to notify the customers about possible delivery exceptions which in turn can positively impact customer satisfaction.  

Responding Swiftly to Delivery Exception 

We understand that delivery exceptions are common as damage and losses can happen in the world of shipping. Fulfillment Hub USA handles claims swiftly and without any hidden charges for our customers. With us, you can easily and quickly file claims. We have top-notch warehouse management software that allows you to track inventory adequately and respond smoothly to shipment exceptions.  

Avoid Delivery Exceptions with Fulfillment Hub USA

It is possible to avoid some delivery exceptions like incorrect addresses or damaged labels, but some like federal holidays and inclement weather are unavoidable. Therefore, e-commerce businesses should have adequate measures to deal with delivery exceptions in the right way that results in customer satisfaction. Checking labels, customs forms, and addresses can be helpful, and also engaging with a reliable company like Fulfillment Hub USA can bring great advantages. For more information, feel free to contact us.


What does delivery exception mean? 
A delivery exception refers to a condition when a package delays in transit due to some unforeseen event. Some common examples of shipment exceptions include damage to the shipment, unknown address, or damaged label.   

How much time does the delivery exception take? 
Delays due to delivery exceptions are usually short. You can expect your parcel the next day. 

What does it mean when FedEx notifies delivery exceptions? 
A delivery exception occurs when the delivery of a parcel delays temporarily. It is also known as shipment delayed and the duration of delay depends on the cause.  

What are the causes of delivery exceptions?  
Main causes of shipment exceptions include federal holidays, weather conditions, incorrect addresses, damaged labels, or missed drop-off.