What Does Shipment Exception Mean?

FedEx shipment exception is when the product can not be delivered to customers on time due to unforeseen conditions.

This is a frustrating situation for businesses and their customers, and companies should always be ready to handle and resolve such issues.

According to a survey conducted in 2023, 41% of customers expect an express delivery within 24 hours, while the other 24% want their orders within 2 hours!

What Does Shipment Exception Mean

That’s very surprising! Right? Are you constantly worried about unpredictable delays? Well, you can unquestioningly count on us!

In this article, we will deeply explore the reasons and consequences and some practical solutions to address these concerns.

Types of Shipment Exceptions

1.    Customs Delays

International packages are usually subject to customs delays due to some unpredictable errors. However, such situations are complex to handle and can lead to poor customer experiences.

To guarantee a seamless shipping process, ensure your shipment has a proper tariff code on the SKU and customs clearance.

Moreover, timely submit all the required documents, for example, international invoices and origin certificates. DHL Express says that 32% of customs delays occur due to needing more information on customs invoices.

2.    Documentation Exceptions

Before shipping your packages, verify if you have provided the correct address and contact details. These issues can be directly resolved at local post offices or delivery stations to ensure a smooth delivery process. 

Some other common reasons packages are usually delayed are damaged shipping labels, missing delivery information, and un-scannable barcodes. The delivery cannot be completed if these crucial details are not scanned.

Also Check: What Is a Logistics Coordinator

3.    Last-mile Delivery Exceptions

As the name suggests, last-mile delivery exceptions occur when the vehicle carrying the products stops working midway due to damaged roads or bad weather conditions.

59% of T&L companies in the US and Canada believe it is the most inefficient process of the entire supply chain.

Common challenges faced in last-mile delivery are raised costs due to high fuel consumption and operational expenses. Furthermore, poor infrastructure in remote areas makes it impossible for courier companies to provide on-time delivery to customers.

Causes of Shipment Exceptions

1. Uncertain Weather Conditions

Imagine your truck is fully loaded with packages ready to be dispatched, and you receive the unfortunate news of urban flooding in the delivery area. How frustrating!

Sadly, such delays caused by tornadoes, storms, or wildfires are out of your control, and you have no choice but to wait and reply to hundreds of client complaints.

2. Federal Holidays

When everything is going on track, national holidays will always be there to haunt you. When people avail millions of discounts, especially around the New Year and Christmas, most courier companies slow down their delivery process since their employees are on holiday.

Therefore, packages will invariably experience delayed deliveries over national holidays, whether in the country of origin or the country of destination.

3. Customers Are Unavailable

Most of the time, customers themselves forget that their order is on its way.

They will either not pick up the rider’s phone calls or be unavailable at home. Some packages need to be signed by the customers themselves, and the order is delayed to the next day due to their unavailability.

Customers can ask your support to reschedule the delivery before it arrives unless they can accept the package. Therefore, it’s crucial to offer customers a variety of communication channels so that the ETAs can be adjusted as needed. 

Consequences of Shipping Exceptions

Ultimately, the customers won’t remember your catchy website but judge you based on your quick delivery and efficient customer service. Now let’s discuss how shipping exceptions can badly impact your business.

a)    High Costs

Late delivery can significantly inconvenience customers, causing dissatisfaction and potentially losing business. Additionally, it can contribute to wasted fuel costs due to traffic delays, which can add up over time.

This can also burden employees who may have to work harder to compensate for the lost time, potentially resulting in increased labor costs.

b)    Poor Customer Experience

If the customer is unsatisfied with your customer care because the parcel is delivered late, the chances of customer churn increase significantly. Delivery errors impact customer satisfaction; customers will only be satisfied if a delivery is completed with compensation.

Despite the unpredictability of exceptions, unplanned delays must be avoided by adopting strategic measures to improve the service.

c)     Product is Returned

Many companies have to bear huge losses because dissatisfied customers return the parcel if it arrives late. Suppose someone ordered numbered balloons for their child’s 10th birthday, and the package arrives two days later.

On the other hand, The package is returned to the sender or seller’s address if the carrier cannot deliver it because of an incorrect address or damaged label.

Shipment Exception

Things To Do When Faced With A Delivery Exception

1)    Contact The Courier Services

Use the carrier’s online contact forms or the customer service hotline to report the exception. Give them all pertinent details, including the reference numbers, shipment ID, and tracking number. Give a detailed explanation of the exception and request help right away.

The most critical first step is to contact the carrier or logistics provider because they have the most up-to-date knowledge about your shipment and can quickly assist in solving the problem.

2)    Review Tracking Information

Pay close attention to the tracking information. Check for status changes, location adjustments, or error messages that may provide further context for the exception. You can use this information to determine whether the problem is a delay, a failed delivery attempt, or something else.

Thanks to the tracking information, you can better comprehend the problem, which sheds light on the exception’s nature, location, and potential causes.

3)    Communicate with Customers

If the recipient or customers are the intended audience for the shipment, stay in constant, direct contact with them.

Share the details given by the carrier, such as the anticipated delivery date. If appropriate, provide alternate suggestions and reassure them that you are trying to find a solution.

Open communication with clients or recipients promotes trust, controls expectations, and guarantees transparency throughout the exception resolution procedure.

See Also: What Is 3PL Logistics


How long does a shipment exception last?

FedEx shipments may take up to seven business days to resolve. Depending on the particulars, a FedEx shipment exception’s duration may change. The exception might be quickly resolved in some circumstances and not significantly affect the delivery schedule. However, in other cases, the exception might necessitate further action or cause a delay in the package’s delivery.

What should I do if my FedEx shipment has run into an exception?

If there is an exception with your FedEx shipment, you should keep a close eye on the tracking data and, if necessary, contact the shipper or FedEx. You should take additional measures to ensure the package is successfully delivered, depending on the specifics of the exception.

Can I track the status of my FedEx shipment while it is in an exception?

Yes, you can use the FedEx tracking system to check on the status of your shipment during an exception. You will get the most recent information on the package’s location, status, and any delivery exceptions from this.

Final Words On Shipment Exception

This article explains FedEx shipment exception meaning and the problems packages have while in transit. A shipping or shipment delivery exception is unexpected and frequently unavoidable but can still aggravate all parties.

A system and established procedures to handle shipping exceptions are the best way for eCommerce business owners to manage them. Putting customers at ease while they wait for their ordered items to arrive is equally essential.