Delivery Exception

What is a Delivery Exception? How to handle it?


By Komal Puri | June 6, 2023

What is a Delivery Exception?

Delivery exception refers to a temporary delay in the transit of a consumer's package due to circumstances beyond anyone's control. These circumstances could be inclement weather, natural calamities, vehicle problems such as a flat tire, or other unforeseen conditions.

To guarantee the safe and timely delivery of packages, it is essential to comprehend delivery exceptions and how to manage them adeptly. Join me on this journey to explore delivery exceptions and gain pro tips on handling them effectively.

Why do delivery exceptions occur?

Delivery exception refers to any unforeseen event or circumstance that occurs during the shipping or delivery process that prevents a package from being delivered successfully.

A delivery exception can occur due to a variety of problems such as incorrect address information, weather-related delays, failed delivery attempts, customs issues, and more. Delivery exceptions have the potential to disrupt the smooth flow of deliveries, leading to delays and incurring additional expenses for businesses involved.

Managing delivery exceptions effectively is crucial for businesses that rely on timely and reliable deliveries, as it can impact customer satisfaction, revenue, and brand reputation.

Common Types of Delivery Exceptions

Delivery exceptions can happen due to several reasons. Some of the reasons include:

  1. Weather-related delays: Adverse weather conditions such as snowstorms, hurricanes, or floods can delay the delivery process and result in a delivery exception.

  2. Incorrect address or missing information: If the address provided by the sender or the recipient is incorrect or incomplete, it can result in a delivery exception.

  3. Failed delivery attempts: If the delivery driver is unable to deliver the package due to the recipient not being available, or there is no safe location to leave the package, it can result in a delivery exception.

  4. Damaged or lost packages: Packages can sometimes get lost or damaged during the delivery process, which can result in a delivery exception.

  5. Customs issues: International shipments may face customs issues, such as delayed clearance, incorrect or missing documentation, or other regulatory issues. This can result in a delivery exception.

Causes of Delivery Exceptions

Delivery exceptions can be categorized into three broad categories: internal factors, external factors, and customer-related factors.

Internal factors

Internal factors refer to elements that are under the direct control of the shipping company or carrier.They can include human errors, such as incorrect labeling or sorting of packages, or technology failures, such as malfunctioning scanners or tracking systems.

External factors

External factors encompass elements that are outside the sphere of influence for the shipper. These can include weather conditions, traffic congestion, accidents or other incidents, and carrier issues such as mechanical problems or staffing shortages.

Customer-related factors

Customer-related factors can also contribute to delivery exceptions. For example, an incorrect or incomplete address provided by the customer can result in a delivery exception. Additionally, if the customer is unavailable or refuses to accept delivery, this can also lead to a delivery exception.

It's important for shipping companies and carriers to proactively identify and address these causes of delivery exceptions to ensure timely and accurate delivery of packages and shipments. This may involve implementing improved processes and technologies, as well as providing better training and support to employees and customers alike.

Impact of Delivery Exceptions

Delivery exceptions wield a notable influence on businesses and their customer base, leaving a lasting impact:

  1. Customer dissatisfaction: When a package or shipment is not delivered on time or is delayed due to a delivery exception, it can lead to frustration and dissatisfaction among customers.

  2. Lost sales and revenue: Delivery exceptions can result in lost sales and revenue for businesses, especially if the customer chooses to cancel the order or purchase from a competitor instead.

  3. Increased costs: Delivery exceptions can also result in increased costs for businesses, such as the need to reship packages, process returns or issue refunds.

  4. Damaged brand reputation: Repeated delivery exceptions can damage a business's reputation and erode customer trust in the company, which can have long-term consequences on sales and revenue.

It's essential for businesses to take proactive steps to prevent delivery exceptions and to promptly address any issues that do occur. This may involve working with reliable shipping partners, providing accurate tracking and delivery updates to customers, and ensuring clear communication with customers about any delays or issues that arise.

By addressing delivery exceptions in a timely and effective manner, businesses can minimize the impact on customers and their bottom line.

How to Prevent Delivery Exceptions?

Mitigating delivery exceptions is crucial for businesses, considering their potential financial and time burdens. To prevent such disruptions, implementing proactive measures is vital. Here are several effective strategies that businesses can adopt to minimize the occurrence of delivery exceptions:

  1. Ensuring accurate and complete address information: Accurate and comprehensive address information plays a pivotal role in averting delivery exceptions, as they are often triggered by the prevalence of incorrect or incomplete addresses. Businesses can minimize this risk by ensuring that customers provide accurate and complete address information at the time of purchase.

  2. Providing clear delivery instructions: Providing clear and concise delivery instructions is instrumental in guaranteeing accurate and prompt package deliveries to the intended destination. Businesses can provide delivery instructions on their website or order confirmation page, and include them in shipment notifications.

  3. Using real-time tracking and communication tools: Real-time tracking and communication tools can help businesses keep customers informed about the status of their shipment and any potential delays or issues. Implementing these measures can effectively minimize the chances of customer dissatisfaction and mitigate potential complaints, fostering a positive customer experience.

  4. Working with reliable and reputable carriers: Partnering with reliable and reputable carriers can help ensure that packages are delivered on time and without issue. It's important to conduct due diligence when selecting carriers and to maintain open lines of communication with them to ensure that issues are promptly addressed.

  5. Implementing quality control measures: Quality control measures, such as double-checking addresses and package contents before shipping, can help reduce the risk of errors and delivery exceptions.

Through the implementation of these strategies, businesses can proactively mitigate the risk of delivery exceptions, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.

How to Manage Delivery Exceptions?

Managing delivery exceptions effectively is critical to minimizing their impact on customers and your business. Let's explore a set of recommended best practices for effectively managing delivery exceptions:

  1. Identifying and resolving exceptions in real-time: Real-time monitoring and tracking can help businesses identify delivery exceptions as they occur. This enables swift action to be taken in resolving the issue promptly and minimizing any adverse effects on the customer.

  2. Communicating with customers proactively: Clear and timely communication with customers is essential when managing delivery exceptions. It is crucial for businesses to maintain open communication with customers, promptly informing them about any issues and providing regular updates on the status of their shipment. This proactive approach effectively manages customer expectations and alleviates potential frustration.

  3. Resolving issues quickly and efficiently: Businesses should work quickly to resolve delivery exceptions, such as by reshipping packages or issuing refunds. By adopting these practices, businesses can strive to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction while simultaneously minimizing the impact on their financial performance.

  4. Providing timely and accurate updates: Regular updates on the status of delivery exceptions, including estimated delivery times and any issues encountered, can help reduce customer frustration and maintain trust.

  5. Documenting and analyzing exceptions to improve future performance: Tracking and documenting delivery exceptions can help businesses identify patterns and trends, allowing them to take proactive measures to prevent future exceptions.

How to respond when delivery exceptions occur?

When a delivery exception occurs, it's important to respond promptly and professionally to minimize any negative impact on the customer and your business. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Identify the issue: Determine the nature of the delivery exception and the reason for the delay or issue.

  2. Communicate with the customer: Notify the customer of the exception, explain the issue, and provide an estimated delivery time or resolution.

  3. Resolve the issue: Take the necessary steps to resolve the exception, such as reshipping the package or issuing a refund.

  4. Follow up with the customer: Confirm that the issue has been resolved and offer any additional support or assistance as needed.

What kind of impact do delivery exceptions have on your business?

Delivery exceptions can exert a substantial influence on your business, manifesting in the following ways:

  1. Decreased customer satisfaction and loyalty

  2. Lost revenue from canceled or returned orders

  3. Rising costs from reshipping, returns, and refunds

  4. Downfall in brand reputation and customer trust

How can FarEye help with delivery exception management?

FarEye is a delivery management platform that can help businesses manage delivery exceptions by providing real-time visibility and control over their delivery operations. Some of the features of FarEye that can help with delivery exception management include:

  1. Real-time tracking and alerts to help identify and respond to exceptions quickly

  2. Automated workflows to streamline exception handling and resolution

  3. Communication tools to keep customers informed and manage their expectations

  4. Analytics and reporting to help identify patterns and trends in delivery exceptions and optimize performance

By leveraging FarEye's delivery management platform, businesses can improve their delivery operations and minimize the impact of delivery exceptions on their customers and their business.


What to do if my package has a delivery exception?

If your package has a delivery exception, it means there has been an issue with the delivery process. The first step is to check the details of the exception, which should provide information on the reason for the delay or issue. Resolving the issue of a delivery exception may involve reaching out to either the carrier or the sender, depending on the specific circumstances surrounding the exception.

Will I still get my package if it says shipment exception?

In most cases, shipment exceptions do not necessarily mean that the package will not be delivered. However, the exception may cause a delay in delivery or require additional action, such as reshipping the package or providing additional information. It's important to check the details of the exception and contact the carrier or sender as needed to resolve the issue.

How long does a package stay in exception?

The length of time a package stays in exception can vary depending on the nature of the issue and the carrier's policies. Some exceptions may be resolved quickly, while others may require additional time and action. It's important to check the details of the exception and contact the carrier or sender as needed to resolve the issue and minimize any impact on delivery time.

Komal puri

Komal Puri is a seasoned professional in the logistics and supply chain industry. As the AVP of Marketing and a subject matter expert at FarEye, she has been instrumental in shaping the industry narrative for the past decade. Her expertise and insights have earned her numerous awards and recognition. Komal’s writings reflect her deep understanding of the industry, offering valuable insights and thought leadership.

Komal Puri
Sr. Director of Marketing | FarEye

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