Understanding Delivery Exceptions: Guide to prevent & manage

Timely and reliable product delivery is critical to customer satisfaction and business success. Although careful planning is taken, delivery exceptions may still occur, resulting in delays, damages, lost packages, or delivery mistakes. 

This post aims to provide strategies for you to prevent and handle delivery exceptions. By effectively resolving potential issues and carrying out reliable backup plans, you can protect the reputation of the store and strengthen customer connections.

What Does Delivery Exception Mean?

A delivery exception is the disrupted delivery process of products in transit from the merchant to the customer due to unforeseen circumstances. These exceptions include delays, damages, lost packages, incorrect deliveries, customs issues, or any other unexpected challenges that may occur during shipping. 

Impacts of Delivery Exception

Delivery exceptions can greatly impact the customer experience and business operations, with long-lasting effects.

Customer Dissatisfaction 

Delivery exceptions can lead to customer frustration and dissatisfaction. It can have a severe impact on customer’s perceptions of your store, leading to a reduction in repeat sales and brand reputation damage. 

Operational Inefficiencies

Delivery exceptions will disrupt the order fulfillment and shipping processes. Additional time and resources are required to deal with the issues, resulting in operational inefficiencies for the whole store.

Financial Impacts 

Delivery exceptions will have financial influences on business. Costs associated with reshipping, providing refunds, or compensation can affect the profitability of your store, especially when customers change their minds about purchasing from a competitor instead. Also, resolving delivery exceptions often requires additional customer support resources, which can be part of human resources costs.

Common Causes of Delivery Exceptions

Common causes of delivery exceptions vary depending on various factors, such as the shipping method, location of customers, carrier, and specific circumstances. Here are some typical factors that will cause delivery exceptions:

Weather and Natural Disasters

Extreme weather conditions, for example, hurricanes, rainstorms, or floods, can cause transportation congestion or equipment damage, so the delivery speed will be affected.

Incorrect Contact Information

If the customer provides an incorrect or incomplete address, it will result in a failed delivery. In some cases, packages will be returned to the sender.

Customs and Regulatory Issues

International shipments may encounter customs clearance delays, inspections, or documentation requirements. For example, shipping time is prolonged due to customs package detention 

Failed Delivery Attempts

If the recipient is unavailable at the delivery address, the carrier may make multiple attempts or leave a delivery notice. Delivery will be re-attempted the next day in most cases. If the retrying fails, the package may be returned to the sender or held at a local facility.

Transportation Issues 

Problems during transit, such as traffic accidents, mechanical breakdowns, or animal interference, can lead to delays or disruptions in deliveries.

Packaging or Labeling Errors 

Inadequate packaging or wrong labeling can result in damaged goods or packages being delivered to the wrong places or lost during the transit process.

Inventory or Fulfillment Errors

Wrong or missing items will be shipped due to inventory management mistakes, picking errors, or packing errors in the warehouse. That’s part of the reason why delivery exceptions will happen.

Holidays and Peak Seasons

High shipping volumes during holidays or peak seasons can overload carriers’ capacity, leading to delays or service disruptions. Additionally, packages may be delivered late if a national holiday occurs since shipping carriers will not be operating on federal holidays. 

How to Prevent Delivery Exceptions?

Accurate Address Verification

Use address verification systems to ensure customers provide complete and accurate shipping information during the ordering process. It helps minimize the occurrence of delivery exceptions caused by inaccurate receiving information.

Cooperating with Multiple Carriers

Working with multiple carriers brings benefits to you from the viewpoint of risk diversification. Likewise, knowing about carrier-restricted or destination addresses that can only use certain carrier services is important. For example, post office boxes, military bases, prisons, etc. In the United States, only USPS can deliver to these addresses.

Package Protection 

Ensure proper packaging techniques protect products during shipping, especially for fragile or high-value goods.

Logistics Process Optimization

Though even the best logistics strategies can’t completely prevent accidents like vehicle breakdowns or road obstacles, there are plans you can carry out to reduce exceptions and develop your supply chain agility. One way is to send your inventory to multiple fulfillment centers so that orders can be shipped from the nearest location every time. This can also serve as a backup to keep the supply chain working well if needed.

Use Weather-Resistant Labels

When a package reaches the carrier and is on its way to its destination, the label may be damaged by rain or snow. To prevent possible obscuring of package information due to severe weather, using waterproof labels and paper might be helpful.

These strategies can help decrease the risk of delivery exceptions, enhance customer satisfaction, and optimize your store operations.

Delivery Exception by Carriers

All major carriers have delivery exceptions during shipping caused by different reasons. Consumers can choose the carrier that best meets their needs.

FedEx Delivery Exceptions

FedEx, a carrier specializing in overnight and expedited transportation, is undoubtedly the most dependable. According to FedEx, most delays are caused by external factors like bad weather and even flat tires. However, they remind us that a delivery exception does not mean that the package will arrive later than expected.

UPS Delivery Exceptions

Shipments with UPS are typically for larger and more valuable goods; therefore, delivery exceptions are especially concerning. Unknown addresses, damaged shipments, or a missing signature upon delivery are typical reasons for exceptions, according to UPS.

USPS Delivery Exceptions

USPS delivery exceptions typically happen when federal holidays come. Since the federal government of the United States operates USPS, delivery exceptions are typically caused by federal holidays. Customers will receive a notice while tracking their package if there is a delay.

DHL Delivery Exceptions

Since DHL is mainly an international service, customs frequently cause delays. The shipment exception is the second way DHL refers to the delivery exception. Check out their customs compliance page. 

How Can You Handle Delivery Exceptions?

When a delivery exception occurs, you need to take immediate action to address the issue. In addition, responding to the exception with a satisfying resolution for both customers. Here are some steps to consider when dealing with a delivery exception:

Identify the Exception

Find out the actual reason for the delivery exception. It could be a failed delivery attempt, a damaged package, an incorrect address, or any other issue that prevented successful delivery.

Review Tracking Information

Check the tracking details of the shipment to gather relevant information about its real-time status and location. This can help identify the time point when the exception occurred as well as help you take further action.

Contact the Carriers

Reach out to the shipping carrier responsible for the delivery. Provide them with the tracking number and explain the situation. Inquire about possible solutions or next steps.

Communicate with Customers

Notify the customer of the delivery exception and make a clear explanation of the issue. Also, don’t forget to clarify what actions will be taken to resolve it. Thank them for their patience, and apologize by email for any inconvenience caused by the delivery exception. If necessary, it will be better to offer alternative options or compensation. Remember to follow up to make sure the issue has been resolved.

How Does ParcelPanel Help You Manage Delivery Exceptions?

ParcelPanel is a platform that can help you manage your e-commerce shipping operations and provides excellent services for you to handle delivery exceptions. It offers several features that can aid in managing and resolving delivery exceptions. Here are 

  • Tracking and Notifications

ParcelPanel provides real-time tracking information for shipments, allowing you to monitor their status and promptly identify any exceptions. It sends automated notifications to customers, keeping them informed about the progress of the delivery.

  • Multiple carriers

Since cooperating with multiple carriers would be helpful to prevent delivery exceptions, ParcelPanel would also serve as a useful tool for you. Supporting USPS, UPS, FedEx, DHL, YunExpress, Australia Post, China Post, and more, ParcelPanel provides tracking information for all your orders in one go.

  • Analytics and Reporting

ParcelPanel offers comprehensive analytics and reporting, enabling you to get actionable insights to optimize your store’s delivery rate, exception rate, and delivery time. You can optimize shipping performance and reduce potential delivery exceptions by making data-driven decisions through ‘smart analytics’.

By making good use of ParcelPanel’s features, you can proactively manage and resolve delivery exceptions, improving the overall customer experience and optimizing your shipping operations.

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While many delivery exceptions are unavoidable, some can still be prevented with the help of a professional partner. ParcelPanel can help you ease customer concerns and promptly handle problems while reducing future delivery exceptions. Check out ParcelPanel right now if you need assistance with delivery exceptions.

FAQs About Delivery Exception

Abby Zeng

Content Manager

I’m deeply passionate about SEO and creating engaging content. My initial goal is to deliver high-quality, informative, and entertaining content that stands out in the digital landscape. By merging analytical insights with creativity, I aim to boost traffic for websites.

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