Delivery Exceptions: What They Are and How to Handle Them (2023)

What is a delivery exception?

Simply put, a delivery exception occurs when a shipment is delayed during transit. A package can encounter a delivery exception for a number of different reasons, from a problem with the recipient address to a missed delivery or a problem with the carrier, be it USPS, FedEx, or PMX.

However, it is important to note that a delivery exception does not necessarily mean that the expected delivery of a package will be missed or that its delivery status will change significantly.

How and why do delivery exceptions occur?

Delivery exceptions are unavoidable whether you work with FedEx, USPS or any other carrier. In fact, delivery exceptions account for 11% of all shipments. And of course, during the pandemic, we sawshipping delays become much more frequent. While e-commerce companies have seen their profits soar in the past year,fewer orders are delivered on time.

Regardless of the reason for the exception in delivery, the customer affected by the exception will certainly feel frustrated when the expected delivery does not arrive or when the shipment is delayed. From there, the customer can contact the company or carrier or file a complaint on social media – none of which will reflect well on your brand.

(Video) How to Handle Delivery Exception Situations | RTA Cabinet Delivery

See exceptional delivery trends live >>

Why are delivery exceptions important for eCommerce retailers?

Delivery exceptions can quickly have a big impact on e-commerce retailers' bottom line and affect several critical metrics. And of course, in the worst case scenario, the customer might decide to return the package, which means a huge loss of money for your brand.

They often lead to delivery exceptions. highest WISMO rate, i.e. "Where is my order?" connections. These calls happen when the client feels outside of the delivery exception loop. Generally,WISMO is responsible for connections up to 50% of incoming calls to customer service centers and, on average, each WISMO call costs around $5. That's partly why providing clear tracking information and delivery status updates are critical.

How much do WISMO calls cost? Check out this interactive calculator to find out the true cost of WISMO >>

Delivery exceptions can also increase your company's churn rate, and our research shows that this is weak after purchase experiences are the main source of customer churn. And according to the Last Mile Delivery Wars, 98% of shoppers stake their entire brand loyalty on the delivery experience.

An unhappy customer who has just experienced a late delivery is also much less likely to recommend your business to others, so delivery exceptions can have a big impact on your Net Promoter Score (NPS).Finding ways to proactively address delivery exceptions can lead to a 3-point higher NPS score for companies.

(Video) Convey - Delivery Exception Management Overview - Perfect the Last Mile

The 6 most common delivery exceptions and what they mean

There are many reasons why a package might encounter a delivery exception, but here are some of the most common ones:

  1. Wrong address.If the delivery address on the package label is incorrect, unclear, incomplete or undeliverable, the likelihood of a delivery exception increases dramatically. This is a very common exception for international shipments.
  2. Time delay.Unfavorable weather or severe weather conditions such as winter storms, fires, hurricanes or other fortuitous events can make delivery routes impassable, resulting in delays.
  3. Lost not transport.Even if everything goes according to plan, the package can get lost in transit. If no one can locate it, it could be the most serious type of delivery exception.
  4. Damaged package. If the shipping label is damaged and illegible, it may prevent delivery. Likewise, if the package itself is damaged, it may be necessary to cancel the shipment and send a replacement immediately.
  5. Holidays.On federal holidays, carriers are less active, which means this delivery exception may occur. Fortunately, consumers are the most tolerant of holiday-related delivery exceptions.
  6. stray drops.Another common occurrence, this exception, is when the delivery person comes to your house or apartment and demands a signature to finalize the delivery, but no one is home.

Delivery exceptions vary in duration, although it is entirely possible for a delivery exception to remain an issue for several days. Obviously, it's in your best interest to resolve the issue as quickly as possible to nip any negative consumer reaction in the bud.

What Customers Expect When an Exception Occurs in a Delivery

Due to the ever-higher standards set by Amazon,Customers have a lot of expectations when it comes to handling delivery exceptions. Understanding what your customers want and when they want it is the first step to optimizing their post-purchase experience.

When a delivery exception occurs,approximately 93% of customers want a notification from the company explaining the exception. What is more97% of customers expect a brand to offer some form of self-service to help resolve an issue.

(Video) Delivery Exception

Additionally, many customers want to be clear ahead of time about delivery dates - 97.8% say it's at least somewhat important for retailers and brands to indicate the delivery date their package will arrive. Our data show this too.47% of customers will avoid ordering from a retailer if they feel a lack of visibility (often provided by tracking sites) during the delivery process. Providing tracking information, an easily accessible tracking number, and delivery status updates can go a long way toward increasing communication.

And if there is a delivery exception, expect a fix if you want to retain customers. We found51% of customers expect brands to offer concessions - whether it's a refund or a discount code for future orders - when a delivery fails.

See how Convey customers deliver exceptional delivery experiences at scale >>

How to react when delivery exceptions occur

As we have seen, delivery exceptions are inevitable. What really matters is how your brand reacts when they happen. In fact, exceptions to delivery can beexcellent opportunities to turn a negative experience into a positive one, reducing customer post-purchase anxiety in the future and ensuring they come back.

Quick response and most importantlyin advanceDelivery exceptions are the name of the game when it comes to post-purchase experience management.Delivery experience management, the art of proactively ensuring that customers receive their orders as and when they expect them, and taking intelligent action to resolve exceptions, is at the heart of a successful response to delivery exceptions.

(Video) QAD Precision Delivery Exception Management Analytics

Brands that practice and live by the customer mindsetDelivery experience management (DEM) - increasing transparency, creating flexibility for customers and keeping promises - are already seeing the benefits. By implementing the DEM,Brookline'areduced the number of WISMO calls by 10% and reduced the average time to resolve a customer service problem by 45 hours.

exploration Get involved in transportation EU Returning, Boll & Branch integrated their Shopify order feed with their carrier data. Collecting a lot of data in this way helped the teamreduce troubleshooting time for customers by an impressive 66%. The team also created new tracking pages and customizable alerts that helped reduce overall WISMO calls by 30.8% and, most importantly, increased revenue and call rates.

Learn more and showcase Convey's delivery experience management solution >>

What Major Retailers Are Doing to Fight Delivery Exceptions

The main strategies for combating delivery exceptions today revolve aroundcommunication, visibility and opportunities for preventive action. In practice, these values ​​are embodied in various strategies, including:

  • tracking pages.The first step to increasing your visibility is to offer your customers a detailed tracking page that is clear and easy to navigate.
  • Shipping Alerts.Delivering detailed, real-time push notifications that reach customers in their preferred channel will allow you to take control of the storytelling when a delivery exception occurs, while reducing costly WISMO calls.
  • AI-powered transport analysis.AI models, for examplethose offered by ConveyGive brands the ability to perform prescriptive analytics, allowing them to see where delivery exceptions can occur before them – a critical period that can make the difference between retaining or losing a customer.

Future trends in delivery exception management

As competition in e-commerce continues to intensify and it becomes easier and faster to deliver packages to customers, maintaining customer expectations will become even more important. Gone are the days when brands could send a package and forget about it. The preview of the sending experience is now criticalintegrating artificial intelligence with supply chain technology.

(Video) Java Custom Exceptions Tutorial - It's Way Easier Than You Think

We can expect several delivery trends to continue for the foreseeable future, with an emphasis on the last mile. Greater flexibility and communication combined with customizing the delivery process – for example, allowing customers to update pick-up or delivery instructions – will take precedence as brands continue to adapt to the needs of today's shoppers.

As the delivery process becomes more complex, a better understanding of the supply chain becomes more important.Delivery experience management.


What do I do if my package has a delivery exception? ›

What do I do if my package has a delivery exception? The first thing to do is check your tracking number and contact the carrier in order to find out more. Depending on what information the carrier gives you, you can reach out to the customer and issue a refund or change the delivery date if necessary.

What does delivery exception mean? ›

What does the “delivery exception” status mean? A delivery exception means your package is temporarily delayed while in transit due to unavoidable circumstances. The reason could be inclement weather, a natural disaster, a vehicle issue like a flat tire, or other conditions.

What does delivery exception mean with USPS? ›

In simplest terms, a delivery exception is when a package experiences a delay while in transit. A package might experience a delivery exception for a wide range of reasons, ranging from a problem with the recipient's address to a missed hand-off or an issue with the carrier, whether that's USPS, FedEx, or PMX.

Why is it important to document delivery exceptions? ›

Weather conditions like tornados, floods and even wildfire can make the delivery routes impassable causing significant delays. When these unpredictable instances occur, the shipping companies need to issue exception notes upon delay in deliveries.

What do you mean by exception? ›

exception. noun. ex·​cep·​tion. : something that is excepted or excluded. especially : a situation to which a rule does not apply.

What do I do if my package has a delivery exception DHL? ›

What should I do if I receive a DHL exception notification? If you receive a DHL exception notification, contact the sender and provide them with the details of the exception, so they can take steps to resolve the issue. How long can a package be in DHL exception status?

How long is a shipment exception? ›

The duration of a shipment exception depends on what caused the delay, but most exceptions are resolved in less than seven days.

How long does a shipping exception take? ›

Most FedEx shipment exceptions' durations depend on what had caused the delay in the first place. However, it's safe to assume that most exceptions are resolved in less than a week.

Will USPS try to deliver again? ›

When someone is normally available to receive parcels, but an ordinary parcel (i.e., a parcel without any extra services) cannot be delivered on the carrier's first attempt, a second delivery attempt is made the next working day and no PS Form 3849 is left on the initial attempt.

Can USPS refuse to deliver packages? ›

Delivery service may be suspended when there is an immediate threat (including, but not limited to, threats due to loose animals) to the delivery employee, mail security, or postal property. Delivery service may be temporarily withdrawn when animals interfere with our ability to complete mail delivery.

What does status exception mean? ›

The status 'Exception' means that an unexpected event is delaying the delivery of your package. Some examples include: Customs delays. Holidays. Strikes.

What happens to a USPS package if it can't be delivered? ›

All mail is returned to your local Post Office™ facility to attempt delivery the next business day. A blocked receptacle could be due to a parked vehicle, local utility work in the area, weather conditions or emergency responders impeding access.

What are exception documents? ›

Exception Documents means true, correct and legible copies of each document listed as an exception to title in the Title Commitment.

What does exception mean on shipping tracking? ›

An exception occurs when a package or shipment encounters an unforeseen event, which could result in a change to the expected delivery day. Examples of exception include: address unknown, damage to shipment, or signature not received.

How do I fix exception at UPS? ›

What to Do If You're Faced With a Delivery Exception
  1. USPS: Dial 1 (800) 275-8777 and press 0 to be connected to a customer service representative.
  2. UPS: Dial 1 (800) 742-5877 and say “track a package” and then press 0.
Aug 1, 2021

What are the 3 examples of exception? ›

Most Common Java Exceptions
  • NullPointerException.
  • ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException.
  • IllegalStateException.
  • ClassCastException.
  • ArithmeticException.
  • IllegalArgumentException.
Jul 19, 2021

What is exception and how do you handle it? ›

Exception handling is the process of responding to unwanted or unexpected events when a computer program runs. Exception handling deals with these events to avoid the program or system crashing, and without this process, exceptions would disrupt the normal operation of a program.

What is the rule of exception? ›

"The exception that proves the rule" is often used to describe a case (the exception) which serves to highlight or confirm (prove) a rule to which the exception itself is apparently contrary.

How many times will DHL attempt to deliver a package? ›

After two failed attempts, you will be able to pick up your shipment from the DHL Parcel Customer Service Point.

Will DHL try to deliver again? ›

If you have missed our driver, they'll leave a card notifying you that they'll try to deliver again the next workday. If there's no one at home on the second delivery attempt, the driver will leave a card stating that you can collect the parcel at a DHL sorting center.

What does processing exception mean? ›

USPS may issue tracking updates that indicate a processing exception or delivery exception when a package is delayed or cannot be delivered. If you get a USPS update that says “processing exception,” it means your package has been delayed, most likely for one of the common delivery exception reasons.

What happens if a package needs a signature and no one is home? ›

If a shipment requires, either an indirect, direct or adult signature, and a delivery attempt is made, but no one is there to sign for the package, the driver will leave a door tag at the recipient's door.

Why is my DHL on hold? ›

If you track your shipment and it appears to be on hold at the destination, it may be because the receiver has closed its deliveries at the moment. Contact your receiver to see if the company is open for deliveries. We will make another delivery attempt when the receiver is again open for deliveries.

What is a pickup exception? ›

What is a Pickup Exception? There are different stages of order processing, and pickup is the final stage when a courier company receives the shipment. The status pickup exception is marked when the shipping carrier attempted pickup and couldn't complete it for different reasons.

How many attempts will USPS make to deliver a package? ›

If the carrier does not meet the recipient at the delivery address or no one is home to receive the package, they will return it to the sender after 1 or 2 attempts. You can use USPS shipment tracking to find your USPS package or contact your local post office for more information.

How long will USPS hold a package before returning to sender? ›

All items are available for pickup at the local Post Office™ until close of business on the applicable return date. The item is returned to the sender at close of business. Accountable Mail is returned to the sender after 15 days (30 days for Customs).

Can you sue the USPS for not delivering mail? ›

So while you might be able to sue FedEx or UPS for losing a package, you can't sue the USPS.

Can you go to USPS and ask for your package? ›

For example, you can certainly ask that your packages held at your local post office (behind the counter) for you until you are able to pop down to the post office and pick it up yourself. There aren't a lot of postal employees in the USPS they're going to deny those kinds of requests.

Can mailman skip your house if mailbox is blocked? ›

The USPS Standard Training Program for City Letter Carriers (p 16.2. 3) instructs: “If the approach to the mailbox is blocked, delivery must be attempted by dis- mounting where it is safe to do so.” This applies whether the box is blocked by a vehicle, a trash can or even snow or ice.

What does granted an exception mean? ›

: to allow a rule not to be followed.

What will happen when an exception is not processed? ›

If an exception is not caught (with a catch block), the runtime system will abort the program (i.e. crash) and an exception message will print to the console. The message typically includes: name of exception type. short description.

What does approval by exception mean? ›

An Approval with Term Exception is useful when your customer is requesting a change in an existing clause which requires approval from the CFO of your company, and this clause is specific to a single customer.

Can I keep a package that was delivered to me by mistake? ›

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), you aren't legally required to return merchandise that was sent to you by accident. You are within your legal rights to keep it as a gift, and merchants cannot demand that you pay for something you did not order.

Will USPS refund me for lost package? ›

You can receive a refund for mail that is lost or never delivered to its final destination as long as the package is insured. Collect on Delivery (COD) items, registered mail with insurance, Priority Mail Express, and other insured mail services are eligible for refunds via the USPS claim service.

Can I get a refund if USPS doesn't deliver? ›

Priority Mail Express® service items may be eligible for a refund. The United States Postal Service® refunds the postage and, if purchased, the Sunday or holiday premium fee: When the item is not delivered by the guaranteed delivery date and time specified at the time of mailing.

What is the reason for exception? ›

An exception is thrown for one of three reasons: An abnormal execution condition was synchronously detected by the Java virtual machine. Such conditions arise because: evaluation of an expression violates the normal semantics of the language, such as an integer divide by zero, as summarized in §15.6.

What are the two types of exceptions? ›

There are mainly two types of exceptions: checked and unchecked. An error is considered as the unchecked exception.

What is the purpose of exception? ›

Exceptions provide the means to separate the details of what to do when something out of the ordinary happens from the main logic of a program.

Does USPS deliver on Sunday? ›

Yes, depending on the mail class used and the metro area you live in, the U.S. Postal Service does deliver packages on Sundays.

What if my package was delivered to the wrong address and they wont give it back? ›

Your first step should be to contact the delivering carrier explain the situation and see what steps they can take to recover it for you. Then if that doesn't work contact your local police department.

What is exception in logistics? ›

A delivery exception occurs when a certain shipment comes across an unexpected event, changing the date and course of delivery. It is important to learn the meaning of delivery exception, why they occur, and how to handle them to provide a smooth delivery process.

How do I resolve a shipment exception? ›

Here's what to do if you notice an exception while a package is in transit.
  1. Contact the carrier. You should be able to look online for the exact location of the package and reason for the delivery exception. ...
  2. Contact the customer. ...
  3. Issue a refund or resend the package.
Feb 27, 2023

What causes a delivery exception? ›

A delivery exception means your package is temporarily delayed while in transit due to unavoidable circumstances. The reason could be inclement weather, a natural disaster, a vehicle issue like a flat tire, or other conditions.

Can I pick up my package from UPS? ›

You can request we hold onto your package for you to pick up at a UPS location.

What to do if FedEx package is delayed? ›

If we didn't deliver your package on time, you may be able to request a refund or an adjusted invoice. Learn more about our FedEx Money Back Guarantee Policy here. FedEx offers a money-back guarantee for certain transportation services subject to the FedEx Express Terms and Conditions of Carriage.

Does shipment exception mean the package is lost? ›

A delivery exception may be issued anytime a package is delayed or undeliverable, but it doesn't always indicate that your package will arrive late. In certain instances, a package does still arrive at its final destination on time, even after a delivery exception occurs.

What does shipment on hold exception mean? ›

What is delivery or shipment exception? A delivery exception (or shipment exception) occurs when a shipment is temporarily delayed or stalled in transit. There are many possible reasons, such as customs delays due to wrong Harmonized System (HS) codes or poor documentation.

Can I leave a note for USPS signature required? ›

The delivery person can't leave Certified Mail without a signature. If no one is home to receive it, the postal worker will leave a note that a delivery attempt was made. USPS only makes one delivery attempt. After that, the carrier returns the letter or package to the nearest post office.

Can I leave a note for UPS signature required? ›

In the U.S. and Canada, for residential deliveries that require a signature, you can leave instructions for the driver if no one will be home. For example, you can ask that the shipment be delivered to a neighbor who will be home.

How many attempts does UPS make for signature required? ›

UPS may make up to three delivery attempts at its discretion at your address on regular UPS delivery days. After the final attempt, undeliverable packages will be returned to the sender. To prevent your package from being returned or to make alternate delivery arrangements, track your package.

Who is responsible for package delivered to wrong address? ›

The short answer is: The seller, which means you, the business owner. Obviously, if you printed the wrong address on the shipping label, didn't include a return address, or poorly packaged the item, it's 100% on you to compensate the customer with a new shipment or a refund.

Does UPS ship on Sunday? ›

Does UPS deliver on weekends, including Saturday and Sunday? Yes, UPS offers Mon-Sat delivery service for residential and commercial packages and offers delivery of residential packages on Sunday. What is the latest time of day a package will be delivered? Most packages are generally delivered by 8 p.m.

How long will UPS hold a package? ›

Can you hold my packages while I'm away? Yes, if you're a UPS My Choice member, The UPS Store and other UPS Access Point locations can hold your package for up to seven calendar days at no additional charge. Customer centers can hold your package for up to five business days.

Does FedEx give refund for late delivery? ›

If we didn't deliver your package on time, you may be able to request a refund or an adjusted invoice. Learn more about our FedEx Money Back Guarantee Policy here.

Can a package be delivered without being scanned? ›

The package may not have been scanned at the last checkpoint when it was loaded onto the mail truck. The item will be in the truck and will probably be delivered on time, but without being scanned before loading it up, the tracking page will still show the delivery scan holdup.

Will FedEx reimburse for lost package? ›

Claims for undelivered or lost shipments must be filed within nine months of the shipment date. You will need your tracking number to submit a claim online. You can file a claim and include supporting documentation, or add it later. Simply drag and drop documents from your desktop to your claim form.


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4. Software Handling of When Things go Bad: Exceptions, Return Codes & Assertions
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5. Class 27 Exception Handling l SAP EWM Training on S4 HANA
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