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Delivery Exceptions Explained and How to Manage Them

delivery exception

One of the most common issues eCommerce businesses face is dealing with delivery exceptions. A delivery exception occurs when a shipment is not delivered on time or is delivered to the wrong address. 

While delivery exceptions are often out of the control of businesses, there are still steps that can be taken to minimize their impact.

In this post, we’ll explain what delivery exceptions are and how you can manage them in your business. We’ll also cover some best practices for avoiding these types of problems in the first place.

What is a delivery exception?

A delivery exception is a notification that your shipment will not be delivered on the expected delivery date. Delivery exceptions can happen for a number of reasons, including severe weather conditions, natural disasters, local events, or even issues with the shipping carrier.

While delivery exceptions are often out of your control, there are a few things you can do to manage them. First, it’s important to stay up-to-date on any potential disruptions that could impact your shipments. This may mean monitoring the news or weather reports for updates on severe weather or other events that could affect delivery.

You can also contact your shipping carrier directly to get more information about potential delivery disruptions. In some cases, they may be able to provide alternative delivery options or reschedule your shipment for a later date.

Finally, it’s important to stay calm and patient if you experience a delivery exception. Remember that these events are often out of your control, and the shipping carrier is likely doing everything they can to get your shipment to you as soon as possible.

By understanding delivery exceptions and taking steps to manage them, you can help ensure that your shipments arrive on time and without any issues.

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What causes a delivery exception?

There are a number of potential causes for delivery exceptions, including:

  • Incorrect Address – The most common cause of delivery exceptions is an incorrect or incomplete address. Be sure to double-check the shipping address before placing your order to avoid any delays.
  • Inclement Weather –  Severe weather conditions can impact the ability of shipping carriers to deliver shipments on time. If bad weather is forecasted in your area, be sure to track your shipment closely to see if there are any delays.
  • Delivery Gets Lost in Transit –  In rare cases, a shipment may become lost while in transit. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as if the shipping label becomes damaged or if the package is misplaced by the carrier.
  • Delivery is Damaged in Transit –   In some cases, a shipment may be damaged while in transit. This is typically due to rough handling by the shipping carrier and can result in delays in delivery.
  • Documentation for Customs Missing or Incomplete –    If you’re shipping an international shipment, it’s important to make sure that all documentation is complete and accurate. Incomplete or inaccurate documentation can result in delays at customs, which can impact the delivery of your shipment.
  • Missed Delivery –   In some cases, a shipment may be missed due to an error by the shipping carrier. This can happen if the carrier attempts to deliver the shipment, but no one is available to accept it. If this happens, the carrier will typically attempt to redeliver the shipment on another day.
  • Holidays and Long Weekends –    Shipping carriers do not typically deliver on holidays or long weekends. This can impact the delivery of your shipment if you’re expecting it to arrive during one of these times.
  • Correct Amount for Shipping Not Paid –   If you don’t pay the correct amount for shipping, your shipment may be delayed. Be sure to check with your shipping carrier to find out how much it will cost to ship your order before placing your order.

How to Manage Delivery Exceptions

There are a few things you can do to manage delivery exceptions:

Contact Customer Immediately About the Delay

If you are expecting a shipment and it is delayed, the first thing you should do is contact your customer to let them know about the delay. This will help to manage their expectations and avoid any potential issues.

This is a very important step to take, as customers typically do not understand shipping delays. By letting them know about the delay as soon as possible, you can help to avoid any potential problems.

Offer a Refund or Replacement

In some cases, you may want to offer a refund or replacement for a delayed shipment. This is typically up to the discretion of the merchant and will depend on the value of the shipment and the customer’s relationship with the company.

If you do decide to offer a refund or replacement, be sure to let your customer know about it as soon as possible. This will help to build goodwill and avoid any potential issues.

Track the Shipment Closely

If you have a shipment that is delayed, it’s important to track it closely. This will help you to see if there are any updates on the status of the shipment and will also allow you to keep an eye on it in case it is lost or damaged in transit.

You can track most shipments by using the tracking number that was provided by the shipping carrier. This number can typically be found on the shipping label or in the order confirmation email.

Contact the Shipper for a Possible Refund

If your shipment is delayed, you may be able to get a refund from the shipping carrier. This is typically only available if the shipment is significantly delayed and will vary depending on the carrier.

To get a refund, you will need to contact the shipping carrier directly and request one. Be sure to have your tracking number and order information available when you do so.

delivery exception

How to avoid delivery exceptions in your business

There are a few things you can do to avoid delivery exceptions in your business:


One of the best ways to avoid delivery exceptions is to automate your shipping process. This can be done using an eCommerce shipping software like Detrack.

Detrack can automate your shipping process and help to avoid delivery exceptions. It can track shipments, send notifications to customers, and even offer refunds for delayed shipments.

Using an automation system can help to ensure that all orders are shipped on time and that all documentation is complete. It can also help to track shipments and provide updates in case of delays.

Real-time Tracking

Another way to avoid delivery exceptions is to use real-time tracking. This type of tracking can provide up-to-the-minute updates on the status of a shipment.

This is especially useful for time-sensitive shipments, like food or medical supplies. It can also be helpful for tracking high-value shipments.

Real-time tracking can be done using a shipping software or a GPS tracking system. GPS tracking systems are typically more accurate than shipping software, but they can be more expensive.

Text Notifications

Another way to avoid delivery exceptions is to use text notifications. This type of notification can send updates to your phone or email in real time. Always ensure that emails from your domain appear legitimate by integrating an SPF record checker that can protect your emails from phishing.

This is a great way to stay on top of shipments and be alerted of any delays. Text notifications can be set up using a shipping software or a GPS tracking system.

Through text notifications, you can be alerted of any changes in the status of a shipment. This way, you can take action to avoid any potential problems.

Delivery Time Selection

One final way to avoid delivery exceptions is to offer delivery time selection. This type of service allows customers to select a specific day and time for their shipment to be delivered.

Delivery time selection can be offered by some shipping carriers, like UPS and FedEx. It can also be offered by some shipping software, like Detrack.

Offering delivery time selection can help to ensure that shipments are delivered when the customer expects them. This way, you can avoid any potential issues with late or missed deliveries.

delivery exception

Manage Delivery Exceptions with Detrack

Delivery exceptions are a necessary evil for eCommerce businesses. They can be caused by anything from incorrect or incomplete shipping information to inventory stockouts. When they happen, it’s important to take action quickly to mitigate the damage and keep your customers happy.

There are a few things you can do to avoid delivery exceptions in your business, like automation, real-time tracking, text notifications, and delivery time selection. By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your shipments are delivered on time and without incident.

If you are looking for software that can help you avoid delivery exceptions, Detrack is a great option. It offers all of the features mentioned above, and it’s free to try. Click here to start using Detrack today!


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