You’re expecting a delivery from FedEx and you have received a “FedEx Delivery Exception” tracking update.
What does this mean exactly? Where is your shipment when you receive one of these alerts and should you expect a delay to the delivery?
Let’s take a look…
What is a FedEx Delivery Exception?
A FedEx delivery exception refers to a situation where a package experiences a change in the normal delivery process, resulting in a delay or deviation from the original delivery plan.
It is essential to note that not all exceptions indicate a late delivery; they simply imply that something out of the ordinary has occurred.
This means that you do not necessarily need to panic when you receive one of these alerts.
In many cases, FedEx is able to mitigate the situation so that the shipment still arrives within the estimated delivery date window.
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Understanding the Status ‘Exception’
The status ‘Exception’ can be attributed to various factors, including:
a) Customs Delays: Packages that are subject to customs clearance may experience delays due to the inspection and processing procedures.
b) Inclement Weather or Natural Disasters: Extreme weather conditions or unforeseen natural disasters can disrupt normal delivery operations, leading to exceptions.
c) Delivery Vehicle Issues: Problems such as flat tires or other vehicle-related issues can result in delays or changes in the delivery schedule.
d) Attempted Delivery to a Closed Business: If the recipient’s business is closed at the time of delivery, the driver may encounter an exception and attempt delivery at a later time.
e) Pick-up Exceptions: Packages that do not originate from the shipper’s usual location may trigger an exception during the delivery process.
f) Holding for Delivery Time: FedEx may hold a package to deliver it closer to the committed delivery time, resulting in a temporary exception.
g) Barcode Damage or Scanning Issues: A damaged barcode or difficulties in scanning can lead to exceptions during the package handling process.
h) Holidays or Unavailability of Recipient: Exceptions can occur if the recipient is unavailable or refuses to accept the package, especially during holidays or specific times close to Thanksgiving or Christmas.
FedEx lists 10 status exception codes here, and this will provide more insight into the nature of exceptions, what they mean, and how they impact the shipment process.
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How to Avoid FedEx Delivery Exceptions
In all honesty. the majority of FedEx delivery exceptions are beyond the customer’s control.
As the list above shows, they stem from logistical issues with the delivery network.
However, there are a few steps that shippers can take to minimize the chances of a delivery exception from occurring.
1. Double Check all Address Details & Documentation
Conduct thorough quality checks to ensure accurate addresses, readable barcodes, and well-adhered labels.
Spot-check outgoing packages to identify any potential problems that might impact the shipping process.
2. Double Check the Packaging
Ensure packages are properly sealed and in good condition to prevent damage during transit.
Adhere to FedEx’s packaging guidelines to minimize issues.
In other words, do not scrimp on sub-par packaging where there is a chance of damage occurring.
In the event of package damage, retain all original packing materials for claim processing.
Consider purchasing additional insurance coverage to protect against damages.
3. Remind Customers of their Responsibilities
Remind customers to double-check the shipping information they input to avoid errors that could lead to delays and additional charges.
If the shipment is international, ensure that both parties are on the same page when it comes to any import taxes and/or duties that might be owed.
4. Plan for the Holidays
Alert customers to potential shipping delays during national and local holidays, managing their expectations and strengthening customer relationships.
This is a good way of preventing complaints as well as helping to avoid customer frustration should a delivery exception take place.
FedEx Delivery Exceptions: Other Factors to Consider
There are a few additional points that you should be aware of when it comes to FedEx delivery exceptions:
Communication and Tracking
It is a good idea to actively track your package using the provided tracking number. It’s important to regularly check for updates and monitor any exception statuses.
Contacting Customer Support
If you have questions or concerns regarding a delivery exception, you should reach out to FedEx’s customer support.
The customer support team can provide more information about the specific exception and offer assistance in resolving any issues.
I would recommend only doing this if it seems that a delivery delay is inevitable, however.
As mentioned, very often FedEx is able to get a package moving again and within the delivery window, without action needing to be taken place by the customer.
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Flexibility and Patience
The last point leads to this quite nicely.
Delivery exceptions often occur due to unforeseen circumstances that are beyond FedEx’s control.
In light of this, it is best to remain patient and so that FedEx has time to rectify the issue.
Of course, on a time-sensitive, expedited delivery you have every right to complain if the item is late.
Alternative Delivery Options
FedEx provides various alternative delivery options that you can explore to ensure successful delivery, even in the presence of exceptions.
These options may include scheduling a delivery for a specific time or date, redirecting the package to a different address, or opting for in-store pickup at a nearby FedEx location.
Essentially, by keeping all of the above in mind, you will hopefully be able to navigate FedEx delivery exceptions more effectively in the future.
I’m a 25 year veteran of USPS. I’m retired now, but as the editor of Mailbox Master, I can’t quite remove myself from the carrier industry just yet. 🙂