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What Does FedEx “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” Mean?

A FedEx delivery is on its way to you and you have just received a “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” tracking update.

What does this mean exactly? Is the package damaged? Will it reach you okay? Is there anything you need to do?

Let’s take a look…

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FedEx “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” Meaning

The “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” tracking update means that FedEx has printed a new label for the package due to the original barcode becoming unreadable by the scanners during shipment. 

Will my Package be Delayed due to “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced”?

package delayed

In most cases, a short delay should be expected if you have received this update.

When the FedEx system detects that part of the barcode or address on your package is damaged or corrupted, it will automatically be held at the next distribution facility along the shipment journey.

There a new label will be printed and attached to the package.

Although generally, this process doesn’t take very long, it can be enough to alter the FedEx shipment delivery schedule by a day maybe two.

In other words, it is common for a package to arrive one or two days late if the label needs to be replaced.

What Causes a “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” Update?

Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced

Clearly, an unreadable barcode is the cause of the update, however, there are a number of reasons why this can occur.

If the shipper hasn’t placed the label and barcode onto the package correctly, (i.e the corner of a package or across a seam), it can become unreadable during transit.

A damp or damaged label can also occur at any stage of the package journey, causing the barcode to become corrupt.

A look at the various online forums regarding this update and another common theme arises.

Oddly shaped and oversized packages are prone to having damaged labels due to the nature of the item. 

FedEx delivery of bikes, dumbbells, and sofas have all been listed as receiving the “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” tracking update.

In other words, these cumbersome items can have their labels damaged quite easily during shipment.

Is my Package Damaged if I Receive this Update?

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Just because you have received the “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” update doesn’t mean your package is damaged too.

In fact, FedEx has other tracking updates that deal with damaged items and in the absence of those, your package should be delivered completely intact.

Final Words

Barcode Label

Essentially, there is nothing you need to do when you receive the “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” tracking update.

FedEx is addressing the damaged label situation in-house without either the shipper or recipient having to be involved.

It may mean a short delay in the package delivery, however, keeping an eye on further updates will provide you with the information you need.

4 thoughts on “What Does FedEx “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” Mean?”

  1. I hope they didn’t open the package!!! I have had so much trouble with Fedex!!!! They have opened several packages, actually had them hold something for a month, and finally delivered, it was clearly opened and badly repackaged! Fed ex here is so corrupt, there must be dozens cases of theft!

    • FedEx is not opening packages and have no reason to. It’s likely whoever they are getting misdelivered to is opening them. Or you have the wrong address in whatever website you are using and they are being delivered to the wrong address.

      • You clearly don’t know what you’re talking about. FedEx is trash and they mess around with packages all the time, including opening them. Not to mention the amount of things that FedEx drivers steal. Just go and read about how many Steam Decks FedEx drivers were stealing when they first started shipping. Literally the worst delivering service.

  2. 3 times they have replaced the barcode label ? ? ?

    Thursday, 2/29/24
    12:33 PM
    Shipment information sent to FedEx
    Monday, 3/4/24
    12:00 AM
    Picked up
    1:47 PM
    Arrived at FedEx location
    1:48 PM
    Shipment arriving On-Time
    2:38 PM
    Shipment exception
    Barcode label unreadable and replaced
    10:16 PM
    Left FedEx origin facility
    Tuesday, 3/5/24
    10:23 PM
    Shipment exception
    Barcode label unreadable and replaced
    10:28 PM
    Arrived at FedEx location
    Wednesday, 3/6/24
    6:42 AM
    Shipment exception
    Barcode label unreadable and replaced


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