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FedEx Operational Delay: What Does it Mean? [A Complete Guide]

Fedex truck on the road

FedEx Operational Delay. It is understandably irritating if you are waiting for a package and you receive this update when tracking your FedEx parcel.

Furthermore, the vagueness of the update can make things stressful. All you’re likely to get is information about where the package is held up.

There’s no explanation for the “operational delay”. Not good if you are shipping an expensive item to or from overseas.

So what exactly is a FedEx Operational Delay? And what can you do about it?

That’s what we will look into today…

What is a FedEx Operational Delay?

man shrugging

A FedEx operational delay is a delay that is to do with the logistics of your package being delivered.

There could have been a delay or complication in the transit of your shipment.

This could happen at the origin, throughout the routing hubs, or at the destination of your package item.

In short, FedEx operational delay is a problem that FedEx is having with its delivery infrastructure and not something that the sender or receiver has done wrong.

Phew, that’s good to know.

Examples of FedEx Operational Delays

fedex operational delays

This is a general status that covers a number of operational delays. Examples include:

Shipment awaiting the next ship/flight/vehicle

A hold-up along the route that causes your cargo to wait for a connection will be classed as an operational delay.

The reasons for this happening are many. Port Congestion, shipping space issues, and bad weather are common ones. 


online shopping

The FedEx website actually states that the pandemic has caused “record-breaking shipment volumes”.

People have shopped online throughout the various lockdowns. People continue to shop online to avoid crowds.

The knock-on effect is far larger shipping volumes. In FedEx’s words, this is “taxing logistics networks nationwide”. This causes operational delays.

Staffing levels

Although carriers such as FedEx do all they can to maintain adequate staffing levels, there have been issues.

The pandemic again plays a part here. The recent holidays do too.

Stretched staffing numbers often mean fatigue for those that are at work. It also means operational mistakes are more common. 

If an ops manager isn’t on hand to oversee a cargo manifest, for example, it will cause a delay.

This delay will show up as operational when you track your parcel. 

Delay in Transfer to Local Courier

local delivery centre

You may even receive an operational delay when your package is clearly shown as having arrived at the local depot.

This can be especially frustrating. The item is close, yet so far.

Here, the issue is that the package has not been put on the truck for local delivery.

It normally translates to a day’s delay in your package’s arrival. 

What Should you do if you Receive an Operational Delay Tracking Update?

frustrated girl on phone

First, you should take a close look at the tracking details to see where the hold-up has occurred. This will at least tell you where your package is.

However, you will not get information on what type of operational delay it is.

You can call FedEx customer services, however, they will not always be able to provide any more information.

If your item has actually made it to the local FedEx depot, it is worth giving them a call.

In sorting offices where local pick-up is allowed, you might be able to arrange to pick up in person.

Final Words

fedex logo on van

More often than not, a FedEx operational delay is just a waiting game.

The important issue is that the sender or receiver has done nothing wrong. The shipment has been ordered correctly.

The issue is an operational hold-up in the transit process. In other words, the package will arrive soon.

You should continue to track the item so that you know the expected arrival date and time.

This way, you can ensure that someone is home to collect it.

27 thoughts on “FedEx Operational Delay: What Does it Mean? [A Complete Guide]”

  1. I’ve been waiting for this package for well over a week now! It says ot os close to the facility but then at the facility. Come on now people. Just place it on the truck. I’ve waited and stayed home now for 3 days this isn’t some cheap thing and will be out of your hair once you bring it here. Oh, I’m sorry I don’t drive so I paid for shipping and it wasn’t cheap and I can and will get legal involved if it doesn’t show up. My health is at stake. Thank you!

    • I have been waiting on my order from GRACE-HOLLOGNE, 4460, BE, Belgium for two weeks now. I don’t know what’s going on but definitely if I don’t get my package before my wedding with all that money I paid legal will definitely hear from me as well.

      • hello, have you had updates on your package? mine is in exactly the same place since april 13th and it hasn’t moved I’m going on vacation and order some shoes so I’m starting to believe they won’t arrive on time.

      • To those of you who have the same issue with packages stuck in GRACE-HOLLOGNE:

        FedEx has provided me with an update on the situation. They have a huge 1 million + parcel backlog in Belgium due to staff shortage and some “unspecified” events.

        I assume these events are related to issues with sorting out parcels for Russia, Belarus and Ukraine which they apparently cannot forward and this has led to some additional strain on the logistics chain. They are working on solving the choke point now, but it will probably not be solved until beginning of or mid May. This is a force majeure issue and they cannot be held liable for the delays, unfortunately.

        Some additional information can be read in the service-updates document they provide here:

        We all just have to sit tight and way for these issues to slowly solve themselves.

        • Fedex include with their message a pre-written note saying that if the the recipient does not contact FedEx or the shipper the item will be returned to its origin. This is surely an unnecessary threat.

  2. I have my item delayed in Paris CDG airport. There seems to be a real problem in the EU countries especially.
    Where are their contingency plans!? Pathetic. And the fact that they don’t give any further information is lame.

  3. Important documents were sent to me from Toronto, Canada to Zagreb, Croatia on April 7, 2022 and still not here – stuck in Ljubljana, Slovenia for days. There is no way to get any info from FedEx. I’ll be heading back to Canada in 10 days and I bet my shipment won’t be delivered and documents will probably be lost. I am furious, totally disappointed in FedEx.

  4. Yall I made a purchase for a new laptop on March 8th and it took until March 30th for the build to be complete. That’s understandable custom build take a minute to complete. However, the shipping information was sent to FedEx on the 30th and the label was made. That’s it… its been stuck pending shipping for a month and there is no telling when the problem will be resolved. I need this new laptop for home business reason and can’t afford to have the cost of that laptop to be tied up in a waiting game and not earning a return through a workflow.

    • If they got the shipping information it probably was waiting the arrival of the item and not the actual FedEx facility. I had an item do that but FedEx never had the item the shipper created the label but never sent the item.

  5. Here we go.. I waited home all day for this. Now another day. What a waste of time… FedEx are the worst.

  6. DHL used to be the worst delivery service I knew of. They delivered a computer battery to my house but I couldn’t find it. Turned out they delivered it about five miles up the road to a different address. Then I thought the USPS was a step above DHL because my postal deliver would just skip my mailbox and go home. I knew she was doing it because a letter was to be delivered that day but it wasn’t. Then I thought UPS was a step above the USPS and FedEx was at the top. I don’t think that way anymore. This is the 4th package that has been delayed with FedEx. It seems when it gets to Memphis my package takes a holiday. You can see the package is there but no one is trying to help it on its way. The worst is that if it leaves Memphis and goes to New Albany, MS you will either never see the package or it will be so late that when it does arrive you will have forgotten you ordered it. This package is delayed because of Operational Delay. I wish they would just call and say you’ve got a package but we don’t feel like delivering it. I’ll drive down to Memphis and pick it up.

  7. Yea sure FedEx ??
    Operational Delays – code for almost anything you want it to be !!!
    Pandemic/ Staff shortages / Computer glitches / parcel congestion /
    How about – not providing the service you are contracted to provide / incompetence/ couldn’t care less / let your customers down – any of these ring a bell ??

  8. fedex has a delivery problem. they do not pay the people good, they do not provide insurance for the drivers. so you see why they put up the bogus operational delay. its just a lie to cover for the fact they do not have the employees to deliver. right now i have a package in chattanooga to be delivered today 35 miles away and i get the message. add the fact that now they want to be the super police on any packages they think might contain certain gun parts. mine is a drone. incompetence should be added to fedexs name, i thought ups was bad. no fedex is the worst of the big 3.

  9. I have had two packages in the last year in which “Delayed” translated into lost but I still had to wait for over a week without the order. I have not had much luck with FedEx compared to their competitor.

  10. I cannot believe you can be charged upfront for a priority service and when the company cannot deliver on its promise they can state operational delay without consequences. I paid for priority mail for a reason and if you cannot deliver on your part of the contract for whatever reason I should be remunerated the difference.

  11. I just have ordered something from Verizon and they are shipping it to me. Firstly they said it would be here yesterday. So I waited. I have Epilepsy and insomnia. I waited all day. Then at the end of the day the package finally moved two cities aways from me at the same Warehouse. Then it finally said Operational Delay. The package is less than 8 miles away! I would go get it but I don’t drive. This is such BS!

    • Mine, too. Out on the truck for delivery at 7:45am about 8 miles away. At 4:35pm I get a message that there was an operational delay and no delivery attempt was made. Since today is a Saturday, I now have to wait till at least Monday, and that’s if they get their act together.

  12. I am expecting some items from New York from for about six weeks now and it’s becoming frustrating. I never expected FedEx to take this long. Instead of just waiting around I now know what to do now. Thanks for this

  13. I just got a message of operational delay again which means the driver was too lazy to deliver it where he needed to deliver it FedEx has become a pretty worthless company for delivery

  14. I ordered a refurbished computer and FedEx said it would be delivered between 9:30 am and 1:30 pm today. Then at about 6 pm I got the “Operational Delay” notice. Says it will be delivered tomorrow, well we’ll see. Over the last 18 years I’ve had a lot of trouble with FedEx and I’m sick of it! From now on when ever I’m thinking of ordering something I’m going to check if FedEx will be delivering it and if they are then FORGET IT! If possible everyone should do this, then MAYBE FedEx might get the idea.

  15. I was supposed to get a package Saturday by 3 PM, at 4PM I get a notification that FedEx ruined the label so the package would be delayed while they make a new one. Then I was scheduled for a Sunday delivery by the end of the day but now I’ve received the Operational Delay notice. It says no attempt was made, after claiming the package was on the truck and out for delivery. So now they’re saying it’ll be here tomorrow by the end of the day. I’m not a complainer and I understand delays, but after ruining the label, taking a whole day to fix it, and now taking another whole day to NOT deliver my package, I’m starting to think they’ve wrecked something with my order and no one wants to be the one to deliver it.


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