Top 11 Causes of Late Delivery and Its Solutions

keyKey Takeaways:

  • There are many reasons for late deliveries, including weather, human error, traffic, and mechanical issues.
  • Invest in reliable vehicles, plan routes, and communicate effectively with customers to prevent late deliveries.
  • Advanced technology can also be helpful to carriers while tracking their shipments more accurately and making real-time adjustments to routes as per need.

Over 55% of online shoppers in the United States prefer same-day deliveries compared to other delivery timings. The standard delivery time takes around 3 to 5 business days to complete.

But when it comes to on-ground delivery operations, the inefficiencies and complexities of deliveries sometimes result in failed or delayed delivery attempts.

It can deliver a poor customer experience and minimize brand effectiveness in the delivery industry.

So, how to avoid delivery delays?

To understand the solution to shipping delays, we must get to the core of the problem and look for the causes of late delivery.

What are the Primary Causes of a Delivery Delay?

Below are the 11 primary causes of late or delayed delivery that you should care about.

1. Traffic

Traffic can be a major aspect of delayed or failed delivery attempts. Being a delivery business, you know it’s hard to find a city with traffic jams. Between accidents, construction, and other roadblocks, it’s common to witness courier companies experiencing delays in transit.

But proper planning and accessing professional delivery routing software solution can help you avoid delays and increase the efficiency of the delivery drivers. The software can help you calculate the real-time traffic updates that can assist you in finding optimized routes that don’t cause traffic delays and streamline your delivery operations without hindering the supply chain.

2. Documentation issue

Goods that are delivered by courier service have an official document with vital information to help the delivery drivers complete the timely delivery. Common mistakes in the address or incorrect field filling can result in accurate or late deliveries.

Sometimes, the logistic operations can get messed up, and wrong delivery documents can be attached to the products, which can cause a poor delivery experience for the customers.

It can increase the overall delivery process and your cost of delivery operations, minimizing your profits.

Many customers complain about the courier company’s wrong deliveries, which breaks the customer relationship and trust for future transactions.

3. Lack of visibility

Ensuring visibility in your supply chain is critical for delivering a timely and safe shipment. Organizations become victims of multiple inefficiencies, damages, or lost shipment issues without having real-time visibility of the delivery product.

Using different technologies to clarify the entire shipment process can help your delivery company maintain a competitive advantage. Choosing professional delivery software can provide your customers with transparency and help you deliver a quality customer experience.

4. Weather conditions

Unfair weather conditions can hinder the delivery supply chain and minimize the assurance of on-time deliveries.

The courier drivers can face long halts due to undrivable weather conditions that can cause shipment delays. Checking the weather before kick-starting the delivery process can avoid delays and help you increase the effectiveness of the deliveries.

5. Vehicle issues

Your delivery drivers can face multiple vehicle issues during the delivery process that can halt the workflow and result in delayed deliveries.

Some issues can be avoided, and some can’t. You must ensure that you follow standard protocols to help minimize vehicle failure issues like brake issues, tire punctures, and other issues that can cause vehicle breakdowns.

Regular vehicle maintenance checks and proper care can help bypass vehicle breakdown issues and ensure smooth deliveries. 

6. System failures

Online business systems can sometimes fail for multiple reasons, such as poor hosting, increased shipment delivery volumes, or other issues. This can cause delays in delivery processing, and customers may not receive the orders by the promised ETA.

An angry customer may not choose your business for future purchases, which can hinder business growth. Ensure that you have a robust in-house business ecosystem that can help you bypass major roadblocks and delayed shipments.

7. Lack of advanced technology

Not having professional delivery management software can force your manual process that courier services and logistics. It can result in human errors and increase inefficiencies, resulting in delivery delays. 

You should choose the best delivery route mapping software to streamline delivery operations and distinguish yourself from other transportation companies.

8. Customs

Shipping products from one country to another can give rise to multiple hurdles, and customs checks are one of them. You must provide details about the consignment your delivery business is processing to the authorities with detailed documentation that can take up much of your processing time.

If some issues arise in the checking process or during the holiday season, the deliveries can be delayed, and your customers will get a poor customer experience.

9. Rising shipment volume

Your shipment process should be kept within the limits of your delivery capacity. Don’t try to exceed the load capacity of the delivery vehicles to cater to more delivery orders and increase a few profit numbers.

Increased shipment volume beyond the load capacity can result in breakages, vehicle issues, and legal troubles. Operate within your delivery operations’ capacity and expand your ecosystem to handle more delivery orders in a single working day.

10. Lost packages

Delivery companies can lose packages during logistics and transportation operations if their delivery system is not professional. Lost shipments can result in business losses and a poor customer experience. You need to deliver the required consignment or pay the compensation price.

The web-based tracking system, real-time tracking system, and quality shipping labels can help you trace lost packages and avoid bad news for your business and your clients. 

11. Failed delivery attempt

Sometimes, situations may arise when the customer is unavailable at the shipping location or the delivery address is wrong in the shipping details. The failed delivery attempt can increase the extra work and operational expenses. 

You must perform an address confirmation and ensure timely delivery to avoid failed attempts.

You can implement multiple tactics that can help you bypass these issues. Have a look.

How to Overcome Late Delivery Issues?

Below are the 3 important things that will help you overcome late or delayed delivery issues.

1. Switch to an automated process 

To avoid delivery delays, you must ensure a strong internal ecosystem with a professional team and a strategic delivery approach. You can set rules and regulations to operate professionally and minimize inefficiencies in the delivery process.

2. Follow optimized routes 

Train your delivery drivers to follow the optimized delivery routes to help them reach their destination quickly and escape the hassles of traffic congestion and delivery delays. You can create optimized routes using traditional or modern methods to help your delivery drivers handle the work operations.

3. Use a route planner

Choose a professional route planner who can help you with automation and reliable tracking and assist you with payment processing, proof of delivery, automated delivery scheduling, client management, and driver management.

Upper Route Planner Can Streamline Your Deliveries

Upper Route Planner is a leading route planning and optimization software that can help you streamline your delivery operations and ensure that you stand out from other delivery businesses.

You can control your delivery operations and create a reliable communication link between the management and the on-ground workforce.

Create multiple routes and dispatch them to your delivery fleet with a few clicks. The software’s user-friendly interface can assist your workforce in quickly adapting to the new integration and achieving the desired business outcomes.

Avail the 7 days FREE trial version and avoid delivery delays.

Join Upper and Get Rid of Late Deliveries

Delivering packages or picking up orders, Upper ensures your drivers arrive on time. It considers weather, traffic and avoidance zones while finding optimized routes that leaves no chance for late deliveries.


The main reason for late deliveries are 

  • The lack of professional delivery management and route planning software.
  • No proper planning that result in poor customer experience. 
  • Manual dependencies and route planning.
  • Ineffective workforce that increases human errors.

You can integrate a professional route planner, hire a talented delivery workforce, upgrade your vehicles, and strengthen the internal business ecosystem that can help you overcome the causes of delivery delays. Analyze different delivery aspects and spot the weaknesses and areas of improvement that can help you optimize your delivery task and achieve better business outcomes. You can scale your business operations with a flawless delivery business workflow and maintain a happy and satisfied clientele.

The software offers automated delivery scheduling, client management, real-time updates, and reliable communication channel that can be accessed using a desktop or a mobile device at cost-effective pricing. You can try the 7 days free trial to experience the ins and outs of the software before making the buying decision. The customer support team is highly responsive and addresses your questions and queries within no time.


Focus on improving your delivery business operations and streamline the delivery management process by integrating professional software like Upper Route Planner.

Bypass the causes of late deliveries and achieve the desired business outcomes.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel, author of two defining books on reverse geotagging, is a trusted authority in routing and logistics. His innovative solutions at Upper Route Planner have simplified logistics for businesses across the board. A thought leader in the field, Rakesh's insights are shaping the future of modern-day logistics, making him your go-to expert for all things route optimization. Read more.