How to Avoid Delivery Delays: Causes for Delivery Delays & How to Avoid Them

As a delivery business owner, are delivery delays taking a toll on your business? 

If yes, then you are in the right place. Today, we are going to deep dive into one of the major delivery issues faced by delivery owners these days — delivery delays. 

In this fast-moving world of delivery service, no one likes to be kept waiting. And shipping delays, single-handedly take the fun out of a good customer experience. And let’s get real here, nobody wants customer frustration in addition to incurring the cost of domestic or international shipping delays.

Enhancing customer satisfaction and experience is the number one key to running a profitable delivery company. And the way to do that is to make this ride as smooth as possible.

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What Causes Delivery Delays?

Delays in delivery process mainly caused due to this below-mentioed 7 factors. If any of them interrupts your delivery process, you are likely to show up late and customer would be highly disappointed for your service.

1. Global Events

If the global supply chain is slow, it will naturally have an adverse effect on your supply chain. Due to global supply chain issues, businesses often do not get access to raw materials, labor, or finished products, which leads to delivery delays.

2. Product Shortage

Not having enough supplies in the inventory and forgetting to keep a tab on the inventory can severely affect your deliveries. Finding out about product shortages at the last minute can lead to canceling or postponing the order to a different day. An experienced warehouse team will be able to help you better.

3. High-volume Shipments & Communication Around Holiday Shipping

Holidays are a peak season for ecommerce businesses. During this time, the number of deliveries can go up to 10x the deliveries due to popular products. The demand would rise instantly in compare to a normal day. High-volume shipments during the peak season is often a major factor in causing delays in delivery.

4. Incorrect Addresses

If the address you have on the route is incorrect or misspelled, it can be difficult to find the right address while on the road. Even one or two incorrect addresses can cause major delays in delivery to be followed.

5. Poor Planning

Not being able to create a proper plan by considering all the uncertainties like weather, traffic, driver availability, vehicle breakdown, etc. often lead to delivery delays.

6. Weather conditions

Unfavorable weather might be another for causing a delay in the delivery process. If roads are wet due to severe rain storms, the delivery vehicle will slow down its speed. Since weather-affected situations are difficult to avoid, it will ultimately result in slow delivery. It may leave customers frustrated if delivery is taking too long due to bad weather. 

7. Vehicle problems

Fault in delivery fleets could hamper your ongoing shipping process. Some irreparable issues may even take longer than usual resulting in the next day delivery. To deal with it, you should bring on another vehicle and it will extend the delivery time for obvious reason.

11 Ways to Avoid Delivery and Shipping Delays

Here are 11 strategies to avoid delivery delays and ensure faster shipping:

1. Adopt Logistics Technology

Automating the planning process helps you prepare for your deliveries faster. Automated software not only makes it easier to plan for deliveries but it can subsequently lead to delivering goods to your customers on time.

2. Plan & Schedule in Advance

E-commerce businesses are always aware of certain periods throughout the year when the delivery orders are going to go through the roof. Planning and scheduling delivery schedules for the busy holiday season in advance helps you be more prepared when the workload eventually increases. 

3. Set Minimum/Maximum

Set a minimum/maximum realistic delivery times for your business. The shipping time should be decided by taking into consideration all external factors that come into play. This way, you are not overshooting when making delivery promises your customers that their package will be delivered on a particular day. 

4. Make Package Finding Easier

Establish a systematic way of loading the delivery trucks in such a way that the packages are easier to find for your drivers. If the packages are arranged haphazardly in the back of the van, it is going to take longer for your driver to get his hands on the package. 

5. Incorrect or Misspelled Addresses

Incorrect or misspelled addresses due to human error are one of the major roadblocks in supply chains. Drivers spend around 2 hours every week looking for the correct location.

6. Avoid Traffic

One of the major reasons for late deliveries is the traffic faced by your drivers while handling stringent delivery times. Having routes that help them avoid major traffic blocks on the road can help you deliver on tie and meet customer expectations.

7. Avoid Failed Delivery Attempts

There are several reasons for a failed delivery attempt like the customer not being present, driver unable to access the location, or incorrect address. The best way to avoid failed delivery attempts is by informing the customers about the arrival of their package and having the right customer information given to the driver. 

8. Improve Visibility Throughout the Process

With real-time web-based tracking of shipments, you can provide more visibility in the delivery process for your customers. When the customers are aware of the whereabouts of the package and any potential delays, they make sure that they will be available to accept the shipment when it arrives. Customer communication helps you avoid delays by ensuring a successful delivery attempt. 

9. Get Accurate Routing

With accurate routing, your drivers do not have to rely on guesswork or inefficient tools to find a delivery address. A route optimization software can provide the best way to reach an address by avoiding traffic, bad weather, highways, tunnels, and adopting the fastest route for on time deliveries.

10. Tackle Last-mile Challenges

Last-mile challenges include problems like failed delivery attempts, inefficient routing, and lack of resources. Investing in tools and human resources that provide you with efficient delivery routes is essential for avoiding late deliveries.

11. Conduct Quality Check

No matter how smooth your manufacturing process is going, you should conduct a check-up at regular intervals. In such cases, you can take help from third-party companies to perform quality inspections to keep your machines running. The quality control manager will closely check products and machines before delivering the report.

How Does Upper Route Planner Help You Avoid Delivery Delays?

With an routing logistics software like Upper Route Planner, you do not have to plan delivery routes manually. Get accurately optimized route plans for making timely deliveries to your customers. 

Even plan and schedule faster delivery routes in advance with Upper Route Planner. It optimizes and schedules your routes for months in advance, so all you have to do is pull out the routes on the given date and start delivering. 

With Upper, you can:

  • Optimize unlimited routes
  • Send ETA to customers
  • Analyze delivery performance
  • Carry out delivery in a timely manner
  • Manage availability of drivers and fleets
  • Send automated delivery alerts

The online route planner keeps the customers in the loop throughout the delivery process and helps you avoid unnecessary phone calls. You can perform last mile deliveries at the customer preferred time. At the same time, you send instructions to the drivers regarding deliveries. 

Uproot Delays Once and for All Using Upper

Facing delivery delays daily? Use Upper to remove recurring issues and accelerate your delivery process. Plan unlimited routes, get a delivery status update, and perform timely deliveries following the shortest route.

Why You Should Avoid Delivery Delays: The Real Cost Behind Shipping Delays

Having gone through the bleak and distressing pandemic for the past two years, there seems to be a rather promising future for delivery businesses. 

Every e-commerce business is switching to a hybrid or complete remote presence. Millennials are choosing remote working professions. And gen-z is preferring to order from an online retailer rather than stepping out.

In the earlier days, businesses used to fulfill delivery supplies by themselves. However, these days with the improved technology at hand, the market has seen the rise of delivery giants like Amazon.

But the same technological advancements now allow small businesses to directly deliver to their consumers using delivery scheduling software instead of relying on third-party vendors that take a cut off your sales profit.

Now what this means for you and your business is nothing short of good news.

As the online food delivery services market is projected to grow to reach a whopping 154.34 billion dollar industry by 2023, the demand is at a higher stake than ever before. 

According to McKinsey, in the US alone, the market has nearly doubled during the pandemic.

Now we know numbers don’t lie. The potential for your business to grow in profit is astronomical.

By tackling problems faced by your delivery business like shipping delays and pushing your business to keep going forward by implementing smart and elegant solutions, you can be sure to reap great benefits. It also gives you a competitive advantage. 

Building an efficient business with a loyal customer base will give you the edge over your competitors and be a dominant force in the food business.


If your delivery is late due to some unavoidable reason, you should be quick to apologize on behalf of your delivery crew. Also, explain the reason for the occurrence of delay in the delivery process.

Shipping delay should not last more than 5 days. If your estimated delivery time is 3-4 days, you should complete your delivery on day 5. If the final day falls on a weekend, you can deliver the item on a working day to avoid the failed attempt.

When you are ready to send your apology, you can draft an apology email stating the reason for the delay in delivery time. Also, you speak to the client if somehow your email is undelivered.

It means that the container failed to show up on time and ship left the without the container. This could be due to vehicle failure or road accidents. This entire process is referred to as shipment delays.

Delays in delivery may cause due to road closures, bad weather, or vehicle breakdown. Such unavoidable incidents usually result in slow transit and ultimately, your delivery crew is more likely to perform late deliveries.


The delivery business industry is filled with competition left and right, and the effects of shipping delays can have an adverse effect on customer churn and customer attrition. But with the right tools in your arsenal, you can achieve the glorious status of being the best. 

By acting on customer feedback, optimizing routes, and ensuring timely deliveries, you can build a loyal customer base even in this highly cutthroat industry. 

Transparency, efficiency, and keeping customer interest front and center of your business can elevate the quality of your products and services. It doesn’t take much effort to be the best. Focus on only providing quality and you will be miles ahead in this industry.

Whether it is an ecommerce business, food delivery business, a fulfillment service, online retailers, or courier companies, can all benefit from using Upper Route Planner support you through the process. and see how Upper Route Planner fits in and makes your delivery process smoother.

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.