What is the Delivery Exception? How to Deal with it?

Do you keep on checking the delivery status more than your customers do? Are you worried about the unpredictable delays and the impact on price and delivery guarantees?

In the world of ecommerce businesses, ensuring timely deliveries is a top priority and minimizing delivery exceptions is crucial for preserving your brand reputation.

Delivery exceptions occur, but this is not what your customers expect. Delivery exceptions, such as those related to international shipping, can occur unexpectedly, causing frustration for both businesses and customers.

Over 30% of the online shoppers want deliveries within 24 hours, and 65% of the retailers plan to offer same-day delivery within the next two years.

But changing market trends have reduced this time limit to almost an hour. While major shipping carriers ensure that the parcel reaches the destination on time.

On the other hand, the delivery exception will make you wonder why the delivery failed at the last moment. Although delivery exceptions are unavoidable, being prepared for such situations can help enhance your customer experience

Let’s know more about delivery exceptions and find ways to tackle them. 

What Does Delivery Exception Mean?

The delivery exception occurs when a package faces a halt in its transit because of an unpredicted reason. This affects the time in which the package arrives at its final destination. 

The dubious problem leading to this delay in delivery affects the delivery business and the customer expectations. Many reasons, like customs delays, incorrect addresses, shipment exceptions, inclement weather, missing documentation, animal interference, flat tire can affect the delivery dates. 

No matter the root cause, making a successful delivery to the intended destination shall be the priority of a business. This is because the cost of a failed delivery is exceptionally high. 

A delivery exception also affects the customer’s experience, which is a crucial aspect for any business owner.

What are the Most Common Delivery Exceptions?

Delivery exceptions can come in any form and anywhere. If a parcel happens to arrive late, here are some common causes of delivery delay that you can expect:

1. Shipping exceptions

Any delay in shipping will automatically hinder the delivery. Shipping exceptions are often encountered during the shipping process, and they can significantly hinder the overall delivery experience. 

That’s because it is costly and needs to be handled with proper strategic planning. They may arise due to various factors, such as, some problem with shipping label, shipping address, or label damage can lead to potential delays. 

It makes it crucial to consider weather-resistant labels to mitigate these problems.

International shipments are even more complex to handle as they involve different carriers which often go through a long processing chain. 

Shipment delays are quite sudden, and the only problem with them is that they cannot be solved in a fraction of time. Shipment delays need proper handling to minimize the risk factor.

2. Customs delays

The international package’s fulfillment process is complex and requires customs check which can affect shipments to the destination country.

A delay on the part of the customs process can affect the whole chain and lead to bad customer experiences. Although one cannot predict the error that made the customs stop the package from further movement. 

Delivery exceptions are a point of frustration for customers and must be dealt very carefully. By providing a tracking number to each product can help sense the delay earlier before they escalate to check delivery status.

3. Documentation exceptions

Missing customs documentation for package clearance, incorrect address details, identical proofs, and lost shipping labels can all contribute to causes of delivery exceptions.

A package can never be delivered to its right address until it has all the necessary details and documentation.

These exceptions can be sorted at a local post office, or the issues can be directly addressed to the delivery station to verify. 

4. Last-mile delivery exceptions

Last-mile is the most controversial part of delivery as it involves many challenges. Courier companies know the drill behind successful last-mile deliveries. 

The last-mile delivery exception occurs when the vehicle carrying the parcels breaks down midway. Some of them are acceptable, whereas some are exceptional. 

Last-mile delivery exceptions are challenging. Road blockage, heavy rain, storms, highway blocking factors, and wrong route planning add to the delivery exception.

How to Avoid Delivery Exceptions?

Delivery exceptions can be avoided by taking measures to tackle the challenges that lead to significant delays. 

Some ways to avoid delivery exceptions are

1. Ensure proper documentation

Consumer behavior has changed over time, and they want almost everything done faster. To ensure the package is not stuck during shipping, ensure that every necessary document and detail is available and also give them a thorough check.

2. Plan and optimize delivery routes

Plan and optimize delivery routes to avoid delivery exception

Delivery route optimization is a lifesaver when managing delivery exceptions. It plans the routes most efficiently according to the delivery instructions provided. This is done to avoid any long or wrong routes, especially during national holidays or to deal with severe weather conditions which makes the delivery route unpassable.

Route optimization is used to complete multiple deliveries on the same route. It also provides you with access to traffic congestion and road blockage.

3. Real-time tracking information

Keep a check on the tracking status. This is a kind of shipment automation. Get access to real-time tracking of your shipments and deliveries.

Automation is one of the most adapted solutions, as it has many benefits. 

Delivering management software is the best way to tackle the challenges of making on-time deliveries.  A delivery management software is loaded with features. Some of them are:

  • Real-time visibility and tracking of the delivery fleet 
  • Route optimization and planning with dynamic rerouting 
  • Compatibility with PC and mobile devices
  • Easy execution of automated processes 
  • Reduced on-time rates with timely deliveries

Hence, automating your delivery process can minimize delivery exceptions. One can handle delivery exceptions with strategic work orders and planning.

Avoid Missed Deliveries with Upper

Hate making same delivery multiple times? With Upper, you can add details like customer contact, and service time to guarantee delivery every time.

What is the Reason Behind the Delivery Exception?

A lot of factors affect the on-time delivery of the package, but they become pretty common if certain measures are not taken to handle delivery exceptions. 

Some of the most common factors that affect the expected delivery date are:

  • Weather issue 
  • Disruptive events 
  • Wrong addresses
  • National holidays 
  • Custom delays
  • Regulatory delays
  • Missing labels and documentation

These factors are unpredictable and the main causes of delivery exceptions.

What are the Impacts of Delivery Exceptions on The Business?

The delivery process is the most crucial process of the whole order. It is important to properly plan for delivery because the customer’s experience is directly dependent on it. 

A customer has nothing to do with the process of placement of an order and its movement from the restaurant. They will remember how the package got into their hands. 

This is the only point where the company represents its service to its customers. Moreover, the costs involved in this process are significant. 

But delivery exceptions affect a business a lot more than they appear to. Hence it is important to plan and watch the delivery completion.

Let’s understand the effect of delivery exceptions on a business:

1. In terms of cost

Delivery exception impact in terms of cost

As mentioned before, the shipping process is an expensive part for any courier services.

Delay exceptions will lead to delay in delivery. The delivery transportation ending up in heavy traffic or on the wrong roads during the rush hour will add to the time consumed in making an on-time delivery. Moreover, the customer will also be unhappy with this experience.

Further, the management is supposed to reschedule the whole delivery. This, in turn, adds to the whole team’s workload, from the delivery driver to the shipment manager. And all this adds extra costs to the actual delivery costs.

When delivery exceptions happen, the business management must compensate frustrated customers and fulfill the delivery guarantees.

2. In terms of experience

Customers always expect timely deliveries but a minor delay for customers can affect the customer experience. The delivery exception affects the business leading to dissatisfied customers and customer complaints. 

Although common exceptions are expected to occur, consumers are well aware of this fact. But the chances of customer churn are higher if the parcel is delivered late. That’s because customers have many options to go for if they are not satisfied with your services.  

Delivery exceptions affect customer satisfaction and no compensation for delayed delivery will make your customers happy.

Although the exceptions are unpredictable, unexpected delays shall be avoided by taking strategic measures to enhance the service.

How the Upper Can Help You Make Timely Deliveries?

Upper is an advanced route planning and optimization software. It is designed to meet the business requirement for multi-stop deliveries.  

You can manage the multi-stop deliveries and analyze delivery reports with very few hassles. It is the best to help you increase the efficiency of your delivery operations in a short time. 

With Upper, you can schedule delivery routes for months in advance to prevent delivery exceptions and offer a better customer experience. Upper is the most recommended delivery management solution with below features:

  • Plans and optimizes the delivery routes efficiently
  • Performs dynamic route planning
  • User-friendly interface 
  • Real-time customer notifications
  • Digital proof of deliveries

Try the 7-day free trial and utilize the delivery route planner to avoid any type of delivery exceptions.

Utilize Upper To Perform Timely Deliveries

Get optimized delivery routes in a few clicks and achieve daily delivery targets. Also, avoid delivery exceptions by planning routes a month in advance.


The delivery exception occurs when a package faces a halt in its transit because of an unexpected event. These events can be regulatory delays, wrong addresses, late shipment, inclement weather, missing documentation, natural disasters or some external factors.

eCommerce customers want the deliveries to be fast and have high expectations. But a shipment exception can result in a frustrating customer experience. You need to provide the expected delivery day and assure the online shoppers that you have a smooth supply chain and it won’t disappoint them.

Any delay in the shipping process will automatically hinder the whole delivery process. It is very common for exceptions to exist while shipping. There could be some problems with shipping labels or shipping addresses.

To ensure the package is not stuck during shipping, check the details thoroughly and handle strategic planning.

Some common factors that lead to the DHL delivery exceptions or any other shipment exception are:

  • Inclement weather
  • Disruptive events
  • Incorrect addresses
  • National holidays
  • Custom delays
  • Missing documentation
The use of powerful shipping automation and carrier delivery management tools can reduce the chances of delivery exceptions.

Automation is the most adapted solution when avoiding the delivery exception. This is because it brings a lot of benefits. Some benefits of automation are:

  • Real-time visibility and tracking
  • Route optimization and planning
  • Easy execution of automated processes
  • Reduced on-time rates
  • Make timely deliveries


Since some delivery exceptions are difficult to deal with manually, you can take help from the Upper. The delivery route planner makes sure you stay on top of your business no matter how many multiple deliveries you want to perform. It can reduce your working hours to minutes and you won’t have to worry about possible human errors. 

At Upper, there is no room for under-delivery which means you get on-demand assistance to reach the location. Thus, delivery drivers can make successful deliveries in a timely manner. This is how Upper could be your ideal companion as far as delivery services are concerned.

To learn more about the software, its features, and benefits,to take your business to the next level.

Author Bio
Rakesh Patel
Rakesh Patel

Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner, a route planning and optimization software. With 28+ years of experience in the technology industry, Rakesh is a subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems. His ultimate goal with Upper Route Planner is to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges and simplify operations such as route planning, scheduling, dispatching, take a proof of delivery, manage drivers, real time tracking, customer notifications and more. He loves sharing his thoughts on eliminating delivery management challenges via blogs. Read more.