What Is A Fedex Delivery Exception?

If you have a Fedex package coming your way and check the tracking number only to find out that there is a “Delivery Exception” it’s a very confusing experience.

So what is a “Delivery Exception” and what can you do about it?

A “Delivery Exception” is a shipping status, just like “In Transit” or “Delivered” but the important thing about it is that this status is a catch-all for a of a number of problems with a shipment. Basically “Delivery Exception” means that your package has been delayed due to some factor that was unavoidable.

Some possible reasons why a package might have the status of “Delivery Exception” are:

  • A weather-related delay, like a blizzard
  • A problem with the delivery truck, like a traffic accident when the package was out for delivery
  • A damage to the label, causing the package to be temporarily held
  • A missing or incorrect customs form, like a required TSCA form

Address Change

One positive reason why a package might have a delivery exception is if you instruct Fedex or the sender to change the address of final destination while the package is in transit. This isn’t always possible, but when you can manage to pull it off, there will be a slight delay to shipping. This will cause a temporary “Delivery Exception” while the package is being rerouted to the new address you’ve provided.

The “Delivery Exception” will last few for anywhere between a few hours and up to two days while the package is re-labeled and transported between delivery centers. Once the shipment is our of limbo and en route to the final destination, the status will change from “Delivery Exception” to “In Transit” and you’ll start getting normal shipping updates again.

Lack Of Clarity

One of the annoying parts of the Fedex “Delivery Exception” status is that you will get few, if any, updates about what is happening. You might eventually get an alert, but this will normally come after some time, not when you first start your investigation.

Eventually the item’s Travel History will be update to accurate reflect what happened to cause the exception, but this might not come until the exception has been remedied. Once corrective action has been taken, you might get a full history like this one (resulting from a change of address):

  • 4:19 AM At local FedEx facility
  • 4:46 AM Arrived at FedEx location
  • 4:46 AM At local FedEx facility
    Alternate delivery requested
  • 4:46 AM Address corrected
  • 9:59 PM Departed FedEx location
  • 10:20 PM Delay Package delayed

In the case of a weather-related delay, like a blizzard or hurricane, Fedex will normally let you know about the reason much sooner and there will be alerts across the site explaining large-scale delays in your area.