What Is A Fedex “Operational Delay” And What Do You Do About It?

Are you stuck with a Fedex operational delay and don’t know what to do? Here is some information about the situation

What Does The “Operational Delay” Mean?

An operational delay is a Fedex slowdown that can be caused from any of a number of things. This basically means that some incident has interrupted the normal course of shipping operations and the shipment is experiencing a delay. This delay may be something that takes minutes to hours and won’t cause your package to show up late or it may be something more significant that pushes the delivery back a day or more.

You will likely see a note in Fedex saying, “Due to operating conditions, your package may be delayed” or something to this effect.

What Causes An Operational Delay?

A Fedex operational delay can be caused by a variety of things. The most common ones include:

  • An incorrect address was used
  • The address was missing critical information (like no apartment or suite number)
  • Miscellaneous other events that cause a slowdown of the delivery or a unintended interruption of service

Problems with your shipment may happen in the routing hub or on the way to the destination — this status does not differentiate between the type of or cause of the delay when Fedex presents this error. Similarly an issue with the cargo flight, such as overloaded flights or weather-related delays, could also be the cause of this status.

Some sources online say that an operational delay is only used when the delay was caused by something on Fedex’s side — a broken truck or missed connection etc. — and this term would never be used if it’s a sender or recipient mistake. That claim has been contradicted by Fedex’s latest guidance, where an operational delay can be caused by a variety of mishaps, explicitly including incorrect addresses and incorrect postal codes.

What To Do About An Operational Delay

An operational delay is Fedex’s catch-call term for a late package for unspecified reasons. As such, there is very little the recipient can do to expedite the delivery.

While it may be possible to call Fedex and try to isolate the specific issue, there will be little to nothing that can be done with that knowledge — knowing a heavy rainstorm at the origin caused a slowdown might make you feel better about the delay but it won’t give you any way to speed the shipment along. There won’t be any real recourse with Fedex either as delayed shipment rarely means the chance to get a refund or future credit unless you were using a guaranteed Fedex service:

  • FedEx First Overnight
  • FedEx Priority Overnight
  • FedEx Standard Overnight
  • FedEx First Overnight Extra Hours
  • FedEx Priority Overnight Extra Hours
  • FedEx Standard Overnight Extra Hours
  • FedEx International First
  • FedEx International Priority
  • FedEx International Priority Express
  • FedEx International Priority Freight

Fedex Ground, Fedex Office, Fedex Freight, and Fedex Express do not include a money-back guarantee on their delivery times.