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How To Deal With Delivery Exceptions In eCommerce Fulfillment?

May 13, 2022

5 min read

Delivering orders on time is one of the most critical aspects of your eCommerce fulfillment supply chain. You need to ensure that all orders are delivered on time and you receive proper tracking updates. However, due to several unforeseen circumstances, orders can be delayed. So what do you do in these situations?

There can be several situations where your order might be delayed or canceled by the courier partner. You can deal with them properly by maintaining thorough communication with the buyer. To understand the concept of a delivery exception and how you can deal with it. 

What is a Delivery Exception?

A delivery exception refers to an unplanned event that can cause a delay in the delivery of your order or halt it completely. It could be an unforeseen incident like an accident, act of god, etc. 

A delivery exception doesn’t necessarily mean the order will be delivered late. It implies a roadblock in the journey that could lead to a delay. Sometimes, these delays are covered up, and the order is delivered on time. 

Reasons for Delivery Exceptions

National and Festive Holidays

In India, there are several festivals celebrated across different states. This means that several holidays impact the logistics of the country. Therefore, festive holidays and national holidays where the courier partner cannot function at 100% capacity might lead to a delivery exception which can eventually cause a delay in the order delivery. 

Weather Conditions

Another reason for delivery exceptions could be unfavorable weather conditions. When there is a flood warning, heavy rains, or extreme winter, delays in order delivery are possible as routes are closed, and transportation is not convenient. This causes a one-day or two-day delivery delay in most cases as courier companies need to work continuously to correct the backlog. 

Incorrect Labels

Sometimes during transportation, shipping labels are damaged. This causes a delay in processing orders as the destination becomes challenging to track. Also, if the shipping labels are damaged or have incorrect information, it can be a task for courier companies to locate the packages. 

Nobody to Collect Orders

Also, if no individuals are available to collect the order, re-attempts are made, leading to a delivery exception. Therefore, it is essential to share tracking information proactively so the customer can ensure they are available to collect the order. 

Delay in Customs

With international shipping, a significant reason for a delivery exception is a delay in customs. Since several packages go through customs every day and are accompanied by much documentation that needs to be verified, a delay in customs clearance is a regular occurrence. 

Tips to Respond to Delivery Exceptions

How can you respond to delivery exceptions

Contact Carrier

The first step when responding to delivery exceptions is contacting the carrier. Upon reaching the carrier, you can get a clear picture of the reason for the delay and the period set to overcome this. You can update your customers accordingly or decide which information you want to communicate to them. You can understand the roadblock in the supply chain, try to help them if possible, or resolve any issues like the labels, incorrect address, etc. 

Contact Customer

The next tip is to contact the customer. Communicating with the customer about this delay and keeping them informed will help you convince them to wait for the package. They will empathize with your situation. If the shipping address is incorrect, you can reach out to them and rectify it. 

Resend the Package

Once you have contacted the customer and they need their package immediately, you can arrange to resend the box with a different carrier. Maybe this helps you speed up operations and reach the destination on time. 

Issue a Refund

The last resort to deal with the delivery exception is to issue a refund to your customer if the package can’t be delivered on time. This saves the customer time and money, and you can also establish excellent relations with them by catering to their needs proactively. 

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Outsource to 3PL Fulfillment Providers

3PL Fulfillment providers like Shiprocket Fulfillment help you optimize the delivery routes for your orders. You can store inventory closer to customers and ensure that the shipping routes are the shortest for orders. This way, you can reduce the chances of encountering delivery exceptions, reduce shipping costs, and deliver 3x faster. Shiprocket Fulfillment has fulfillment centers located at multiple locations across the country. This means that you have the chance to enhance customer satisfaction by many folds. 

Final Thoughts

Delivery exceptions are a common aspect of your eCommerce logistics supply chain. By communicating properly with your customers and keeping them updated with regular tracking updates, you can ensure that they don’t face the brunt of these exceptions directly. Also, by maintaining proper contact with your courier partner, you can have regular updates and keep your customers in the loop accordingly. 

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Danish Khan

Content Writer @ Shiprocket

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