What is a FedEx Shipment Exception? + Smart Tips to Avoid It

Updated December 18, 2023 by Kyle James
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If you found this article, you probably just got a shipment exception notification. But before blaming FedEx, learn exactly what a FedEx shipment exception means and why it happens. One of the most stressful things about shipping a package is patiently watching your package notifications get closer and closer to its final destination. Sometimes, time is of the essence for package delivery. Whether you are shipping a last-minute Christmas gift or birthday present, you want to ensure your package is delivered on time. Yet, sometimes there are unforeseeable circumstances that can arise which impact when your package is delivered. Let’s break it down.

What is a FedEx Shipment Exception? + Smart Tips to Avoid It

What Exactly is a FedEx Shipment Exception?

A FedEx shipment exception is when a package is temporarily delayed while in transit due to unavoidable circumstances.

It can be extremely frustrating not having your package delivered on time, but sometimes these situations are just plain uncontrollable.

There are a variety of reasons why your package could be delayed, including:

– Inclement Weather

– Natural Disaster

– Vehicle Issues

How Should Shippers Try to Avoid It?

It’s essential to understand that FedEx shipping exceptions are often unpredictable.

There’s often very little you can do to avoid them.

However…ensure you avoid the following common mistakes to reduce the risk of your package being delayed:

– Holiday Time: Mail packages early to avoid delays around major holidays, especially Christmas. Also keep in mind that delivery services are often closed on holidays, inevitably resulting in a delay of packages.

– Print Clear Labels: If you print a label to post to your package, ensure there are no smudges or other damages to the label that would prevent it from being read and scanned.

– Have Good Packaging: Bad packaging, the worst-case scenario, can result in the loss of some or all of the items in your package prior to arrival. Therefore, this could cause delays while the courier is trying to resolve the issue.

– Lack Of Clear Handwriting: If you have to write the address or anything on the package, make sure it’s legible and easy to read.

See Also: How Late Does USPS Deliver? Here’s the REAL Scoop

What Natural Disasters Can Create a Shipment Exception?

Shipment Exception email

Inevitably, serious inclement weather can cause a major problem when it comes to timely package delivery from FedEx.

Here are the typical types of natural disasters that can create a shipment exception:

– Hurricane

– Tornado

– Wildfire

– Flood

– Blizzards

Can Shippers Get a Refund When an Exception Happens?


The reason for the package delay directly impacts whether you might receive a refund.

FedEx offers a money-back guarantee for what they term “service failure exceptions”.

This means that if FedEx is the reason for the package delay, you can request a refund on the shipping charges spent.

To request a refund, notify the FedEx Billing Online application (on the invoice adjustment feature on their website) or their telephone invoice adjustment system.

Be sure to have your package’s tracking number, shipment date, and FedEx account number on hand.

See Also: Does Amazon Deliver on Sunday? Yes, But NOT Always

Reason Shippers Would NOT Get a Refund?

Unless your exception was due to a FedEx service failure, you’ll likely NOT get a refund.

Here are some reasons you will not receive a refund when an exception happens:

– Inclement Weather

– Natural Disaster

– Illegible Label

– Package Expected to be delivered during busy holidays, especially between Thanksgiving and Christmas

– Air Traffic Control Problems

Unfortunately, if your package has an exception because of anything other than a service failure (again, where FedEx takes responsibility for the delay), you will likely not qualify for their money-back guarantee refund policy.

See Also: Ever Heard of a UPS Access Point? You’ll Be Surprised You Haven’t

Does the Exception Happen More Often Around the Holidays?


There are more shipment exceptions that happen around the holidays.

This is because of the increased volume of packages being sent around the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas time.

Therefore, during peak holiday times, send your packages early, have the correct shipment information on your package, and ensure the information is legible.

These little details can help prevent delivery delays that can surely cause unwanted stress around the holidays.

Ask the Reader: Did you recently receive the dreaded FedEx shipment exception? What was the reasoning for it and how was it resolved?

By Kyle James


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