“The waiting is the hardest part,” says the classic song. we think they may have been referring to delayed packages due to how annoying they can be to both sender and recipient!
While most shipments arrive at their destination safe and sound and on schedule, unplanned and unpredictable events can occasionally derail things. But what are the main causes of delays in the transit of packages? What can a small or medium business do to minimize these situations? what should you do if a package is delayed in transit?
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons for packet delays, how to avoid them as much as possible, and how to deal with them when they do occur.
what are the main causes of packet delays (and ways to prevent them)?
weather disturbances. ups® and other carriers generally offer a money-back guarantee if shipments don’t arrive on time. however, these warranties are waived if shipping delays are due to factors beyond the carrier’s control, such as inclement weather.
While neither you nor the carrier can completely control or predict the weather, you can select routes that bypass areas known for weather disruptions. We also recommend allowing extra time for your shipment to arrive, especially when shipping during the colder months when storms are more likely to shut down major thoroughfares.
Reduced capacity and driver shortages. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the rise of e-commerce, and other factors, carrier capacity is being affected and some trucking companies do not have enough drivers.
Smaller regional carriers are more susceptible to shipping delays caused by these factors. Shipping with a domestic carrier like UPS, which has higher capacity and better driver availability, can be a good way to reduce the risk of package delays. ups offers both ground and air transit, the latter being faster and less affected by driver problems.
Inaccurate or incomplete delivery addresses. This problem is almost always caused by human error and is highly preventable. In addition to causing delays in package deliveries, incorrectly entered addresses can also incur expensive correction fees.
using an online transportation management system (tms) like speedship® from worldwide express will greatly minimize entry errors because you can store (and easily access) your customers’ account information or common repeat shipments and has address validation according to postal standards.
Improperly packaged shipments. Packages make a long journey through a carrier’s distribution system, including conveyor belts, sorting machines, placement on and off trucks, and more. If a shipment is packaged incorrectly or insufficiently, it could have trouble getting through the system and could be damaged or returned to the sender, causing shipping delays. see our guide on proper packaging of packages to avoid these issues.
Failed delivery attempts. If a delivery is unsuccessful, the driver will not return later that day, but will have to return the following day for another attempt. this delay can be prevented through proactive communication with your customer. If they know when their package will arrive and it requires someone to sign for it, they can make sure someone will be home or they can create an alternate delivery plan.
what if my package was still delayed in transit?
Sometimes, even if you’ve taken every possible precaution, transit delays can still occur. If you have been tracking the shipment through a TMS such as speedship, you can get ahead of the situation and quickly contact the affected customer. Tracking your shipments in real time allows you to inform the customer about package delays before they find out for themselves, and also potentially ship a replacement package sooner.
solutions to help you combat shipping delays.
If you need help making a “plan b” for package delays or any other aspect of your shipping operations, call the shipping logistics experts at worldwide express. our decades of experience and relationship with ups can make a difference in your company’s shipping success. Schedule a free personalized shipping consultation today!