What Does “Delivery Exception” Mean At UPS?

Tracking tools are one of the great modern conveniences shipping services like UPS offer to customers, and it has a range of updates that keep you in the loop about your package.

One of the tracking updates you can get from UPS is that a “delivery exception” occurred. But what does that mean, and what can you do about it? I’ve looked into it, and here’s what I discovered!

What Does “Delivery Exception” Mean At UPS In 2024?

A “delivery exception” tracking update means something has happened that’s interfering with the delivery of your package, impacting the delivery date as of 2024. Delays can be due to inclement weather, damage to the shipment, the address being unreadable or incorrect, or overwhelmed facilities due to a holiday. UPS resolves most exceptions within seven days, with no further action necessary.

If you’re dealing with a delivery exception or simply want to understand how to avoid one, be sure to check out the rest of the article to arm yourself with everything you need to know!

What Is A Delivery Exception At UPS?

In short, a delivery exception means that an unforeseen event has occurred that’s interfering with UPS’ ability to deliver your package.

With that, even with all the technology and procedures to help UPS ship millions of packages a year, there are still issues that it can run into when trying to ship any given package.

Also, while a delivery exception can certainly mean that your delivery date may be pushed back, that’s not always the case. In certain instances, the package may still arrive on schedule!

What Causes Delivery Exceptions With UPS?

Delivery exceptions are typically caused by unforeseen events such as inclement weather. Still, there are other issues that you can keep an eye out for to help avoid a delivery exception.

For example, some events that can cause a delivery exception are:

  • Missing documentation that can cause customs delays
  • National holiday or crisis that slowed down delivery
  • Error in the delivery address
  • The delivery address was unreadable
  • The label or barcode on the package was damaged or missing
  • The correct dollar amount for the label was not paid (this typically only happens when you print the label off at home)
  • The package was lost or damaged
  • The recipient was not available to sign for the shipment

Additionally, UPS will commonly denote the type of exception by adding terms like “address unknown,” “damage to shipment,” or “signature not received” to the delivery exception notification.

Also, you can see if your package has a delivery exception by entering your tracking number to the UPS tracking page or logging in to your My Choice account, which you can create for free by visiting this site.

How Long Do Delivery Exceptions Last At UPS?

How Long Do Delivery Exceptions Last At UPS?

Every delivery exception is different, and how long the exception lasts depends on the issue.

That said, most delivery exceptions will last anywhere from one to seven days and resolve themselves without any further action necessary on your part.

Missing customs documentation, national holidays or crises, inclement weather, and a missed delivery attempt are all examples of delivery exceptions commonly resolved in a week or less.

For issues like a package being damaged or lost, an unreadable or incorrect delivery address, missing or damaged labels or barcodes, or unpaid labels, you’ll likely have to take action to resolve with UPS.

Most of the time, if your action is necessary to resolve an exception, the update you’ll receive from UPS will read “Exception: Action Required.”

How Do I Resolve A Delivery Exception With UPS?

First and foremost, be sure to wait at least a week before reaching out to UPS, unless the delivery exception notification gives you a clue that you’re dealing with an issue that won’t resolve itself.

With that, if you’re dealing with something that requires action to be resolved, or if you’ve waited a week and the issue still hasn’t resolved itself, the first thing to do is contact UPS.

Further, you can contact UPS by calling the customer service line at 1-(800)-742-5877. Then, say “track package,” and press zero to get a hold of a real person.

However, if you’d prefer to chat with somebody online, you can visit the UPS online support page here.

In either case, be sure to have your tracking number on hand and any other information you have about the package so UPS can locate it and help identify the issue.

To know more, you can also see our posts on what does out for delivery mean, what does destination scan mean, and what does in transit mean at UPS.


The UPS tracking notification “delivery exception” means that something has interfered with UPS’ ability to either transport or deliver your package.

Moreover, this can happen for various reasons, including inclement weather, a national holiday, or a missing or inaccurate label or delivery address.

Fortunately, UPS resolves most delivery exceptions without any action on your part in seven days or less.

However, occasional issues require your collaboration with UPS, which will typically be denoted as “Exception: Action Required.”

To resolve a delivery exception, just reach out to UPS with your tracking number and help supply or correct any information necessary.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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