What Is a FedEx Shipment Exception? (All You Need to Know)

Most of the time, ordering something online is a smooth process and you receive whatever you ordered in a short amount of time. However, there are plenty of instances when something goes wrong and your package gets delayed.

So, if something happens, whether it’s a weather delay, a mechanical issue, or a late plane, then you might see the term “Shipment Exception” on your FedEx tracking information. In this article, we’ll tell you what that means, why it happens, and what you can do about it, so keep reading!

What Is a FedEx Shipment Exception in 2024?

“Shipment exception” is a tracking term FedEx uses to describe packages that are delayed due to circumstances beyond the company’s control. This could include inclement weather, a mechanical failure, or a late plane, among other things in 2024. Most exceptions are resolved in less than a week, so patience is the best remedy when encountering these issues.

There is plenty more to know about shipping exceptions, so I hope you read the entire article to find out more!

What Is a FedEx Shipment Exception?

Shipment exception is a term FedEx uses on tracking information when a package has been delayed due to circumstances outside of the company’s control.

There are many explanations for shipping exceptions. Some common ones include the following:

  • Poor weather conditions
  • A mechanical failure
  • Lack of space on a plane
  • A plane arriving late
  • A power outage

It’s important to note that just about anything that slows down a package could be considered a shipment exception, so be aware that this is only a partial list.

Some shipment exceptions have more detailed information listed such as “Shipment exception- weather delay” or “Shipment exception- emergency delay in transit.”

However, this isn’t always the case. It can lead to frustration and confusion on the part of the customer.

Shipment exceptions may also show up on tracking information as “Delivery Exception.”

What Causes FedEx Shipment Exceptions?

As mentioned above, many situations may be considered shipment exceptions.

Normally, a shipment exception indicates that something outside of FedEx’s control has caused Ground or Express packages to be delayed.

This could be due to weather, broken equipment, staffing shortages, or aircraft issues. 

Still, it’s important to note that this term is often used in cases when FedEx could control the situation.

Indeed, this often happens with freight deliveries, as FedEx holds trailers until they’re full before dispatching them.

As well, FedEx may also cancel routes until there are two full trailers in each direction.

What Does a FedEx Shipment Exception Mean for My Package?

What Does a FedEx Shipment Exception Mean for My Package?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a clear answer about what a shipment exception means for your package.

Not only is this term vague, but FedEx seems to employ it anytime a package gets held up during the delivery process.

If you receive a shipment exception that’s the result of a minor mechanical problem, your package could be back on track within a couple of hours.

If, however, your package is held up due to inclement weather and a backlog of packages, you might have to wait several days to see your package move again.

In any event, seeing this notification likely means that your package will be delayed by at least a day or so.

As annoying as these delays may be, know that FedEx works hard to resolve them as quickly as possible. Therefore, your package might not arrive as late as you think it will.

How Long Does a FedEx Shipment Exception Last?

As with many things about shipment exceptions, it’s impossible to give a single answer to this question.

That’s because the duration of a shipment exception depends on what caused the delay.

Mechanical issues may take only hours to resolve while weather delays could take a day or more. Still, I am confident in saying that most exceptions are resolved in less than seven days.

What Can I Do About a FedEx Shipping Exception?

In most cases, being patient is the best thing to do when you see “Shipping Exception” on your tracking information.

Sure, it’s annoying, frustrating, and confusing not knowing where your package is or when it will arrive, but remember that FedEx wants to get your package to you as soon as possible.

Therefore, the company works very hard to get packages back on track after a delay.

With a bit of patience, you should see your package start moving again in no time.

That being said, if you’ve been waiting a week or more and still haven’t seen your package move, then it’s a good idea to contact FedEx customer service.

You can reach customer support by calling 1.800.463.3339.

In most cases, the representative will be able to give you more information about what’s going on and/or flag your package as urgent so it gets top priority.

To know more, you can also read our posts on whether or not FedEx ships to Mexico, FedEx UK shipping, and FedEx shipping restrictions.


Seeing “Shipping Exception” on your tracking information is never a welcome message, but it’s also not a catastrophe. Usually, it means that something like weather or a mechanical issue has slowed down your package.

While this is certainly annoying, know that FedEx works hard to resolve these issues and should have your package going in the right direction in a matter of days. Try your best to be patient, but also feel free to reach out to customer service for more information.

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Florence Howard

Florence Howard has been freelance writing for over a decade, and has a vocational background in retail, tech, and marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys listening to rock and metal, and playing with her dog and cat.

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