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  • Writer's pictureBrian Cummings

What are Delivery Exceptions and How to Handle Them on Amazon? (Seller's Guide)

Updated: Feb 7

You've just got a notification about a "delivery exception" on your order. Nearly 5% of shipments run into unexpected delays, costing businesses time and customer trust. Our guide will walk you through what these exceptions mean and how to efficiently resolve them, ensuring your customers stay happy.

Keep reading for peace of mind in the shipping world!

What is a Delivery Exception?

A delivery exception is when a package encounters a problem during the shipping process, such as being damaged or delayed. This can be caused by various factors and can impact your delivery plans and customer satisfaction.


A delivery exception occurs when a package encounters an unexpected event that prevents it from being delivered on time. This can include a variety of situations such as shipping delays, weather problems, or incorrect address information.

Think of it as a detour or roadblock in the journey of your shipment that stops it from arriving at its destination according to the original plan.

Understanding these hiccups is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and managing your online business effectively. When a delivery exception happens, it's important to act quickly.

By keeping an eye on package tracking updates and staying in touch with both customers and carriers, you ensure that any shipping complications are handled with minimal disruption to your service.

Common Causes

  1. Incorrect address or contact information provided by the customer

  2. Weather - related delays such as snowstorms, hurricanes, or heavy rain

  3. Carrier issues like vehicle breakdowns or mechanical problems

  4. Failed delivery attempts due to no one being available to receive the package

  5. Customs clearance delays for international shipments

  6. Unforeseen events like road closures, accidents, or natural disasters

  7. Package theft or loss during transit due to security issues

Impact on Delivery Plans and Reputation

Delivery exceptions can significantly impact your delivery plans and reputation. When packages are delayed, lost, or mishandled, it can lead to frustrated customers and a negative perception of your brand.

It also affects your ability to meet promised delivery timelines and may result in additional costs for expedited shipping or refunds.

Furthermore, frequent delivery exceptions can damage the trust that customers have in your business. This can lead to a decrease in repeat orders and potentially harm your seller metrics on Amazon.

How to Handle Delivery Exceptions

Contact the carrier immediately to inquire about the issue and explore potential solutions. Understand their policies, work with them to resolve the problem effectively.

Contacting the Carrier

When you encounter a delivery exception, contacting the carrier promptly is crucial. Look for the carrier's contact information on their official website or your shipping documentation.

Call their customer service line and provide them with your tracking number to inquire about the status of your shipment. Clear communication with the carrier can help resolve issues such as address problems, delivery attempts, or other unexpected delays that might be causing the exception in transit.

Understanding Different Carrier Policies

Different carriers have their unique policies and procedures for handling delivery exceptions. It's important to familiarize yourself with these guidelines in order to effectively navigate through any potential issues.

Each carrier has specific steps for reporting a problem, requesting a refund, or filing a claim. Understanding these policies will help you better manage the situation and ensure that you are taking the appropriate actions to resolve the issue promptly.

By knowing each carrier's policies, you can tailor your response according to their specific requirements, optimizing your chances of getting a favorable resolution. This knowledge also helps in setting accurate expectations with customers regarding potential delays or disruptions in delivery services due to exceptional circumstances.

Resolving the Issue

To resolve the issue effectively, take the following steps:

  1. Research: Study the delivery exception details and track the package's journey from departure to arrival.

  2. Contact Carrier: Reach out to the carrier promptly to inquire about the exception and seek clarification on the next steps.

  3. Documentation: Keep records of all communication with the carrier, including dates, times, and names of representatives spoken to.

  4. Clarify Expectations: Clearly communicate your expectations for resolving the issue with the carrier and ensure they understand your concerns.

  5. Customer Communication: If applicable, keep your customer informed about the situation and any potential delays in delivery.

  6. Alternative Solutions: Be prepared to discuss alternative delivery options or solutions with the carrier if necessary.

  7. Follow-Up: Regularly follow up with the carrier until a satisfactory resolution is achieved.


Understanding delivery exceptions and knowing how to handle them is crucial for Amazon sellers to ensure a smooth and efficient order fulfillment process. By being proactive, communicating effectively with customers, and working closely with shipping carriers, you can minimize the impact of delivery exceptions and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.

Remember to stay informed about Amazon's policies and guidelines, leverage available tools and resources, and implement best practices to address and resolve delivery exceptions promptly. Proactively monitoring shipments, providing timely updates to customers, and offering appropriate solutions when issues arise can help mitigate the impact of delivery exceptions. By prioritizing customer service and maintaining a proactive approach, you can navigate delivery exceptions successfully, build trust with your customers, and establish a strong reputation on Amazon as a reliable seller.


1. What are common types of delivery exceptions on Amazon?

Delivery exceptions on Amazon can include situations such as failed delivery attempts, address issues, package damage, and delays due to weather or transportation issues. These exceptions can disrupt the normal delivery process and require specific actions to resolve.

2. How can I prevent delivery exceptions as an Amazon seller?

To prevent delivery exceptions, it's important to ensure accurate product listings, use reliable shipping carriers, and provide clear and detailed shipping instructions. Communicating with customers throughout the delivery process and promptly addressing any issues or concerns can also help prevent exceptions from occurring.

3. What should I do if a delivery exception occurs?

If a delivery exception occurs, it's crucial to act quickly and communicate with both the customer and the shipping carrier. Review the exception details, gather any necessary information, and work with the carrier to determine the best course of action. Providing timely updates and offering appropriate solutions to the customer can help resolve the exception and maintain customer satisfaction.

4. Are there any tools or resources available to help handle delivery exceptions on Amazon?

Yes, Amazon provides various tools and resources to assist sellers in handling delivery exceptions. The Amazon Seller Central platform offers features such as shipment tracking, customer messaging, and case management tools to help sellers efficiently address and resolve delivery exceptions. Additionally, reaching out to Amazon Seller Support or participating in seller forums can provide valuable insights and guidance from experienced sellers who have dealt with similar situations.

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