Fedex uses the term “shipping exception” to tag situations where the delivery or shipment of the item is “non-standard.” This sometimes means a delay in shipping and sometimes serves as only information on the process of your shipments.  Fedex has 10 standard shipping exception codes listed here. These codes are also listed below for your convenience:

Codes Related to Non-Standard Process:

  • Pickup Exception – A package was received for a different location than the shipper i.e. a FedEx Drop Box, or the courier made more than one pickup at the location.
  • Prerouted Meter Package – A package was processed through a customer’s automated shipping software.
  • Release Signature on File – The sender or recipient used their option of authorizing delivery of a package with a release signature that FedEx has on file.
  • Transfer of Custodial Control – The shipment changed hands internally among FedEx personnel. This does not necessarily denote a late shipment.
  • Commitment Not Due/Not Attempted – FedEx has the package but may not attempt to deliver it until the commitment time.
  • Received From/Released to an ODA Agent – The package was released to an agent that delivers to extended service locations (out of the primary delivery area).
  • Commodity/Dutiable Received at Port of Entry – Your shipment of a commodity/dutiable item was received at the destination country’s port of entry. This does not necessarily denote a late shipment.

Shipment Not Made on Time/Delivery Failed:

  • Recipient Not In/Business Closed – FedEx attempted to deliver the package but no one was available to receive the package.
  • PMX – A shipment has been returned to the delivery station for the night because it was undeliverable due to an incorrect address or a recipient was unavailable. In many cases delivery is re-attempted the next day.
  • Regulatory Agency Clearance Delay – The shipment is being delayed by the destination country’s Customs Authority for processing.

Proactive Measures to Avoid Shipping Exceptions

  • Ensure you have address validation software on the front end. A great way to avoid shipping exceptions and delays is ensuring the addresses are validated on the front-end. If there are errors the customer can be directed to fix before submitting the order. Address correction fees are wildly expensive. In 2020, FedEx is charging $17 per instance.
  • Fulfillment Precautions – If you are having consistent issues with your packages damaging in transit to your customers, then it may be time to reevaluate your packaging solutions. Are you using strong enough corrugate? Does the size of the box match the size of the product shipped? FedE will definitely occasionally damage a package themselves, but if you see a common thread it is best to look at your internal processes.
  • Account for holidays. Each carrier puts out a holiday schedule every year. You can obtain this from your Sale Representative, as well. Be sure to account for these holidays when quoting shipping times to your customers. Certain events in regional areas can also cause delays. Examples are Mardi Gras in New Orleans, weather events like flooding or a blizzard, and recently even the mass protests in American cities across the United States.

It’s always best to communicate potential delays and shipping exceptions with customers proactively, but sometimes like the last example above it is just not possible. Being proactive and ensuring you are passing FedEx parcels that are in the right packaging and with correct addresses is essential to cost containment.

How Can I Benefit from FedEx Exceptions?

For certain FedEx shipping exceptions the shipper can actually be entitled to a benefit. If you do not have a waiver in your carrier contract, then the FedEx Money-Back Guarantee (MBG) would be applicable for shipping exceptions within FedEx’s control. If FedEx delivered past the published service time for Express and Ground/Home Delivery you are entitled to a full refund for transportation. However, the money-back guarantee is not automatically credited for each shipping exception. The shipper has to file these “service claims” each instance. It is very much worth it.

There are, of course, exceptions to these exceptions. FedEx will not pay back money-back guarantees based on the following conditions:

  • Inclement weather
  • Package is undeliverable
  • Network issues within the FedEx network
  • Bad address on package
  • Dangerous goods shipments
  • Holiday delivery ‘black-out’ times

FedEx can suspend the Money-Back Guarantee program at any time and without much notice. Just recently, due to COVID-19 FedEx (and UPS) suspended their MBG programs.

Lessgistics has software to catch all of these service claims automatically without you having to lift a finger. You will just be credited back based on successful money-back service claims. Contact us today to find out truly how easy it is to put back in your pocket.