FedEx Late Delivery

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March 12, 2024

In 2022, Federal Express (FedEx) Express delivered an average of over 6.21 million packages daily. The sheer package volume through the FedEx network can be a factor for possible late deliveries. 

So, how does FedEx handle late deliveries. Does the company provide refunds for shipments that aren’t delivered on time? 

This article tackles the issue of FedEx’s late delivery and how to handle such inconveniences. It also explains the different reasons for late deliveries and the possible time schedules when packages can arrive. 

Furthermore, this write-up introduces the FedEx money-back guarantee and how to file and use this refund service.

FedEx Ground Economy, previously called FedEx SmartPost, uses FedEx’s Ground with final delivery by USPS (U.S. Postal Service). FedEx delivers the packages to the post office nearest the final destination. Then, USPS does the last-mile delivery, sending the items to customers the following day. 

You can visit FindPostOffice.org to get the contact information of over 31,330 post offices in every state in America. You can use our website to get information on the nearest USPS retail facility to coordinate last-mile deliveries when needed. 

How Late Does FedEx Deliver?

The latest FedEx delivers your packages is 8:00 PM, from Monday to Friday, and on Saturdays and Sundays for residential shipments (except for FedEx Express deliveries). 

However, typically, FedEx delivers packages by the end of the day. So, if your package notification says delivery is imminent, you’ll most likely get your parcel before 8:00 PM. 

Why Does FedEx Deliver So Late?

FedEx strives to deliver on time, but some reasons may result in delivery schedule delays, like high parcel volume, varying technical issues, and inclement weather. 

So, even if FedEx strives to deliver on time, there are instances where deliveries run late. Customers should understand these reasons so that they can manage their expectations. 

Top Ten Reasons for Delays in UPS and FedEx Shipments

The following are the top reasons for the delayed deliveries experienced by customers when they ship their packages via shipping companies like FedEx. 

Weather-Related Delays

The weather has a significant impact on the delivery speed of shipments. Delivery vehicle drivers encounter difficulties when met with inclement weather, like blizzards, rainstorms, and tornadoes, which may result in delayed shipments. 

These instances are beyond the control of any delivery company, and shippers should advise their customers of the expected delay during bad weather. 

Disasters

Natural disasters and those caused by humans, like wars or political unrest, can delay deliveries in a specific region. Road networks may not be available during and after a natural disaster, and restrictions may be imposed on travel, including shipping services in places of war. 

Wrong Documents

Another cause for late deliveries is wrong documentation. One example of wrong documents is shipping labels with incorrect or wrong address information. 

Illegal or Hazardous Materials in a Package

FedEx has a list of hazardous materials that may result in delivery delays. Items labeled as hazardous may need additional requirements to be shipped via the shipping company’s delivery network. 

Examples of items that FedEx labels as hazardous materials include the following:

Items considered dangerous goods should be labeled and packaged appropriately, handled in a specific manner, and documented correctly. 

Missing Custom Clearance Documents

International shipments must go through customs and get cleared before entering the United States. Customs will require clearance documents like commercial invoices, North American Free Trade Agreement certificates of origin, shipping labels, and electronic export information. 

Unless the package has these documents, it won’t get cleared from customs, resulting in delivery delays.  

Incorrect Address

One major cause of package delays is incorrect addresses on the package labels. An incorrect address can result in a package being delivered to the wrong location. 

Also, incorrect address information can result in scanning delays as the address may not be formatted correctly or doesn’t exist due to the wrong information. 

Holiday Surge

The holidays is one of the busiest time of the year, especially for FedEx. The sudden influx of packages can overwhelm a FedEx facility, resulting in bottlenecks and delays. So, during holidays, expect a slowdown in deliveries. 

Unavailability of the Recipient for Package

FedEx deliveries generally do not require the recipient’s signature, except for certain items, and unless the shipper chooses the signature requirement option. 

However, in cases where a recipient is unavailable, the delivery can’t be completed, and the courier is forced to make another attempt the next day. 

One common reason for delivery delays is failed delivery attempts, which can lead to packages being returned to the sender. 

Poor Performance of Shipping Carriers

Despite the standards imposed by FedEx, especially their commitment to on-time deliveries, delays can still happen, which may be regarded as “poor performance” by customers. 

There are also instances where items considered undeliverable are sorted out by staff, which can strain the FedEx staff. 

Staff Shortage

Finally, another reason for late deliveries is that some FedEx facilities are unstaffed. The lack of personnel and the increasing shipment volume may slow the shipping company’s delivery process. 

FedEx Delivery Exception

You get the status FedEx Delivery Exception when your package experiences temp delays while in transit. Reasons for delivery exceptions, like disasters or inclement weather, are beyond FedEx’s control. 

In situations like these, FedEx will attempt to deliver your parcel at another date. A delivery exception doesn’t necessarily mean that your shipment arrived late. 

What About Specialty FedEx Delivery Options?

FedEx is one of the logistics company giants in the United States that provide shipping services to millions of people. The following are specialty FedEx delivery options for anyone when sending packages. 

FedEx SameDay

You can use this FedEx shipping option if you need a fast and reliable delivery option. 

FedEx SameDay delivers packages 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with the fastest delivery time among the FedEx services. You can ship envelopes or packages and up to 150lbs with FedEx SameDay. 

FedEx SameDay has a guaranteed same-day delivery service. It means that when you use this service, the recipient will receive the package on the same day it was shipped. 

FedEx drivers try to deliver packages before the 8:00 PM traditional cut-off. However, there may be instances where packages come later in most cases, as deliveries take six to seven hours. 

FedEx SameDay City

In most metropolitan areas, customers needing speedy deliveries can use FedEx SameDay City. Like FedEx SameDay, this shipping option is great for eCommerce stores or small businesses that deliver time-sensitive items to addresses within a city. 

This FedEx package delivery service can complete deliveries in at least two hours. The speed depends on the distance from the origin facility and the recipient’s destination in a city. 

For instance, you can expect deliveries within two hours after the sender dropped off a package at a FedEx facility if the destination is within 15 miles. 

FedEx First Overnight

FedEx provides overnight deliveries to most areas in the United States. This next-business-day service delivers packages by early morning (8:00 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, or 9:30 AM). The latest delivery for this shipping service is 2:00 PM. Keep in mind that FedEx First Overnight is guaranteed. 

FedEx Priority Overnight

Priority Overnight also delivers the next day, but by mid-morning, a bit later than First Overnight. This FedEx service completes its delivery by 10:30 AM to most business addresses in the United States mainland. However, the latest delivery schedule is 5:00 PM in some rural addresses. 

FedEx Standard Overnight

Standard Overnight is a service that offers next-business-day afternoon delivery. FedEx Standard Overnight delivers packages by 5:00 PM to U.S. businesses but by 8:00 PM for residential addresses. 

FedEx 2Day AM

The name itself describes this FedEx service. FedEx 2Day AM is a delivery option customers can use when they need to ship documents or packages within two days. 

FedEx 2Day AM means that this is a morning delivery, and the latest time you can receive deliveries is 10:30 AM on the second business day. 

Items usually shipped via this FedEx service include:

  • Perishable items
  • Laboratory samples for doctor’s offices
  • Urgent documents

FedEx 2Day

You can choose FedEx 2Day and get time-sensitive documents or parcels to their destination within two business days. 

This FedEx service is an afternoon delivery service that strives to complete deliveries by 5:00 PM on the second day. The latest delivery time you can experience with this shipping service is 8:00 PM in some residential areas. 

Items typically sent via this FedEx shipping service include:

  • Automotive parts
  • eCommerce purchases
  • Professional documents
  • Luxury items

FedEx Express Saver

You can use FedEx Express Saver to ship items within three business days. This FedEx service provides weekday deliveries to business and residential addresses in all states except Alaska and Hawaii. 

The latest delivery time you can receive packages via FedEx Express Saver is 5:00 PM on the third day and by 8:00 PM for residential areas. 

You can send packages that weigh up to 150lbs and have dimensions of not more than 119 inches in length or 165 inches in girth and length. 

FedEx Delivery Times for Home Delivery Services

FedEx Home Delivery is a ground delivery service that provides fast shipment to residential addresses daily, including during the holiday season. 

You can use FedEx Home Delivery to ship parcels to all 50 states. You can expect packages to arrive within one to five days for deliveries in the U.S. mainland. However, for deliveries to and from Alaska and Hawaii, you may need to wait longer. Delivery times are from three to seven days.  

FedEx Evening Home Delivery

In case the recipient isn’t available or at home during the day, you can have the parcel delivered at night. FedEx Evening Home Delivery ships parcels to their recipients between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM.

FedEx Appointment Home Delivery

FedEx allows customers to arrange a delivery date according to the recipient’s availability. FedEx can contact the recipient by phone to schedule a delivery appointment.  

How to Check the Status of a FedEx Delivery

FedEx provides tracking numbers to customers who have shipped parcels via this delivery company. 

A FedEx tracking number consists of 12 characters that you can type into the tracking search bar available on the FedEx website. After typing the tracking number, click “Track,” and you’ll get the information you need about your package. 

How to Prevent UPS and FedEx Delivery Delays

You can’t 100% prevent delivery delays because some cases involve factors out of anyone’s control. However, you can do the following to reduce delays on factors that people have control over. 

  • Cross-check shipping information to avoid writing an incorrect address on the shipping label.
  • Maintain communication with customers when there’s bad weather or disasters. Anticipating delays during this situation and informing customers can help reduce the stress that may result from this situation.
  • Customs clearance automation can help you avoid delays, especially in cases where additional documentation is needed. 
  • Do online shopping or order items in advance in anticipation of the holiday surge.

Does FedEx Offer Refunds for Late Deliveries?

FedEx has a money-back guarantee that’s part of your shipping contract. The contract stipulates that FedEx will refund the shipping charges if a package gets delivered late by even 60 seconds. 

However, there are clauses and limitations on this famous FedEx money-back guarantee. Here are things that you should know about this policy. 

  • Ensure you haven’t signed a money-back guarantee waiver in your shipping contract. Signing this waiver releases FedEx from its obligation to refund you once deliveries run late. 
  • Wait 24 hours after the expected delivery time before you claim a refund. In many cases, you’ll still receive your package, although delivered late. You may file a claim for late delivery of services with a money-back guarantee. 
  • Refund claims must be submitted within 15 calendar days after a scheduled delivery date. 

When Are You Eligible for a Refund?

As of January 3, 2023, FedEx reinstated the money-back guarantee for the following FedEx Express services. If you have used one of the following services, you are eligible for a refund.

  • FedEx First Overnight
  • FedEx Priority Overnight
  • FedEx Standard Overnight
  • FedEx First Overnight Extra Hours
  • FedEx Priority Overnight Extra Hours
  • FedEx Standard Overnight Extra Hours

Note that Extra Hours is a FedEx program that allows late pick-up for selected packages. FedEx couriers may pick up packages way up to midnight. 

  • FedEx International First
  • FedEx International Priority
  • FedEx International Priority Express
  • FedEx International Priority Freight

Not all FedEx services have a money-back guarantee. For services listed below, money-back guarantees are suspended:

  • FedEx Express
  • FedEx Ground
  • FedEx Freight
  • FedEx SameDay City
  • FedEx Office

FedEx Late Delivery Refund: How to Save 3-5% on Shipping

For business owners running online shops or eCommerce sites, it’s easy to overlook the benefits of claiming late delivery refunds. 

However, FedEx customers can save up to 5% on shipping costs just by diligently monitoring delivery time schedules and timely filing refund claims. 

Understanding FedEx’s Money-Back Guarantee Before Submitting Claims

Saving on shipping costs is one reason for diligently filing claims for late deliveries. However, to take advantage of the FedEx money-back guarantee, you must know what it is and how it works. 

Money-Back Guarantee

The FedEx money-back guarantee is the company’s way of emphasizing its commitment to delivering shipments on time. As mentioned above, there are specific FedEx services that have money-back guarantees. 

Effects of COVID-19 on FedEx Money Back Guarantee

FedEx operations were affected during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, FedEx suspended the money-back guarantee to ensure worker safety. 

However, when health officials eased the restrictions as the pandemic became much less intense, FedEx reinstated the money-back guarantee for some services. 

Why You Should Care About the FedEx Money-Back Guarantee?

You should care about FedEx money-back guarantees because it’s your responsibility as the sender of the package to go out of your way to ensure you get the refunds you deserve. 

If you’re not diligent in tracking deliveries, there may be instances where you might miss potential refunds. 

You can also hire a professional, especially if you’re a business with regular shipments, to ensure you get the appropriate refunds. 

Exceptions to FedEx’s MBG Policy

FedEx’s MBG (money-back guarantee) policy has exceptions. It doesn’t mean this company doesn’t want to take responsibility for its customers. Instead, these exceptions provide customers with a guide where the cause of the problem is beyond FedEx’s control. 

The following is a list of exceptions that invalidate refund claims. Remember to ask customer support when you have questions about these exceptions. 

  • FedEx has proof of on-time delivery.
  • Delays were caused by factors beyond the company’s control.
  • The shipper’s FedEx account has a history of payment failures and is not in good standing.
  • Delays happened during specific holiday seasons, like Wednesday before Thanksgiving or seven days before Christmas.
  • Shipments were rerouted to another address with a “Hold at location” request.
  • Shipments can’t be delivered or returned to the sender.
  • The package contained dangerous goods, including dry ice.
  • Shipments had incorrect addresses on their labels.
  • The receiver of the package refused to accept the delivery.
  • Delays were directly related to security procedures.
  • Weight recorded was incorrect (or over 150lbs).

FedEx Money Back Guarantee Waiver

Sometimes, embedded within a FedEx contract is a money-back guarantee waiver that may prevent you from claiming refunds when deliveries run late. 

It’s best that you thoroughly go through the agreement documentation to see whether you may be signing an MBG waiver. This kind of clause is typically included in the fine print, so do your due diligence before signing anything. 

Why Manually Submitting Claims Can Be a Hassle

Manual submission of claims can be a hassle because of the conditions that should be met for them to be approved. 

Here are examples of these conditions:

  • You must file a claim within 15 days from the scheduled delivery date.
  • You must file the claim with the receiver’s name, address, shipment date, package weight, and the provided tracking number.
  • You must have the complete shipper’s information and the number of shipped pieces.
  • For international shipments, you must submit documentation of the origin country or destination to support the claim.
  • Your package must have been tendered to FedEx directly before the stipulated collection time. 

Note that the money-back guarantee does not apply to all FedEx services, as already mentioned above. 

How to File FedEx Claims

You can always file a late delivery refund whenever it happens. Only ensure you don’t have any impediments like accidentally signing a money-back guarantee waiver. 

If you believe that your claim is substantial, you can follow these tips on how to file a FedEx claim for late delivery refunds. 

Ways to Apply for a FedEx Refund for Late Delivery

There are three main ways to apply for a FedEx refund for late deliveries. Customers must apply promptly to ensure they get a refund. 

Requesting a Refund by Filing an Online Claim

You can file a refund online by going to the support page and completing an online claim. You need to provide the following information:

  • Tracking number
  • Shipping date
  • Scheduled delivery date and time
  • Origin and destination
  • Actual delivery date and time

You also need to upload supporting documents for items with a declared value of higher than $100. Once you have all these documents, submit them online and continue to monitor updates on your claim. 

Requesting a Refund by Calling Customer Support

You can file your FedEx refund claim via phone. You can call customer service at: 

  • 1-800-GoFedEx
  • 1-800-463-3339

You only need all the necessary documents and information about your package to make a claim.

Requesting a Refund by Writing a Letter to FedEx

You can send a completed claim form and all the supporting documents to the following address. 

FedEx Cargo Claims Dept. 
P.O. Box 256
Pittsburgh, PA 15230

Remember to file your claims within 14 days of the shipping date. You can also file your claim via email. You can send your claim form and scanned documents via email or fax.

  • file.claim@fedex.com
  • Fax (1-877-229-4766)

Filling out online is more accessible than the two options. FedEx says most cases get resolved in five to seven business days after receiving the claim form with complete supporting documents. 

Claim Back What’s Rightfully Yours

According to statistics, 3-5% of packages encounter late deliveries daily. With this rate, FedEx may already owe you refunds. Filing money-back guarantees for late deliveries is a way to claim back what’s rightfully yours. 

FedEx and USPS work in delivering packages through both their networks in the United States via services like FedEx SmartPost. If, for instance, a SmartPost package gets delayed, customers can’t get money-back guarantees for it because USPS handles the final delivery. 
To avoid this, you can coordinate with the local post office by contacting them through the information provided by FindPostoffice.org. Our website provides access to over 31,330 USPS facilities in the United States.

References

  1. Total average packages delivered daily by FedEx Express between FY 2016 and FY 2022
    https://www.statista.com/statistics/878354/fedex-express-total-average-daily-packages/
  2. FedEx delivery times and store hours
    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/tracking/guide-for-tracking-managing-deliveries.html
  3. What is considered as dangerous goods?
    https://www.fedex.com/en-ph/shipping/dangerous-goods.html
  4. What does the “delivery exception” status mean?
    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/customer-support/faqs/receiving/tracking-questions/delivery-exception.html
  5. Same day shipping and delivery services across the U.S.
    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/same-day.html
  6. FedEx® overnight shipping
    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/overnight.html
  7. FedEx Express Saver® 3 day shipping
    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/3-day-express-saver-shipping.html
  8. FedEx Home Delivery®
    https://www.fedex.com/en-us/shipping/home-delivery.html