The top 11 reasons for Shipment Delay and the Effective Strategies to Avoid Delivery Delays.

No matter what industry you are in, reliability is key to running a successful business. It applies equally to sending goods, whether samples or finished products. 

It is the responsibility of operations and logistics managers to ensure that deliveries are carried out as efficiently and quickly as possible. Despite our best efforts, delays often occur without warning. Your Business should partner with a courier company with experience in preventing, circumnavigating, and avoiding delays. There are many reasons why you may face delays while shipping goods from overseas. Let’s discuss the top 11 reasons for shipment delays and effective strategies to avoid delivery delays.

Shipping delays meaning

Shipping delays meaning

The term “delayed shipment” refers to a shipment that has not been delivered to the recipient. Several reasons can cause shipment delays. 

Whether it is an act of God or the fault of a human, there are several reasons why a shipment might be delayed and several ways that customers may complain about them. For example, let us look at a completely unprecedented global pandemic. 

The 11 common reasons for shipment delay

The 11 common reasons for shipment delay

There is nothing more frustrating than a shipping delay. In addition to causing operational problems, penalties, and unhappy customers, they can hamper your supply chain. Are you thinking about what is causing shipping delays in 2022?

Freight deliveries that are delayed are often beyond your control. Your shipment can be delivered on time if you control certain variables. The reasons include 

Shortages of labor

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly affected shipments and deliveries since 2020. Currently, many carriers are transporting goods worldwide at a very high rate. As a result, there is a labor shortage.

Seasonal holidays

During the holidays, eCommerce usually experiences huge spikes, a prime time for the industry. The rise in shipment volumes will overwhelm couriers’ capacity, particularly if they need a reliable delivery network or system. Packages can be delayed when customers are most concerned about delivery timelines.

Supply chain issues with shipping carrier

Supply chain logistics problems are the most common cause of delivery delays. In most supply chains, capacity shortages result from a lack of capacity for processing orders or storing goods, especially during holiday periods, peak eCommerce periods, or major sales events. Your shipping partners may need more vehicles and workers to deliver the package to your customer’s doorsteps if they lack sufficient resources.

Documentation error

Every shipment must be documented accurately and in compliance with third-party specifications. Shipments will be delayed unless these requirements are met.

For instance, Correctly deliver is important. The wrong shipping labels or incorrect address can result in a shipment being rejected and can’t be successful for same-day delivery. Occasionally, delivery documents can be incorrectly attached to products during logistics operations, creating issues while shipping goods. You must ensure all the required documents while shipping goods.

As a result, your overall delivery process can be slowed down, and your delivery operations can become more expensive, resulting in decreased profits.

Wrong deliveries break customer relationships and trust in the courier company. When shipping cargo internationally, a variety of shipping documents is very important. The authorities might check your cargo and do further inspections if you need to remember to fill out certain documents or fill them out incorrectly. Pay attention to possible changes in Customs Declarations. Your cargo can be delayed even further due to all of these factors.

Peak season

It is common for ocean freight to peak in August with back-to-school shopping and continue through November as companies prepare for the holiday season. Lunar New Year is a time of slow sales and exports in some East Asian countries from late January to early February, following a lull in December and early January.

Your freight may be delayed during peak seasons due to the volume of shipments. As a result, the supply chain and logistics network are under pressure. Delays are most common during peak seasons. As a result, freight costs may increase, or peak season surcharges may apply. Importers and exporters often break up their shipments and ship in advance to avoid peak season delays.

Having no plans for extra equipment

Another major issue shippers often overlook is equipment shortage. Transferring cargo from the warehouse is difficult, and it certainly needs to be more straightforward. The importance of intermodal transportation, which includes road and rail transportation, cannot be overstated.

Shipping containers may also not be available in certain circumstances. You may only be able to find them in some parts of town if there is a shortage. Situations like these can also make order delays in shipment and create failed delivery attempts.

Global events

Several countries experienced a shortage of manpower and equipment due to COVID. In the aftermath of the pandemic, a sudden surge in demand has resulted in congestion in ports.

In 2021, COVID-19 restrictions were eased on major Asian to US lanes. Since 2022, the average transit times between China and the US have steadily declined. Despite this, backlogs and congestion continue to be major causes of shipping delays.

In March 2021, a massive container ship, Ever Given, blocked the Suez Canal. On the Asia-Europe lane, 369 other vessels queued up to pass the canal on both sides, causing major delivery delays.

As a result of these unexpected events, the shipping industry suffered catastrophic consequences. If global events like these occur when shipping your item, that can cause shipping delays.

Sudden changes in consumer habits

Covid-19 has been having a significant impact on shipments and deliveries. The supply chain has been affected greatly by changes in consumer behavior. Covid, for example, has raised the need for masks. A sudden change in consumer habits can delay the shipment of specific items.

Port congestion and traffic

After the pandemic, port congestion and traffic have increased. Ports in the US are experiencing severe congestion due to a lack of manpower, storage, and handling equipment. Among the world’s worst ports for congestion, Oakland’s port had an average dwell time of seven days in Q1 2022. Send your shipment to less-clogged ports to minimize this uncertainty.

Trucking issues

During the delivery process, your drivers may encounter multiple vehicle issues that can halt the workflow. You can avoid some issues, but you can’t avoid others. You should follow standard protocols to minimize vehicle breakdowns due to brake issues, tire punctures, and other problems.

Shippers and forwarders have a major problem with delays in truck loading. As a result of a low supply of chassis (load-bearing equipment used by trucks), trucking delays are further exacerbated. 

Weather conditions

Bad weather conditions can greatly affect deliveries. You can experience service issues no matter what transport system you use to transport your goods.

Top tips for dealing with shipment delays

Top tips for dealing with shipment delays

Shipment tracking on time

Using a real-time tracking service will help you keep track of your shipments. Taking control of the shipping process will allow you to know the shipping volumes, order status, and major roadblocks why shipment delays, then you can explain clearly to your clients why late deliveries happen and respond accordingly. 

Consistent communication

Communication with your customer is incredibly important. Customers want to see their parcels on time. Inform the customer of the parcel’s status by contacting them. If you need to apologize, do so. Explain to them the reason for the failed delivery attempt.

Offer free shipping for shipping delays

To fulfill orders effectively, you must manage the customer’s expectations. Throughout the ordering process, that should be your top priority. Before the sale, you should set clear, realistic expectations and communicate with buyers proactively if anything changes. It will help you to cope with the shipping delays. Free shipping is a good option.

Local pickup

You can offer local pickup if the item you’re selling is large or difficult to ship. The seller can add a local pickup option to a listing if he or she is willing to meet the buyer locally to deliver the item. Potential buyers should know the item’s location in the location field to decide whether it is an option.

Offer gift cards and discounts

It is also a good idea to send special offers to your customers. The act of pacifying their angst and making them feel valued will greatly alleviate their stress.

If you want to motivate them, you could offer them special discounts on their next purchase.

Effective strategies to avoid shipping delays

Effective strategies to avoid shipping delays

Partner with domestic suppliers

You can reduce shipment delays by working with suppliers with warehouses in your target countries. By doing so, you will avoid delivery delays and reduce shipping times. Getting your goods to customers is easy with a reliable logistics company. Besides, it is an effective way to prevent shipping delays.

Cooperate only with reliable freight forwarders

Your logistics partner should understand the complexity of shipping and meet your target schedule. To ensure a smooth delivery process, they ensure that all your orders are included, wrapped safely, and they take the necessary steps to ensure your business needs are met. Corporating with an experienced logistics company will help you to prevent shipping delays. They work with reliable courier services.

Make sure all documents are correct before shipping

There is a possibility of documentation issues while shipping goods from overseas. Some of these are misspelled addresses, incomplete order forms, and insufficient information. A customer or salesperson can cause this error. It is important to check all the documents are filled properly to avoid shipping delays.

Don’t ship in peak season

Throughout the year, e-commerce businesses are aware of certain periods when delivery orders are expected to spike. When the workload gradually increases during the busy holiday season, planning and scheduling delivery schedules in advance will help you be better prepared. Avoiding shipping during the peak season will help you to prevent delayed deliveries.

Plan to ensure inventory is available

Communication with suppliers directly will help you to track your goods. Let customers wait because you need more merchandise on hand is not a good idea. Maintaining your stocks will allow you to keep your business platform up to date. Proper inventory management will ensure that you have enough goods at your disposal to fight against shipping delays or delayed deliveries.

Avoid Making delivery promises You Can’t Keep

Most Courier companies will not promise their agent that to avoid 0% shipping delays all the time. Different kinds of delivery expectations happen now and then. To ease customer frustration and make the customer retention rate higher and higher, you can take action if the regular delivery date needs to be met. Tell them there is a possibility to delay of in shipping. Customers can make informed decisions during shopping if you set clear expectations. Be active with the customer service team; it will help you to meet customer expectations and avoid the failed delivery attempt.

Shipping delay message example

Shipping delay message example

No matter how hard you try to provide the best service to your customers, things sometimes go differently than planned. It might take a long time for orders to reach their destination due to numerous obstacles. We recommend you properly communicate the shipping process to ensure your clients are satisfied and your business gains revenue. Here is the shipping delays/ delayed deliveries message example

 Dear [Insert Customer Name],

It is our sincere apologies that your shipment has been delayed. We have experienced significant delays in our operations due to the severe weather conditions. We are extremely sorry for the late delivery. As soon as possible, we will ship your order.

You have been very patient and understanding. Thank you.


[Your Company Name]

Shipping delay email example

Shipping delay email example

Take a look at the shipping delay email template for delayed deliveries. It works as a shipping delay announcement

Dear [customer name]

Thank you for your purchase. The following item(s): xxxxxxxxxx have been dispatched today. Since we ship from [country name], the estimated delivery time will be 12-28 working days, depending on your location and the local post office’s efficiency. 

Important Notice: Shipping delays may occasionally happen, especially during peak shopping season or under unexpecting severe weather conditions. 

We know that shipping delay is out of the seller’s control, but if it happens to your order, don’t hesitate to contact us for a solution instead of leaving us bad ratings/feedback. We will try our best to avoid late delivery. You can rely on our experts.

100% satisfaction guarantee! 


How DFH can help your Business

How DFH can help your Business

Your shipping provider should be able to accommodate when your purchases are ready for delivery. DFH is one of the top shipping companies in China. We always try our best to ensure timely delivery to our clients. And offer the most affordable overseas shipments from China. We accept almost all kinds of packages, including paper and wooden packages.

Instead of promoting unrealistic delivery times, we will fulfill our commitment to on-time delivery. You can choose our hurry ship out option if you need fast delivery. The members of our team have years of experience in the logistics industry. If you are looking for a reliable company to ship your items from china, we are ready to assist. We offer

  • Free warehouse facility,

  • Customs clearance service,

  • Emergency support, 

  • Pick Up

  • Buy insurance

  • Free repacking

  • Quick response, 

  • International shipping by Air/ Ocean/ Rail

  • Shipment tracking system available.

  • Collect shipments from different sellers and more 

Our up-to-date order tracking can notify you if an item arrives late. In addition, we will take immediate action if your goods are lost or damaged.DFH can help you mitigate the issue by keeping your customers updated on the status of their orders through accurate, branded tracking emails and pages. As part of our delayed deliveries solution, we can provide reliable couriers and automate labor-intensive processes, which will help you get many loyal customers and reduce late deliveries.

Final Words

The impact of delayed shipments on your business can be mitigated, even if it can’t be completely avoided. Keep your customers, like online retailers updated on their goods’ business processes to manage possible delays. This way, the chances of a soured relationship and complaints will be minimized.

This article aims to help you understand why your shipments can get delayed and how you can resolve them. Make sure that you do the right thing so that you can avoid delays in your online orders. Maintaining communication with your customers and ensuring they are always informed and know the order arrives on time.

If you are ordering products from China, you can rely on a reliable shipping company like DFH to deliver your products on time. It will help you to prevent delayed deliveries.

Shipping delays FAQs

Why is shipping being delayed?

There are several reasons why the shipment is being delayed. For example, customs clearance, bad weather, port strike, loss of documents, etc. 

How do you inform shipping delays?

You can email or give an SMS to inform your customer about the delay. To begin with, express your apologies and explain why there was a delay. Next, offer a discount or compensation for future orders.

How long is a package delay?

Shipment services can be disrupted or delayed due to severe weather, natural disasters, or other factors beyond our control. Delayed time can only be predicted partially. It mainly depends on the reason for the delay.

Can you pick up a delayed package?

You can pick up a delayed package at the post office or any delivery company.

Can I get a refund for my package being delayed?

If your package arrives late after ordering, the retailer can refund you, according to the agreement. 

Why has my package been in transit for so long?

Several reasons can cause your package to get stuck in transit: loss, damage, or a tracking system malfunction.

How do I know if my package is lost or delayed?

You can contact the logistics company to find out whether your package is lost or delayed.

DFH Global Logistics - China

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