Understanding UPS Delivery Exceptions: What Does It Mean?

Last Updated on 25/08/2023 by UPS_ Admin

When eagerly awaiting a package from UPS, encountering the term “Delivery Exception” can be unnerving. This logistics jargon signifies a hiccup in the delivery process, ranging from weather disruptions to address errors or missing documentation. Though common, it’s crucial to understand its root cause to ensure timely receipt of your parcel. In this guide, we’ll demystify the “Delivery Exception” status, providing insights into its potential reasons and resolutions. Stay informed and navigate delivery challenges with confidence.

UPS tracking expection

What Does Exception Mean at UPS In 2023?

An “Exception” in UPS tracking indicates that the package’s originally scheduled delivery date has been altered due to unforeseen events, such as unreadable addresses, damaged shipments, or a missing signature. It signifies a potential delay or change in the delivery process. When faced with an “Exception,” it’s important to check the detailed tracking information and, if necessary, communicate with UPS for resolution.

What is a Delivery Exception at UPS?

A UPS delivery exception indicates that a package, once scanned into the UPS network, faced an issue preventing its successful delivery. Such exceptions can arise due to reasons like the absence of a recipient to sign for the package, closed businesses, damage during transit, incorrect address details, or environmental factors such as severe weather. Some specific exception codes include:

  • NSN: Absence of a discernible street number.
  • CLD/NI: Business closure or no one present for signature.
  • NSP/B: The named person or business does not exist at the address.
  • ECD: Emergency conditions like post-storm obstructions.
  • SEC: Security measures preventing delivery.
  • FUT: Delays for future deliveries due to various reasons.
  • NAP: No adult present, especially for packages requiring an age restriction.
  • MOV: Recipient doesn’t reside at the mentioned address.

Essentially, a delivery exception means the package couldn’t be delivered due to specific issues, ranging from address inaccuracies to damages or external factors. Depending on the nature of the exception, the resolution might vary, and without the exact exception code, it’s challenging to pinpoint the subsequent steps. However, many exceptions are correctable, and delivery might just be postponed by a day or more.

How do I fix UPS exception?

When you encounter a UPS delivery exception, it’s crucial to act quickly to resolve the situation. Here’s a step-by-step guide on handling UPS exceptions:

  1. Contact UPS Promptly: As soon as you become aware of a delivery exception, reach out to UPS at 1-800-Pick-UPS to gather information about the package and get insights on the nature of the exception.
  2. Verify Address with Customer: If the exception arose due to an incorrect delivery address, reach out to the customer for the correct address. Quick communication can help prevent further delays.
  3. Monitor Package Statuses: With tools like CSV Auto Fetch and ShipStation, you can aggregate tracking numbers, making it easier to stay updated on the status of bulk shipments. By doing this, you can proactively address delivery exceptions as they arise.
  4. Inform Your Customers: Keep your customers in the loop. Use apps like Attentive for SMS notifications or Klaviyo for real-time email updates based on package tracking data. Remember, transparency can help manage customer expectations and maintain trust. Additionally, consider using Facebook Messenger for direct communication and addressing queries.
  5. Speak with the Carrier Directly: Beyond just the tracking updates, directly calling the shipping carrier can give more in-depth details about the delivery hiccup. Ensure you have all the required details, including the tracking number, when you call.
  6. Issue Refunds or Discounts: If a package is lost, damaged, or returned to the sender, evaluate the situation and decide whether a full or partial refund is necessary. To foster goodwill and retain customer loyalty, consider offering a discount on their next purchase.
  7. Stay Proactive: The key to handling UPS exceptions is to remain proactive and ensure that both you and the customer are always informed. This not only helps in quicker resolutions but also strengthens the bond of trust with your clientele.

Remember, while most exceptions get resolved within a week, the exact duration might vary based on the nature of the issue. Always keep channels of communication open and act swiftly to minimize delays.

What Are the Common Types of Delivery Exceptions at UPS?

UPS, like other major couriers, experiences a variety of challenges during the delivery process, resulting in what they term as “delivery exceptions.” Here are some of the most common types of delivery exceptions at UPS:

  1. Damaged label or Incorrect Address: When the shipping label is damaged, ineligible, or carries the wrong address, the delivery process is halted. To avoid this, ensure that labels are securely attached, legible, and accurate. Printing labels instead of hand-writing them can significantly reduce errors.
  2. Damaged Item: Due to various factors in transit, items or their packaging can get damaged, preventing their delivery. Securely packaging items, especially fragile ones, can reduce the likelihood of this happening.
  3. No Signature: For valuable items or certain shipments, a signature might be required upon delivery. If nobody’s available to sign for the package, it might result in a delivery exception. It’s crucial to inform customers of this requirement in advance.
  4. Inclement Weather: While carriers strive to deliver regardless of weather conditions, extreme events like hurricanes, floods, or blizzards can delay or impede delivery. Communication with customers regarding such delays is essential.
  5. Customs Delay: For international shipments, customs processing can occasionally cause delays. Ensure you pay all requisite duties and fees and have the correct documentation in place to prevent this.
  6. Increased Demand Exceptions: Particularly during holiday seasons, UPS faces an increase in package volumes, which can sometimes cause delays. Making sure all shipment details are correct and legible can help in such scenarios.
  7. Loss and Damage Exceptions: These are some of the most challenging exceptions, where packages are either lost in transit or damaged significantly. While rare, they do require patience and understanding to resolve.
  8. Pick up/Delivery Exceptions: Issues can arise both during the pick-up or the delivery phase. Factors like unclear pick-up locations, harsh weather conditions, traffic situations, or unavailability of the recipient can all result in exceptions.
  9. Address and Label Damage: Incorrect addresses or damaged labels are among the most common exceptions. It’s vital to double-check addresses and ensure labels are securely affixed to avoid such issues.
  10. Holidays: The increased volume of shipments around holidays can also lead to delivery exceptions. Accuracy in package details is crucial during such periods.
  11. Exception Action Required: When UPS requires more information about the delivery address, it might lead to this exception. The sender or receiver might need to provide updated address details or other relevant information to UPS.


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