Why are shipments delayed and how to avoid It?

Why are shipments delayed and how to avoid It?

In the era of online shopping and offline shipping, it seems easy like one-two-three to make your purchases half the world away and have them delivered to your door in weeks or even days. Usually, it can be planned, so you rely on delivery services and make your own plans. But what if your shipment is not there in time? Why do delays happen, and what can you do if so? Here is the list of possible reasons why it happens and brief instructions on what to do.

And, of course, it’s the merchant who has to send you the package, and it’s the delivery service’s responsibility to send and deliver it undamaged and at the right time. But you also have something to do: for example, stay in touch with the merchant and track the delivery services, using the unique code given to you – just in case. Hope it’s never the case, but here is what to do if it is.

Vehicle issues

In 2021, we all were shocked by what happened to just one cargo ship in the Suez Canal. But this type of jam happens every day. Broken engines and insufficient fuel, road accidents and wrong turns, and now you can add imperfect autopiloting software.

Sometimes the reasons have nothing to do with the delivery company’s attitude, first of all accidents caused by someone else. But look at the way they handle it. If they do it right (apologize and do their best to minimize the delay), they are to be trusted.

How to avoid: next time, choose the delivery service that suffers the least from vehicle issues. You can rely on both your own experience and online reviews. Though when it happens, it’s unpredictable. And track your purchase (for example, with Royal Mail Tracking) to see where exactly it was delayed.

Transportation issues

These can be caused by anything, from too heavy traffic to unexpected severe weather conditions. And it doesn’t depend on the workers’ good will: it just happens. Effectively, it’s not much different from issues with vehicles.

How to avoid: if it happens, just wait till it’s over. But if you have had experience with various delivery services and you know they handle it differently, next time choose the most responsible one.

Lost packages

It happens too often that your package is just lost along the way. The reasons for it are quite different. They include:

  • Unclear address. Make sure you have written or typed it well. So if it happens, it’s not your fault, and you can claim a recompense.
  • Overloads (see the next reason). The right planning can help you with this.
  • The label got unreadable.

How to avoid: track the package constantly (for example, with PKGE). Use delivery proof to see where exactly it got lost. And keep in touch with the merchant, so you can contact the weakest link in the delivery chain together and make them find your package… or pay for it.


When customers’ activity grows (it usually happens before holidays or massive sellouts, like Black Friday or Single’s Day), there are many more packages to deliver than usual. No wonder it takes more time for delivery companies to receive all these parcels, sort them, and direct where they belong. And on the roads, yes, there can be their own overloads, as various delivery services overlap.

How to avoid: plan your purchases beforehand, so you don’t get under the Black Friday wheels. If you don’t have time to do it before, do it sometime after, when the jams are partly fixed.

Custom issues

When you order something from abroad, there is always a possibility that your package is delayed at the customs. It can happen for a list of reasons:

  • The items you purchase are illegal or require a license in your country. We are not speaking about drugs and fire weapons, but it can apply to hidden cameras, drones, knives, some sorts of food, and so on.
  • The price of your items exceeds the limit, so you need to pay a certain fee to get them delivered.
  • There is just a mistake. It happens too.

How to avoid: Make sure your purchase is legal in your country. There are forums and groups on social media where you can discuss the matter. If you know the price of your purchase is over the limit, be ready to pay the fee for the exceeding part of it.

Wrong delivery address

There are multiple reasons why packages are delivered not where they should be. It often happens when the customer has multiple delivery addresses: if you choose the wrong one, you will wait for your package in vain in another place. Usually, the track reflects it, though, so you can finally redeliver it from there. And there is no one else to blame.

Another reason is a typo: make sure you have entered your address correctly when ordering your goods online. Usually, the merchant sends you an email or a direct message after your order is confirmed, and it contains the address, so you better double-check.

How to avoid: type or write your address correctly and check whether the merchant got it right.

Failed delivery

Finally, it can happen that your package has successfully made it right to your home or office or wherever you intended to receive it. But you just didn’t happen to be there when the delivery arrived, so they failed to contact you.

How to avoid: insist that the operator should call you before the delivery. Provide your correct phone number. Check your messages regularly, both regular SMS/iMessage and messengers like WhatsApp and Telegram. And be where you are supposed to receive the package!


Here is almost a definitive list of what can happen to your cargo. We didn’t take into consideration the most exotic possibilities (like little green men stealing it after paralyzing the guards and erasing their memories about it). But the most common reasons are here. Now you know what to do to minimize the risks and can make sure everything is alright.

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