What causes delivery delays?

To understand how to avoid delivery delays, you need to establish what causes these delays. A number of businesses often face difficulties in delivering goods to their customers, promptly. Sometimes, the reason for a delayed delivery is partly due to a customer’s mistake. However, in most cases, an e-commerce retailer is often to blame for delivery delays. Whatever the case, here are some common causes of delivery delays:

 Documentation Mistakes –

These include misspelled addresses, incorrectly completed order forms, and insufficient information among others. This mistake may emanate from the clients or the retailer. Sometimes the retailer fails to document orders properly, especially when handling numerous tasks at the same time. When a delivery company is supplied with insufficient information, chances are that the package will not reach the consumer at all.

 System failure 

 E-commerce businesses often operate on a 24/7 basis. However, if your business relies on a bad hosting company, chances are that your website may experience technical problems. You will not be able to respond to orders if you are experiencing frequent system failures. This will subsequently lead to delivery delays.

 Logistical Problems

Logistical problems can be a nightmare to small businesses. In fact, logistics top the list as one of the reasons for delivery delays. The inability to handle high demand for products and numerous orders may prove to be an Achilles heel. When faced with such a situation, it becomes imperative for an online business to outsource its delivery services.

 Bad Weather 

 Mother Nature may hinder quick delivery of products to customers. Bad weather such as heavy snow, hailstorms and foggy conditions can play a part in causing delivery delays. This is definitely beyond the delivery agent, but should not be an excuse for late delivery.

Lack of visibility

Ensuring visibility in your supply chain is critical for delivering a timely and safe shipment. Organizations become victims of multiple inefficiencies, damages, or lost shipment issues without having real-time visibility of the delivery product.

Using different technologies to clarify the entire shipment process can help your delivery company maintain a competitive advantage. Choosing a professional delivery software can provide your customers with transparency and help you deliver a quality customer experience.

 Lost packages

Delivery companies can lose packages during the logistics and transportation operations if the delivery system is not professional. The lost shipments can result in business losses and poor customer experience. You need to deliver the required consignment or pay the compensation price.

The web-based tracking, real-time tracking system, and quality shipping labels can help you trace the lost packages and help you avoid bad news for your business and your clients. 

 Failed delivery attempt

Sometimes, situations may arise when the customer is unavailable at the shipping location or the delivery address is wrong in the shipping details. The failed delivery attempt can increase the extra work and operational expense. 

You must perform an address confirmation and ensure timely delivery to avoid failed attempts.

You can implement multiple tactics that can help you bypass these issues. Have a look.


Shipping products from one country to another can give rise to multiple hurdles, and customs checks are one of them. You must provide details about the consignment your delivery business is processing to the authorities with detailed documentation that can take up much of your processing time.

If some issues arise in the checking process or the holiday season, the deliveries can be delayed, and your customers will get a poor customer experience.

Rising shipment volume

Your shipment process should be kept within the limits of your delivery capacity. Don’t try to exceed the load capacity of the delivery vehicles to cater to more delivery orders and increase a few profit numbers.

Increased shipment volume beyond the load capacity can result in breakages, vehicle issues, and legal troubles. Operate within your delivery operations’ capacity and expand your ecosystem to handle more delivery orders in a single working day.

Impact of delivery delays on your business

The causes of delivery delays are numerous, and not limited to the aforementioned reasons. Delivery delays can greatly affect your e-commerce business, negatively. Businesses that do not act to mitigate delivery problems often experience a drop in sales. Most customers are genuine and understanding. They know that human error can lead to delivery problems. However, if they experience delivery delays on more than one or two occasions, then they are likely to lose trust in your business. Remember, the reputation of your business is at stake. Therefore, it is imperative that you deal with delay issues promptly.

Delivery time is directly connected to customer retention. Customers who experience a delivery delay when ordering for the first time are unlikely to order again from the same company. Late delivery also affects your loyal customers. They are likely to take a considerable amount of time before ordering again. You can imagine how big an impact this can have on your profits, as well as on your reputation. This explains why some e-commerce businesses are so successful, while others are lagging behind in terms of growth. If you cannot manage prompt deliveries, it is advisable that you enlist the services of a fulfillment company.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *