FedEx Operational Delay: Definition, Causes, and Solutions

fedex operational delay

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Have you ever seen the “Operational Delay” status while tracking your FedEx package?

You may have asked, What does “FedEx Operational Delay” mean?

The simplest explanation is it’s an unexpected delay in FedEx’s processing and delivery time.

There’s more information you must know, though.

Don’t worry because you’ve come to the right place for answers.

I wrote this guide to discuss FedEx’s Operational Delays, including their causes and solutions.

Let’s begin.

What Is a FedEx Operational Delay?

What Is a FedEx Operational Delay?

A “FedEx Operational Delay” means a setback in the normal processing and delivery of packages within the FedEx network.

An Operational Delay can happen regardless of the FedEx shipping option you choose (ex., FedEx Ground delays, FedEx Freight delays, FedEx International delays, etc.).

Operational Delays at FedEx can happen at various stages of the shipping process, including pickup, transit, and final delivery.

Inclement weather, mechanical problems, customs issues, volume, and logistics can cause FedEx operation delays.

Generally, a FedEx Operational Delay isn’t the fault of the sender or receiver. I will discuss this aspect later in a section explaining the causes of Operational Delays.

What Does Local Delay Mean (FedEx)?

A Local Delay can also happen at FedEx.

Local delays are caused by delivery area events that FedEx cannot control, like local holidays or major sporting events.

If your package status shows local delay, it means it is due to something happening locally and not any problem FedEx caused.

What Causes Operational Delays at FedEx?

What Causes Operational Delays at FedEx?

Here are the common causes of FedEx Operational Delays.

Inclement Weather

Bad weather like heavy snowfall, hurricanes, or storms can interrupt local courier services for shipment delivery.

Unexpected weather events cause “FedEx Delayed” status in pickup, transit, and delivery because FedEx prioritizes the safety of employees and packages.

High Package Volumes

During peak seasons, FedEx shipments can experience delays due to high package volumes that can slow the normal flow of operations.

Mechanical Issues

Delivery vehicles and aircraft used can break down even with regular maintenance.

Note: FedEx often acts quickly to fix the problem or find another way to transport the packages.

Customs Clearance Issues

Many Operational Delays happen if there are issues with the necessary paperwork, inspections, or the customs clearance process.



Unexpected events like the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in FedEx’s operations because several countries restricted the entry of aircraft and ships into their borders.

Incorrect or Incomplete Address

A “FedEx Operational Delay: Incorrect Address” status is possible if the recipient’s address or postal code is incorrect or incomplete.

FedEx Express may need additional steps to verify the correct address or obtain the missing information.

FedEx System Backlogs

The FedEx system can experience backlogs when many packages require delivery. These backlogs can result in Operational Delays.

How Long Does Operational Delay Last (FedEx)?

How Long Does Operational Delay Last (FedEx)?

The length of FedEx’s Operational Delay depends on the specific problem with FedEx shipping services.

However, FedEx recommends filing a claim for a lost shipment if the Operational Delay status exceeds seven calendar days.

Note: FedEx ground shipments can take less than 24 hours to deliver your product to a local FedEx depot or one to two business days for international transit.

What Should I Do if My Package Has the Operational Delay Status?

If you see the Operational Delay status, there’s an interruption in the normal delivery process.

This status is often nothing to worry about.

If you want assurance and more information, you can contact FedEx Customer Support.

FedEx also recommends filing a claim if the Operational Delay status lasts longer than seven calendar days.

When To Worry About a FedEx Operational Delay

Feeling annoyed is natural when experiencing FedEx express delays, and waiting for a package that likely won’t arrive on time can be frustrating and inconvenient.

While FedEx always aims to resolve delayed statuses, no system is foolproof, and occasional issues are inevitable. Be patient and contact FedEx Customer Support for updates.

What if My Status Still Hasn’t Changed?

If the status of your FedEx shipment continues to show a delay, I recommend that you contact FedEx Customer Support for an Operational Delay tracking update.

You can file a claim with FedEx if the Operational Delay status doesn’t change after seven calendar days.

Operational Delay: FedEx Notifications for Resolved Issues

Operational Delay: FedEx Notifications for Resolved Issues

FedEx doesn’t send notifications when they fix operational delay issues. The company simply works on getting your package moving again without informing you.

For peace of mind, track your package regularly to see if it’s still stuck or already moving and arriving at your destination facility.

FedEx Operational Delay: Refund Process

If FedEx didn’t deliver your package on time, you can request a refund or an adjusted invoice.

You can learn more about this on the FedEx Money Back Guarantee Policy, which offers certain transportation services subject to FedEx’s terms and conditions.

Note: FedEx can take back, revoke, or modify this money-back guarantee without prior notice.

Check the Money-Back Guarantee Policy section of the FedEx Service Guide for more information.

Is a Reimbursement or Refund Available for a Late Package?

Is a Reimbursement or Refund Available for a Late Package?

Yes. A refund is available for late packages.

Here are FedEx’s terms and conditions.

  • FedEx will give a refund or credit for the Transportation Charges in case of a Service Failure (as per FedEx’s discretion).

  • The money-back guarantee applies to most Transportation Services, excluding specific types of shipments.

  • If the sender exceeds the average number, type, size, or weight of packages tendered for a specific location, FedEx may accept the packages but suspend the money-back guarantee or adjust commitment times.

  • The money-back guarantee is the exclusive remedy for recovering Transportation Charges in the event of a Service Failure. If the guarantee is suspended, there are no delivery commitments and no remedy or recovery of Transportation Charges.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Can I Do if FedEx Keeps Delaying My Package?

Is your FedEx package delayed for days? Contact FedEx Customer Support for assistance and updates (FedEx tracking delay).

You can also file a claim for a lost shipment if the status doesn’t change after seven calendar days.

Why Is My Package Delayed (FedEx)?

Various reasons can contribute to delays, including inclement weather, high volumes, logistical challenges, or operational disruptions.

Is My Package Safe During Delays?

Yes. FedEx takes measures to ensure the safety and security of packages during delays.

Who Is Responsible for Fixing Operational Delays?

FedEx takes full responsibility for resolving and addressing the delays within its system.

How Long Can FedEx Delay a Package?

The length of how FedEx delays a package can vary depending on the circumstances. FedEx aims to resolve delays and promptly deliver them to respective routing hubs.

Why Does FedEx Take So Long?

FedEx can delay the arrival of your package for various reasons, including inclement weather, mechanical issues, and customs problems. These reasons are often not FedEx’s fault. They can’t control the weather, after all.

You can track and check the status of your shipment on the website or call FedEx customer service for more details.

Does FedEx Delay Mean Lost?

No. A FedEx operational delay doesn’t mean FedEx lost your package. It only indicates a temporary setback in the delivery process.

How Long Does FedEx Take To Ship From Shanghai (FedEx Operational Delay: Shanghai)?

FedEx usually ships in one to three business days worldwide. However, unforeseen circumstances can cause operational delays for FedEx International shipping.

The Bottom Line

I hope my guide helped you better understand FedEx’s Operational Delays.

Remember, occasional delays are unavoidable regardless of the courier. You often don’t need to worry if you see an “Operational Delay” status.

You can also file a claim with FedEx if the status doesn’t change after seven calendar days. I also recommend buying shipping insurance to safeguard your FedEx shipments further.

Written by: Omar Deryan

Founder of OJ Digital Solutions

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