6 Most Common Reasons for Shipment Delivery Delays

6 Most Common Reasons for Shipment Delivery Delays

In this quick-paced world of instant gratification, hardly anyone likes to receive a scary email that notifies them about shipment delays.

We love everything about online shopping – the convenience, the countless options, the doorstep delivery.

After having excitedly placed an order online, most find themselves glued to the window or sitting by the door waiting for a “quick delivery.”

On the business side of things, seamless deliveries are an important part of the brand experience.

It would not be an exaggeration to claim that everything in the shipping and logistics department affects a business’s bottom line regardless of how big or small the business is.

Unfortunately, however, logistics delays are common and sometimes may even be unavoidable.

What Causes Shipping Delays?

According to a study (Source), as many as 69% of consumers are much less likely to shop from a retailer in the future if their order does not arrive within two days of the promised date.

Considering this, businesses must understand what is causing shipping delays to avoid these to the best of their capabilities for a great customer experience.

Not mastering the last mile delivery not only affects customer retention but will also compel online shoppers to switch to the competitor’s side.

Without further ado, here are the top seven reasons for late shipment that brands and businesses must strive to iron out: –


The creased foreheads that repeatedly stare at their clocks, annoyed individuals tapping their feet and anxiously peeking through the sea of cars and bikes to find an opening to cut through the traffic is a common sight for people travelling on busy roads.

As unbearable as these “rush hour” experiences may be, oftentimes, they are unavoidable. And just as for people, traffic jams are a hassle for manufacturers and shippers as well.

These costs of travel delays are passed on to the customers who then sit wondering why is their order delayed. 

While little can be done to overcome the traffic hurdle, businesses can try using route optimization software to avoid busy roads during peak traffic hours.

Additionally, to play safe, road congestion should be anticipated to give an accurate “expected date of delivery” commitment to the receiver.  

Unfavourable Weather Conditions

The details of the climate change debate are best left to environmental experts (and politicians) but it is almost impossible to deny the weather fluctuations that we experience particularly during seasonal changes.

And when it comes to bad weather and road closures nature has a way to spice things up with its own plans. When this happens, there is little to do aside from waiting it out to ensure the safety of the delivery partners and the package.

Thankfully, when such conditions occur, customers are often understanding and would not mind a late shipment considering that they have been informed about the reasons behind the delay.


Holidays are amazing for a lot of reasons, be it decorated houses, happier people, or office and school holidays, but the thing that excites everyone without exception is the shopping spree and so many gifts! That is why they say: when the holiday season strikes, online orders spike.

This is because rightly capitalising on the holiday opportunity, ecommerce businesses create excitement by including promotions and major sales for online orders subsequently increasing online purchases by a lot.

However, this prime time for gift buying leads to an increase in shipment volumes which can overwhelm shipping capacities.

To prevent shipping delays in this scenario, businesses must pre-plan and establish an efficient logistics system by working with efficient delivery partners, ensuring there is enough staff to manage orders, and strategically spreading out promotional offers over several days.

Loss or Damage of Goods

Although most e-commerce businesses will try their best to not let this happen, loss or damage of goods can lead to logistics delays. 

Damages during transportation are not very common especially as logistics businesses have started to expand their network and refine their transportation but unexpected situations might arise and cause damage to the package.

In such a situation, the package will either have to be returned by the customer or by the transportation unit itself before the package reaches its delivery location.

Loss of goods on the other hand can be highly frustrating especially because the customer cannot know when or if their parcel might arrive.

To avoid such situations, real-time tracking of the order and proof of delivery through photographs and signatures for the order delivered are provided by logistics companies. 


Technology can make several things easier on one condition – it is updated to manage current expectations. When technology malfunctions or is outdated, it is going to cause shipping delays.

Supply chains are known for sticking with old technology which can be particularly problematic as it becomes a lot more challenging to integrate new software that has the potential to prevent delays in deliveries.

Customer Errors

It is not always the fault of the delivery partner. Sometimes, what is causing shipping delays is a customer who has either given the wrong delivery address, has accidentally misspelt when adding the delivery information, or has provided inadequate information for delivery. 

So, when customers complain and ask customer service professionals “why my order is delayed?” it becomes important to verify whether the delivery information is accurate.

In conclusion, the convenience of online shopping is only a part of a great customer experience and if e-commerce businesses want to stay on top of the game, they need to ensure a seamless delivery.

With iThink Logistics, businesses can be connected with suitable delivery partners that are tailored to assist with specific business requirements and explore a diversified network that stretches across 180 countries.

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