Imagine the following scenario. You’ve prepared a lovely package for your loved ones living abroad and proudly handed it to a shipping company. And now you wait for the joyful news that your parcel has been received and much appreciated.

Yet, you get no response for a long time because the package is late. You’d probably feel furious in such a situation, right?

But don’t be in a hurry to judge the incompetence of people involved in the package delivery. There are many reasons why parcel delays happen. And knowing the most common of them can help you prevent this kind of scenario.

Let’s delve into this right away!

Unfavorable weather conditions

Nobody is protected from the bad weather. And package delivery is quite dependent on it. After all, parcels are transported by road, air, or sea and any part of the shipping chain can experience disturbance due to unfavorable weather.

And it doesn’t even have to be extreme conditions, such as storms or blizzards, that cause delays. Fog, rain, and slippery surfaces also have an impact on delivery speed as they make it harder to drive. Drivers might be forced to slow down for safety which can be a reason why your parcel doesn’t reach one or another transportation point on estimated time.

Issues at customs clearance

If you’re shipping to Ukraine, Poland, France, or any other country that’s on a different continent, you’ll have to deal with customs. Customs procedures don’t only sound complicated. They are pretty complex because each country has its own international shipping regulations.

And it takes time to process all required documents. That alone can contribute to packages being late. But if the sender fails to provide correct or full information regarding the contents of the parcel, it can take even longer.

You may be asked to present additional documents and your package may be suspended in the meantime. So it’s crucial to fill in the customs declaration as accurately as possible for your shipment to reach its destination faster.

Traffic jams and road accidents

Roads are a dangerous place. Various accidents occur there every day. And while it’s not too common for a delivery truck to get into one, it can happen. And then it takes time to find another vehicle, load all the packages anew and transport them to their respective destinations.

Or the truck may simply get stuck in a traffic jam. There may be a lot of reasons behind a traffic ham – an accident, an increased number of vehicles on the road and more. So it’s impossible to foresee that. Basically, minor or bigger bumps on the road all affect the final delivery time.

Peak seasons

You probably know that most package delays occur during the winter holidays. But that’s not the only peak season for courier services. Shipping companies also experience a surge in package volume during the biggest sales of the year, such as Black Friday. Global events can be a cause for a peak, too, as experienced during the covid-19 pandemic.

The problem with peak seasons is that the carriers don’t manage to process the suddenly increased amount of parcels as quickly as they usually do. They simply lack the resources to do so unless they prepare in advance. And even then it’s difficult to anticipate the actual demand for package shipping services.

Failed delivery attempts

Let’s say that your package didn’t experience any disruptions during transit and arrived at the recipient’s door on time. All seems good, right? But the delivery man faces another type of problem. Nobody opens the door to accept the parcel. Or the door opens up, but it turns out that it’s the wrong recipient.

Failed delivery attempts are closely related to the address label. It’s very important to put down the address at which the recipient can be reached during courier working hours. And to write it correctly. Otherwise, your package can end up at the wrong place. And it’ll take a lot of time to solve the misunderstanding and to direct the parcel to the correct addressee.

Lost packages

Sadly, another reason why your parcel might be late is that it’s been lost. This doesn’t happen too often, but no delivery chain is perfect. Especially if there are some faults in the information provided, including incorrect address or customs declaration.

It can be super frustrating waiting for a package and not knowing if it’s still on its way, or if it’s lost for good. To save yourself the stress, be sure to get package tracking. It’s easier to find a missing package when it has a tracking number attached to it.

As you can see, packages are late because of various reasons. Some are hard to anticipate. Others can be prevented by putting more effort into preparing your parcel for shipment.