How to track packages, understand tracking conditions, 2021 vacation deadlines

FedEx has warned customers of potential delays for vacation shipments and other packages after inclement weather hit parts of the United States last week, causing deadly tornadoes and affecting some operations.

The Tennessee-based company said in a Dec. 16 alert that the tornadoes caused “service disruptions” to some FedEx operations, particularly in Kentucky.

“Although contingency plans are in place, some delays and service disruptions can be anticipated,” the company said. “FedEx is committed to providing service to the best of its ability in storm affected areas and as local conditions permit. We will continue to monitor the situation to minimize the impact on the service.

In addition to the extreme weather conditions, FedEX is also handling a high volume of packages at this time of year while dealing with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a labor shortage in the industry.

FILE – A FedEx truck makes deliveries on December 6, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt / Getty Images)

FedEx recognizes that delays can be frustrating and has asked customers to continue to check the status of their shipments for updated delivery dates.

“We understand the frustrations of our customers and apologize for any inconvenience as we expedite the unforeseen to resolve delays caused by large parcel volumes and an ongoing labor shortage in the industry,” said the company in a statement to FOX 5 Atlanta.

How to track FedEx shipments in real time

FedEx offers a number of tools for customers to track their packages during the peak holiday season, which can be done for domestic and international shipments.

Customers should receive a FedEx tracking identification number, which can be entered online to see the latest updates on a shipment’s location. It will also indicate when the shipment was initiated, picked up, in transit, or delivered.

FedEx packages can also be tracked by:

  • Download the FedEx Mobile App and entering the tracking number or scanning the barcode on a door tag.
  • Text “follow” and a door tag number to 48773 (eg follow DT999999999999).
  • Call 1.800.GoFedEx (1.800.463.3339) and say “track my package”, then follow the instructions.

FedEx typically makes deliveries from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, Monday through Friday, and Saturday and Sunday for residential deliveries.

“If you get a message that FedEx will deliver your package by the end of the day, it means your package should arrive before 8 p.m. on the day of delivery,” the company said.

FedEx Delivery Manager, which requires free registration, allows customers to change the recipient’s address, reschedule the delivery date, and more.

What happens if FedEx tracking does not update?

FedEx shipments receive updates at different points in their journey between pickup and delivery, depending on the company.

“The frequency of scans varies, and it’s not uncommon for a shipment to go more than 24 hours without an update en route, especially during periods of long travel,” FedEx said.

What does it mean if FedEx says scheduled delivery is now on hold?

A FedEx message that says “scheduled delivery is now on hold” means everything is being done to deliver the package “as soon as possible,” according to the company.

The estimated delivery date may change depending on the type of delay and the company’s efforts to alleviate it.

What does a FedEx “delivery exception” message mean?

A FedEx “delivery exception” means that an unforeseen event has prevented delivery of the package, including a customs delay, holiday closure impacts, or missing documents.

The company recommends signing up with its FedEx Delivery Manager to receive more updates on the status of packages.

What to do if the FedEx package does not arrive

Customers should continue to track the package to see the most recent delivery information. If the page says the shipment is on time, FedEx’s “Estimated Delivery Date” should be used as a guide to when it will, in fact, arrive.

But if the package is damaged, lost, or missing, customers can use this online tool to file a claim for FedEx Express, FedEx Ground, or FedEx Freight shipments.

Holiday 2021 shipping times for FedEx, UPS, USPS

As Christmas approaches, customers will want to receive their packages in the mail as soon as possible so they can be received by December 25.

FedEx, UPS, and US Postal Service holiday deadlines vary. Click here to view shipping dates for all three carriers.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.