More Glossary Terms

Shipment Exception

A shipment exception in transportation refers to a circumstance in which the pick-up or delivery of a freight shipment is delayed or disrupted. These unexpected delays interrupt the normal shipping process and can occur for any number of reasons.
What is a Shipment Exception?

Sometimes referred to as a “delivery exception” or “shipping exception,” this transportation and logistics challenge can occur during any delivery, on any mode, or in any industry. Shippers, carriers, and 3PLs leverage technology such as predictive delivery, control tower visibility, and exception management tools to both prevent and navigate such delays.

A freight shipping exception might occur because of:
  • Traffic delays.
  • Weather issues.
  • Mechanical issues.
  • Customs delays.
  • Miscommunications.
What to Do When a Shipment is Delayed or Disrupted

Whenever a freight shipment is expected to arrive later than planned, stakeholders need to be informed. The shipper, carrier, 3PL, and delivery recipient need to be updated. When necessary, customer service representatives may make a phone call to ensure the customer knows when a delivery won’t arrive on time. For companies using the right transportation management system, automated notifications can be sent to all parties involved – often via email or text.

Along with providing updates, multi-stop shipments may need to reroute or reschedule subsequent deliveries. Artificial Intelligence-driven technology can provide solutions that automate these tasks to keep your supply chain as efficient and on-time as possible.
Companies may incur a cost due to late deliveries or expediting the shipment to ensure it arrives within the expected delivery window.
How Long Does a Shipment Exception Last?
The duration of a freight shipment exception can vary widely based on a variety of factors, including the nature and severity of the disruption. The effort it takes to resolve the issue, as well as the efficiency of processes to address a delivery exception impact the time to resolution.
Some exceptions are mere bumps in the road that can be resolved in less than an hour. Other shipment exceptions create roadblocks or delays that take multiple resources to address.

Timely and effective efforts to address the underlying issues and coordinate solutions are crucial for minimizing the impact and resolving the exception as quickly as possible.

Is a Shipment Exception Bad?
Shipment delays and disruptions are bound to occur in the supply chain. Measures taken to address the problem, resolve the exception, and fulfill the delivery are key to reducing the length of the delay and keeping customers happy. If delivery exceptions happen frequently, it’s important to get to the root of the issue and determine how to prevent these occurrences.

Explore ways to mitigate shipment exceptions

How Do I Prevent Future Shipment Exceptions?
Not every delay or disruption can be avoided. Equipment breakdowns, weather challenges, and traffic delays will happen. Follow these basic best practices to stay ahead of preventable shipping expectations:
  • Source high-quality, proven carriers.
  • Plan deliveries using routing technology.
  • Stay up to date with tracking and visibility tools.
  • Receive regular shipping updates to ensure on-time delivery.
  • Communicate proactively when there’s potential for a delay.
How MercuryGate Helps Address Shipment Exceptions

The need for reliable and efficient exception management is critical. Managing shipment exceptions requires an effective supply chain control tower approach that provides the visibility needed to take a proactive approach to managing freight moves. The heart of any good shipper’s mitigation strategy is end-to-end visibility through a supply chain control tower.

Control tower visibility from MercuryGate TMS takes shipment tracking, predictive delivery, proactive exception management, and shipment rerouting to the next level. Rather than relying on occasional arrival, departure, and current location pings, MercuryGate technology visualizes that data to help businesses identify exceptions faster and provides predictive shipment ETAs to help set expectations.

MercuryGate’s supply chain control tower helps businesses manage exceptions by offering drivers, managers, and other team members the following:

  • Preconfigured controls with custom modules, reports, etc.
  • Enhanced pickup and delivery scheduling management.
  • Next event estimates to stay informed and on track.
  • Advanced notice of possible disruptions and obstacles.
  • Better supply chain visibility to enhance communication.

Solutions and technology from MercuryGate logistics management suite can help businesses prevent, predict, manage, and recover from delays or disruptions caused by a delivery exception. Whether the delivery ETA needs to be updated, your shipments need to get rerouted, customs needs quick documentation, or you need to find an expedited carrier to deliver the load, partnering with a global transportation expert like MercuryGate will help your team reduce the costly impacts of exceptions.

Learn how predictive analytics and ETA tools from MercuryGate TMS can help your business run more smoothly, even when a disruption occurs

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