FedEx Potential Delay In Transit – Meaning & Cause

It can be quite frustrating to experience delays in delivery, whether as a sender or receiver. It automatically implies that your expected package might arrive later than you’d like.

Lately, a question asked by most FedEx customers is what the “potential delay in transit” update means. And how long till the package arrives?

Are you expecting a delivery and you came across the FedEx “potential delay in transit” update? If yes, you should read this article to get your answer.

What does FedEx’s “potential delay in transit” mean?

Usually, FedEx accurately estimates or predicts the delivery date for every package. However, certain issues may be encountered that may affect the estimated delivery date.

When FedEx notices these issues, the potential delay in transit update is used. Note that this does not necessarily imply that your delivery will be late. Rather, it is more like a heads-up that it is likely to happen.

What are the causes of these potential delays?

Sometimes, the delay is inevitable, whether for FedEx, UPS, USPS, or DHL. FedEx, however, has built its system to automatically determine when delivery falls behind the estimated time or schedule. This helps them notify customers of a potential delay in transit.

In this section, I will highlight some common causes of potential delays.

1. Large volume of packages

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has become more popular with consumers. The number of people shopping online has grown over time. Especially now that deliveries keep getting more efficient.

A steady increase in orders sometimes leads to a large volume of packages, especially during the holiday season. The large packages may sometimes be overwhelming due to limited hands on deck.

So at times, the courier may be unable to deliver all the packages in his or her care at the stipulated time, leading to a potential delay in transit.

2. Weather and other disruption

Bad weather conditions are one of the most common reasons for late deliveries. While FedEx tries to ensure deliveries follow the normal schedule, bad weather conditions are out of control.

Other disruptions, like power outages and national events, may cause delays for inbound and outbound shipments.

3. Missing package

Most times, a potential delay could be because your package has been misplaced. There are cases where packages sent out for delivery are misplaced, and the delivery will be delayed until such a package is located.

4. Customs delay

Usually, all international shipments must go through customs, which is normal. However, some unexpected issues with customs can cause a potential delay while a package is in transit.

How long till you receive your package?

In most cases, the FedEx “potential delay in transit” update does not affect delivery time. This is because most of these issues are minor and are usually handled quickly and delivery is done before or on schedule.

However, certain issues may require a longer period to handle and affect delivery time. This could take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for your package to arrive.

In severe cases, usually due to customs issues, it could take up to a week before the package arrives.

What should you do about the FedEx “potential delay in transit” update?

As mentioned earlier, various issues cause FedEx potential delays or exceptions. These issues can be natural, technical, administrative, or force majeure.

There is usually nothing you can do besides awaiting your delivery. These potential delays are usually sorted by FedEx, so they mostly do not affect delivery time. 

Regularly checking the tracking update and having patience is the best move. You can also contact FedEx customer care for more updates if necessary. 


Why does your FedEx package say potentially delayed?

It means the estimated delivery time could be delayed because of a minor issue. Usually, most of these issues are handled, and delivery happens as it was supposed to, but it may also be extended.

Can you get a refund if your FedEx delivery is late?

Yes, you can. According to FedEx, customers are eligible for a refund if certain conditions are met.

How long does FedEx potential delay in transit last?

Depending on the nature of the delay, it could take anywhere from hours to weeks.


It can be quite frustrating to come across the FedEx potential delay in transit update. It is a way to inform customers that their package may or may not be delivered on time.

You should note that FedEx ensures that it mitigates these issues. Most of the time, deliveries are still done on time and are not delayed. 

However, certain issues may take longer to mitigate, and packages may end up late. For more information, contact FedEx customer service and keep an eye on your tracking update.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article, if you did, also see how to cancel a FedEx shipment and have it returned to you.

Thanks for reading.