Have you ever eagerly awaited a FedEx delivery, only to be met with disappointment when you check the tracking status and it reads “undeliverable shipment“? I

It’s a frustrating situation that many of us have experienced at some point, and It’s natural to wonder what went wrong and what steps you can take to resolve the issue. 

The fact is, there are numerous reasons why FedEx might consider a shipment undeliverable, ranging from customs holdups and address discrepancies to packaging problems and prohibited items within the package.

In this article, we’ll unravel the reasons behind FedEx’s undelivered shipments, shedding light on the common points that can lead to this status. 

Let’s guide you through these challenges and equip you with the knowledge and solutions you need to succeed.

What Does Fedex Undelivered Shipment Mean

Key Takeaways:

  • FedEx holds undeliverable packages for 5-7 days, communicating with customers to resolve issues promptly for successful deliveries.
  • Understand common reasons for undeliverable shipments, from customs fees to packaging problems, to prevent delays.
  • Prohibited items, recipient unavailability, and damaged packaging can lead to undeliverable packages; adhere to shipping regulations and proper packaging.
  • FedEx prioritizes customer solutions when handling undeliverable packages, aiming for effective communication and compliant, hassle-free deliveries.

What Does FedEx Undelivered Shipment Mean?

FedEx undelivered shipment is when a package sent via FedEx cannot be successfully delivered to its intended destination. This status typically appears in the package tracking system, leaving recipients confused about the package’s status. 

Several factors can lead to an undeliverable status, and it’s crucial to understand why this happens.

There are various reasons for an undeliverable package, including incorrect or incomplete recipient addresses, customs issues, recipient unavailability, packaging problems, damage, and the presence of prohibited items. 

When your package encounters any of these hurdles, FedEx may temporarily halt the delivery process until the issue is resolved.

To resolve undeliverable shipments, FedEx typically communicates with the sender or recipient to guide the necessary steps. This often involves addressing a specific problem, such as paying customs fees, updating address details, or arranging a re-delivery. 

Understanding the underlying reasons behind an undeliverable package is the first step in ensuring your shipment reaches its destination smoothly.

Why Was My Undelivered Shipment Held at a Certain Location?

Your undelivered shipment might be held at a certain location due to various reasons. Common causes include customs holdups, incorrect addresses, recipient unavailability, packaging issues, damage, prohibited items, and unsuccessful delivery attempts

Understanding these factors can help you take appropriate steps to resolve the issue and ensure your package reaches its destination.

Why Was My Undelivered Shipment Held at a Certain Location?

Customs Hold: 

One of the most common reasons your shipment is held is due to customs procedures. If your package contains items that require duties or taxes to be paid, it may be detained until those charges are settled. 

This is a standard procedure, and once you’ve paid the necessary fees, your package will be on its way to its destination.

Incorrect or Incomplete Address: 

If the address provided for delivery is inaccurate or incomplete, it can make it difficult for the courier to locate your location. In such cases, your shipment may be deemed undeliverable until the correct details are provided. Double-checking and ensuring your address information is accurate is crucial to avoid this issue.

Recipient Unavailability: 

Sometimes, the recipient listed on the package is not present to receive it, or they might be unaware of the delivery. In such instances, the courier might hold the shipment until they can confirm the recipient’s availability or contact details. Informing the recipient about the impending delivery can prevent this situation.

Improper Packaging: 

The logistics provider may halt transit if your package doesn’t meet the general packaging requirements. Correct packaging ensures the safety of your shipment during handling and transportation. To avoid this, follow packaging guidelines to protect your items.

Damage to Shipment or Packaging: 

During transit, packages go through various handling processes. If your shipment or its packaging gets damaged along the way, it might be marked as undeliverable. 

Properly packaging your items can help prevent damage during transportation.

Unsuccessful Delivery Attempts Are an Often Cause of Undelivered Packages:

Another common reason for undelivered packages is unsuccessful delivery attempts. Different courier companies may have varying policies, but typically, they make multiple delivery attempts before taking further action. 

If the courier is unable to reach you or the recipient after these attempts, they may hold the package at a local depot.

What Happens When a FedEx Package Is Undeliverable?

When your FedEx package is marked as “undeliverable,” it means an issue prevents it from reaching its intended destination. So, what’s next?

Firstly, FedEx will typically make several attempts to deliver the package. They understand that life can get busy, addresses can be tricky, and circumstances can change. So they won’t give up after just one try.

If the issue is related to the recipient not being present or unaware of the delivery, FedEx may leave a notification. Depending on your chosen communication method, this could be a door tag or an email alert. 

The notification will provide instructions on how to proceed, which usually involves arranging a re-delivery or pickup at a local FedEx facility.

You’ll need to pay those charges for packages that are undeliverable due to customs fees or duties to get your package moving again. Once the fees are settled, FedEx will resume the delivery process.

In cases where the package contains prohibited items or poses a safety risk, FedEx will hold the shipment and contact you or the shipper for further instructions. 

You may need to provide additional documentation or make arrangements for the safe disposal or return of the package.

If the undeliverable status is due to a packaging issue or damage to the shipment, FedEx may try to repackage it or notify you about the situation. Proper packaging is crucial to ensure the safety of your items during transit.

If repeated unsuccessful delivery attempts occur, FedEx may hold the package at a local facility for a specified period. It’s essential to stay in communication with FedEx to determine the best course of action in such cases.

What Does FedEx Do With Undeliverable Packages?

When a FedEx package becomes undeliverable for various reasons, you might be curious about what happens next. Well, let’s unravel the fate of these packages.

First and foremost, FedEx doesn’t immediately discard or abandon undeliverable packages. They understand the value and importance of your shipments and will take steps to address the issue. Here’s what typically occurs:

Hold at a Local Facility: 

FedEx often holds undeliverable packages at a local facility or depot. This allows them to keep the package in a secure location while figuring out the best way to resolve the delivery obstacle.


FedEx will usually attempt to communicate with you if your package is held due to an issue like an incorrect address, customs fees, or recipient unavailability. You may receive a notification through email, a phone call, or a door tag left at your delivery address. 

This notification will provide instructions on how to proceed, including arranging a new delivery time, updating address details, or paying customs fees.

Customs Resolution: 

If your package is held up at customs due to unpaid duties or taxes, FedEx will request payment from you or the shipper. The package will continue to your address once the customs fees are paid.

Prohibited Items: 

In cases where a package contains prohibited items, FedEx will contact you or the shipper to discuss the situation. You may need to provide additional documentation or instructions on how to handle the items. FedEx prioritizes safety and compliance with shipping regulations, so they will work with you to find a solution.

How Long Does FedEx Hold Undeliverable Packages?

When your FedEx package is marked as undeliverable, you might wonder how long FedEx will hold onto it before taking further action. 

The duration for which FedEx holds undeliverable packages can vary depending on several factors, including the reason for the package’s undeliverable status and the specific policies of your local FedEx facility.

In most cases, FedEx will hold an undeliverable package for a limited period, typically ranging from five to seven business days

During this time, they will make efforts to contact you or the shipper to resolve the issue. They may leave a door tag, send email notifications, or make phone calls to communicate the problem and provide instructions on how to proceed.

If the issue is related to customs fees, you’ll need to pay those charges within the specified timeframe to allow FedEx to release and deliver the package. Failure to do so may result in the package being returned to the sender.

For packages with delivery address discrepancies or recipient unavailability, responding promptly to FedEx’s communication attempts to coordinate a successful delivery or address correction is essential.

In cases where the package contains prohibited items or poses safety concerns, FedEx may hold the package until they receive further instructions from you or the shipper regarding its disposition.

After the specified holding period, if FedEx hasn’t received a response or resolution, they may take additional actions, which could include returning the package to the sender or disposing of it in compliance with their policies.


What Does FedEx Do With Undeliverable Packages?

FedEx will try to contact the sender and recipient of an undeliverable package to arrange for the package to be returned or redelivered. If FedEx cannot contact the sender or recipient, the package will be held for a period before being disposed of.

What Does It Mean When Your Package Is Undeliverable?

An undeliverable package can be due to an incorrect address, an unavailable recipient, an oversized package, or prohibited items.

Where Does an Undeliverable Package Go?

An undeliverable package may be returned to the sender, held at a FedEx facility, or disposed of. The package’s specific location will depend on why it is undeliverable and FedEx’s policies.

Does Undeliverable Mean Blocked?

No, undeliverable does not mean blocked. A blocked package is one that has been prevented from being delivered due to a specific reason, such as a customs issue or a security hold. An undeliverable package is simply one that cannot be delivered for any reason.


In this article, we’ve unraveled the mysteries surrounding FedEx’s undeliverable shipments and shed light on the crucial steps to take when faced with this situation. 

When your FedEx package is labeled “undeliverable,” it typically means a specific issue prevents it from reaching its destination.

We discussed the various reasons behind undeliverable packages, including customs holdups, address discrepancies, recipient unavailability, improper packaging, damage, and prohibited items. Understanding these factors is essential to proactively address the issue.

We also delved into what FedEx does with undeliverable packages, emphasizing its commitment to working with customers to find solutions. FedEx holds undeliverable packages temporarily, communicates with customers to resolve issues, and ensures compliance with shipping regulations.

Moreover, we explored the critical question of how long FedEx holds undeliverable packages, highlighting the typical timeframe of five to seven business days.

Alexandra Navara

Alexandra Navara is a seasoned logistics expert with over 7 years of industry experience. Holding a degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, she excels in writing insightful, engaging content on courier services. Certified as a Supply Chain Professional, Alexandra brings depth and clarity to complex logistics topics.

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