How to Handle FedEx/ UPS/ DHL/ USPS Lost Packages?6 min read

When you ship through FedEx or UPS, most packages make it to their destinations intact and on time. But, what do you do during those rare occurrences when a package is lost in transit? Who exactly is to be blamed when this happens? The seller or the shipper?

In most cases, it is the retailer who bites the bullet. This is because the customer considers the business they ordered from to be responsible for everything that happens until the order reaches them. 

And what exactly happens when the customer starts blaming you? 

Your brand reputation takes a huge hit, customer churn rate hits the roof, and staying ahead of competitors becomes next to impossible when there are multiple delivery exceptions. Even if you have handed over the package to the shipping carrier, you hold the responsibility for it reaching the customer’s doorstep on time.

How do you determine if a package is lost?

If a package that was en route to a customer goes certifiably missing and has not arrived at their doorstep four or five days after schedule, then it can be officially considered lost.

When you suspect a package is lost, wait it out a maximum of seven days beyond the day of expected delivery.

Sometimes, there are packages that turn up after being rerouted somewhere along the chain. They might have also been incorrectly scanned or sorted.

In most cases though, the issue is either a wrong address or a weather-related one. Quite simply, it is not unheard of for a package to turn up a day or two late.

In case the tracking number shows that the product has been delivered and the customer still files a complaint about the package being lost, then it will have to be treated as a stolen package. Here’s how you can prevent package theft.

How do you file a claim for a lost package?

The tracker on your package is usually true to its name and rarely allows packages to get lost. But on the off chance that the shipping label comes off, or the package is torn and the contents scattered, you’ll have no choice but to file a lost package claim with the carrier.

Here are a few things you need to keep in mind if you’re going to file a claim for a FedEx lost package.

  1. If the contents of the package cost less than $100, you can complete the entire form online and request a refund without documentation.
  2. In the event of the package costing anywhere above $100, proper documentation is necessary for the claim to get processed.
  3. Documentation can include the FedEx pickup record, photos of the damaged or lost contents, and proof of value documentation.
  4. The tracking number that was initially allocated to the package is vital to the process and has to be provided.

After a scheduled inspection, your claim will be processed and you can track its progress.

In the case of other shipping carriers: 

  • UPS – File within 5 months online, within 9 months through customer service, and within 45 days if it is an uncollected C.O.D)
  • USPS – File within 60 days for all services except Priority Mail Express, First Class, and Surface Mail)
  • DHL – File within 30 days

What makes filing lost package claims a huge hassle for retailers?

Apart from running your hectic business, submitting claims with shipping carriers by yourself is a tiresome process for more reasons than one. 

  • The number of forms to be filled and documents to be submitted, makes this process exhausting. 
  • Manual claim submission is a tedious process which might take more than five days to get a refund for one, single package.
  • Not just time consuming, the claim process is so expensive that you will spend more to get a refund than the compensation you are entitled to receive.
  • Apart from all this, a definite output is not guaranteed as the communication process is inefficient. 

How can help your business

  1. Not only submits claims on your behalf but also constantly follows up till issue resolution. 
  2. also makes sure that all claims are submitted within the timeframe of the carrier(s).
  3. Not just lost shipments, also helps you recover refunds for 50+ service failures like late deliveries. 
  4. And the best of all this, you don’t have to pay anything out of your pockets. We only charge 50% of the refunds you’ve received, that too only when its successfully recovered.

Sure, refunds are great for your business. But getting them doesn’t help in mitigating the pain of a loyal customer who might have placed a time-sensitive order such as a birthday gift or an anniversary surprise.

That’s when our other feature Delivery Experience Management (DEM) platform can help. DEM is particularly helpful if you are a bulk shipper who uses multiple carriers and would prefer an efficient automated workflow.

How does’s Delivery Experience Management (DEM) platform work?

Delivery Experience Management helps you stay ahead of lost or damaged packages with ease. It is easy to use and tracks every package you send via major carriers like FedEx or UPS.

When a certain package takes a detour, sends out an alert to the sender and the receiver. This helps you foresee a delay and handle it proactively.

If you send out several packages at once, and some of them are suspected lost by our automated system, you are intimated of that as well.

Since you get to know well in advance if a package is flagged as lost, it gives you an edge when you get in touch with the carrier to resolve the issue or send a quick replacement in case of a time-sensitive delivery.

How do you handle the loss of a package?

In case a package is truly lost, the buyer will naturally want a refund or a replacement. If the shipping carrier is unable to locate the package, you will be directed to file an insurance claim to cover the insured value of your package. This requires the tracking number, proof of the value of the item, and proof of insurance.

When you’re shipping valuable products, it is always wise to insure the shipments. Not only does this minimize loss, it also ensures that your customers experience an exceptional customer service right from the cart to their doorstep.

Remember that apart from the insurance sum, the carrier also has to pay penalty charges for failing to deliver the package safely to the buyer. Even for a delayed shipment, a full refund of the entire shipping fee is directed to your account. So you can rest assured that with a reputed shipper like FedEx or UPS, you will have a full refund along with the penalty.

Once the claim is filed and investigated, you will receive your dues via the original mode of payment be it through check or credit card. Meanwhile, make sure you send the customer a replacement or a refund with a sincere apology.