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Misrouted Shipments

How Your Parcel Shipments Get Misrouted

As more businesses ship goods around the globe, there is a major concern over misrouting. If you are a shipper, the last thing you want is to have your shipments misrouted. This means your customers will have to wait longer for the error to be rectified.  This can lead to a bad reputation in your industry and a loss of business.

Worse still, the customer will not blame the freight company, but your company for the misrouted parcel. At the end of the day you end up losing a loyal customer because of the oversight of one person in the shipping process. As a shipper, you have to strive to ensure all goods are delivered within the stipulated timeline.


Why Misrouted Shipments Occur

If you are expecting a parcel and you receive a message indicating the shipment has been misrouted, it is definitely a frustrating situation. In some cases you might be waiting for the parcel for an urgent purpose. For instance, if you are waiting for branded t-shirts for a product launch, the last thing you want is a delayed delivery due to misrouting.  

Timely delivery of parcels is an easy way to increase customer satisfaction, which in turn leads to higher ROI.  Below are the three main causes of misrouted parcels.


  1.     Bad/Incorrect Address Information

When shoppers are provide their address information, they can make mistakes. These oversights will eventually lead to misrouted parcels because the carrier can only do what it’s told. The parcel will find its way to another person or business, and this might be hundreds of miles from the correct destination.

A problem with a transposed street address or a missing street name can lead a misrouted shipment and, while these issues are not caused by the shipper, it is crucial to inform the customer about the problem as soon as possible.


  1.     Human Error

The World Customs Organization (WCO) has, over the last two decades, advocated the adoption of technological solutions in shipping to avoid human errors. However, there are still several logistical activities that still require human effort and this is where errors can occur, leading to a misrouted shipment. Simply loading a parcel in the wrong container or forgetting to load on time will eventually lead to misrouted cargo and delivery delays.

Below are a just few examples of how human error can cause misrouted parcels:

  • Gate Changes: Shipments are generally placed on carts that are pre-staged at
    the ramp and can be left behind when the departure gate is changed.
  • Well intentioned special handling: This can occur when an organ for
    transplant or other life-saving shipment may be set aside in a “safe place”
    prior to staging for the flight, perhaps to protect it from extreme outside
    temperatures. The shipment then goes unnoticed and is left behind.
  • Deterrence: Shipments “Look alike” and If you’ve ever been a cargo facility you will
    see cart after cart full of brown boxes. The greatest deterrence to these types of
    issues is clear labelling (BOL + address labels) as well as the destination airport
    code being hand-written on the container.

The list could go on and on, but the point is, misrouted shipments related to human errors are all too common. 

Watch How Airspace Technologies Removes Human Error



  1.     Automated Misrouted Goods On Conveyors

Even the most optimized conveyer belt system can cause goods to be misrouted. Every technology can develop a flaw, especially while handling thousands or millions of shipments over time. For example, when multiple parcels with similar labels are being sorted on the same conveyer belt, it is not uncommon to have a case of misrouting. This can only be discovered later, en route to or after delivery.

There are many other reasons for a misrouted parcels. Shippers and carriers must be proactive to solve problems and inform customers in time. More importantly, the problem should be resolved quickly to avoid losing a customer. A misrouted shipment can be very problematic, but handled correctly sets you apart from all of the others. Also, throwing in a free shipment or other valuable offer never hurts! Keep your valuable customers happy, especially with social media at their fingertips.

Learn More About Airspace Technologies

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