Are you expecting a package from FedEx but noticed an update on the tracking page that says “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced?” Keep reading if you’re curious about what this implies and how it can influence your shipment arrival! 

The barcode label is an essential component of the shipping process. It contains all the information about the package’s destination, sender, and tracking details. Delivery times might be extended if the barcode is damaged or unreadable.

In such cases, FedEx relabels the original barcode with a new one. This ensures the package can be tracked appropriately and routed to its destination. The replacement label will have a unique tracking number, yet it will still have all the original information from the original label.

FedEx aims to minimize delays as much as possible. However, the delivery schedule to your location may take some time.

Why Does Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced Shipping Status Happen?

A barcode is being scanned

There are several reasons why a package may have a shipping status of “Barcode Label Unreadable” and be replaced with a new label. These reasons include the following:

Hardware/Software/Scanning issues

Hardware or software issues are among the most common reasons for the “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” shipping status on FedEx. These issues can occur during the printing of the barcode label or scanning.

Ink cartridge failure or a technical glitch while printing is only two common causes of low-quality or unreadable barcode labels. Similarly, suppose the barcode scanner used by FedEx is faulty or not functioning correctly, it can have trouble reading the label correctly.

Another potential issue is the use of outdated software or incompatible software. If the software used by FedEx is outdated, it may not be compatible with the latest barcode technology. It can lead to issues with barcode readability and result in the need for a replacement label.

Human error can also contribute to barcode issues. Scanning may only be successful if the barcode label is attached correctly or in an inconvenient spot. FedEx will replace it with a new one to ensure the package can be tracked and delivered to the correct destination.

Printing quality

The barcode label contains all the essential information about the package. To guarantee the barcode can be read correctly, high-quality printing is important. If the printing is blurry, faded, or of low resolution, it can cause issues with the barcode’s readability.

Problems with print quality can occur for various reasons. One common issue is the use of an incompatible or outdated printer. If the printer cannot print high-quality barcodes, it can lead to problems with the label. 

Environmental factors, such as temperature, humidity, and exposure to light, can also impact printing quality and cause issues with barcode readability. For instance, if the label is exposed to direct sunlight or moisture, it can cause the ink to smudge or the label to warp, making it difficult to scan.

Water damage

Packages are exposed to various environmental factors during transportation, and water damage is one of the most significant risks. If the package gets wet, it can cause the barcode label to become unreadable, leading to delays or issues with delivery.

Several potential causes of water damage include exposure to moisture during transit, poor storage conditions, and accidental spills.  

To prevent water damage, it is essential to ensure that the package is properly packaged and protected during transportation. The package should be wrapped in waterproof materials, and the barcode label should be affixed securely to prevent it from getting wet or damaged.

What to Do When You Receive This Update

A person is using a laptop

Suppose you receive the “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” shipping status on your FedEx tracking information. It is important to monitor further updates to ensure your package is delivered without any additional issues. 

The new label should enable the package to continue its journey without delay. Constantly checking in on where it is is essential to guarantee it gets where it needs to go.

If you receive this status, there is no need to panic. It is a common occurrence and, as we’ve discussed earlier, FedEx has efficient processes to handle the issue. The package will be re-labeled and continue on its journey without delay, so there is no need to worry about it being returned to the sender.

There is only a need to call FedEx customer service if there is a delay in delivery beyond the expected delivery date. FedEx is constantly monitoring packages in transit. They will inform the recipient of any problems or delays ahead of time.

How FedEx Addresses the Issue

Barcode Label Makers on a table

When a barcode label is unreadable or replaced, FedEx has in-house solutions to address the issue without involving the shipper or recipient. The company uses advanced technology and processes to deliver accurate and timely packages.

FedEx uses high-quality label stock and ink to prevent unreadable or replaced barcode labels. The company also regularly maintains and updates its scanning and sorting equipment to ensure accurate tracking and delivery of packages. Their employees undergo extensive training to properly handle packages and ensure labels are correctly affixed.

They use alternative scanning methods or manual entry to ensure the package is properly tracked and delivered. Most shipment problems may be fixed quickly and easily, with no involvement from the sender or receiver.

What Will Happen to My Package Delivery?

A delivery man is holding boxed packages

Let’s say you receive an update that your package delivery has been delayed due to an issue with the barcode label. If that’s the case, relax. The delay will be short, as FedEx will work to deliver your package as soon as possible.

You should check for further information about why your package has yet to arrive. FedEx may provide additional information on when you can expect your package to be delivered. Contact FedEx customer support at any time if you have issues or questions concerning the progress of your shipment.


The message “Barcode Label Unreadable and Replaced” on FedEx Tracking can be concerning, but it usually indicates a minor delay in your package’s delivery. FedEx has in-house solutions to address the issue, so there’s no need for the shipper or recipient to be involved. Keep an eye on further updates, and rest assured that FedEx is working to ensure your package’s safe and timely delivery.


What does the FedEx exception mean?

A FedEx exception is a notification that there has been a delay or issue with the delivery of a package.

How do I fix a FedEx shipment exception?

Contacting FedEx customer service is the best course of action.

Will I still get my package if it says shipment exception?

Yes, but there may be a delay in delivery.

How long is a shipment exception?

The length of a shipment exception can vary depending on the specific issue and how quickly it can be resolved. Most exceptions are resolved in less than 7 days.