What is Proof of Delivery?
A proof of delivery functions very much like a receipt except that it is to prove that a delivery has been completed rather than a purchase has been made.
A receipt is defined as a written acknowledgment of having received, or taken into one’s possession, a specified amount of money, goods, etc. They are universally known as the official document confirming a proof of purchase.
For the logistics industry and companies with any delivery system, documents like the proof of delivery, are critical.
Receipts in Delivery
If you’re familiar with news regarding delivery in e-commerce or logistics, you’ve probably seen the term ‘POD’. But what exactly does it mean?
First and foremost, POD is the acronym of proof of delivery; pronounced as P.O.D, rather than the POD in iPOD. Now that we’ve cleared that up – and you won’t be making a fool of yourself in any logistics-related conversation – let’s move along and find out what exactly PODs are, who needs them, and why are they so important.
Why POD Matters?
In any form of delivery, when products leave the warehouse and reach their final destination, PODs are vital as accountability is passed from the merchant to the recipient. This process becomes more crucial when legal and financial documents are to be exchanged between two parties. The receiver of the delivered products will only sign if everything is in a good and undamaged condition. Though usually signed by the person named on the address panel, this might not always be the case.
Just like receipts, PODs are acknowledgments that delivery is being received and taken into one’s possession. A POD is also used to facilitate deliveries as they normally contain information supplied by the carrier of the recipient’s name, the time and date of delivery, and other shipment delivery-related information.
What are the Different Types of PODs?
The most common type of proof of delivery (POD) used are paper ones which are signed copies of Delivery Note / Delivery Order / Delivery Docket. It can get a tad confusing here with all the different types of documents, but you can expect that the Delivery Note, Delivery Order and Deliver Docket are all serving similar functions and are similar in the information they contain.
The drivers will be given the paper documents and upon reaching the delivery address, will get the recipient to endorse the delivery with a signature.
Another type of POD which you should have encountered before if you have a UPS / FedEx / DHL delivery is the electronic proof of delivery. Instead of a paper document, the delivery driver will hand over a handheld device to sign on. After which a document of the POD will be emailed to you or you can download it from a tracking link. Moving into the future, paper PODs will fast become a thing of the past as they are cumbersome for the drivers, inefficient in capturing vital onsite delivery information and unable to provide real-time information back to the stakeholders.
Introducing Electronic Proof of Deliveries (E-PODs)
Electronic PODs – or E-PODs – lets you get delivery details and an image of the receiver’s signature when captured digitally.
Several E-PODs’ software providers have gone the extra mile. They provide not only the ability to capture multiple photos, scan barcodes and QR codes as proof of delivery, but also allow delivery drivers to record failed delivery reasons, customer comments, name of recipient, geo-location and time of submission, and many more customizable options (all in real-time) to cater to the increased expectations of customers for total accountability.
With E-PODs, both the customers as well as the backend logistics operations team can receive instant updates on the delivery as soon as they are successfully made. Billing process can begin immediately, and gone were the days waiting for delivery drivers to return with massive stacks of paper PODs.
For customers, frantic calls to customer service to check the status of your deliveries are also a thing of the past. Now you can view, download, print your E-PODs, and even check where exactly your deliveries are – and all in real-time.
The need for PODs has become extremely crucial as more and more deliveries are made on a daily basis – spurred on by the rise of e-commerce.
If you happen to be in the logistic industry or have a business with a delivery system, having the capability to provide E-PODs is a most definite must. Check out Detrack – a revolutionary 2-in-1 cloud-based vehicle tracking and real-time POD solution that works with just the use of Android or iOS phones. Sign up for a FREE account right now.