What is Proof of Delivery?

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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 Proof of Delivery (E-POD)

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.

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Comments (13)

  • POD App: What Is It & How Does It Work? - Detrack Reply

    […] your company needs to handle deliveries, then you would fully appreciate the value of a good POD (Proof of Delivery) […]

    January 15, 2018 at 4:21 pm
  • What is an Electronic Proof of Delivery (E-POD)? - Detrack Reply

    […] A delivery order or delivery note is required to facilitate a delivery and upon a successful delivery which consists of handing over of goods from the driver to the end recipient, a signature or some endorsement is collected on the paper document as a proof of delivery. […]

    January 16, 2018 at 3:33 pm
  • Rohtash Reply

    What is the minimum time period for which the PODs are to be maintained as per the governing Law or Act?

    February 20, 2018 at 9:23 pm
    • Fanny See Reply

      Hi Rohtash,

      The laws vary from country to country so it depends on the country you are from and in some countries, the different industry sectors have different requirements too. In Singapore, it is good practice to keep all documents that may be required in the event of an audit for up to 7 years (which is the period Detrack will keep all PODs for). From our other global clients, some of them shared that they need to keep it for a period of 5 years while others only 2 to 3. I would say 7 is definitely sufficient.

      February 22, 2018 at 2:10 am
  • Ali Reply

    Dear Support team
    We are a furniture retailer and the plan is to develop the process therefore, there is a delivery schedule need to be built around the following operations cycle:
    1- Showroom Manager/ Salesman issue the customer sales invoice
    2- Customer wants his stuff to be delivered to home
    3- We have one Supply Chain Channel (WH) and 5 delivery trucks
    4- Each showroom doing every day many sales transactions
    5- There is a limitation in the deliveries and team capacity which is 20 deliveries per day.
    6- Truck loading and items qty and routs are a major factors here.

    Therefore dose your system help us to achieve the following:
    – Delivery calendar for next 3 months
    – Each team or truck can commit and accommodate 5 deliveries per day some time can be less or more
    – Each truck assigned to a specific route
    – Showroom manager can book the delivery date and time per customer needs even for future days
    – An alert message need to be sent by the system as a notification to WH manager, Driver, Customer prior the delivery date one day ahead.
    – once each truck schedule reached the MAX no another appointment or delivery can be accepted but it can give other day as an option
    Please advice
    Ali Al Ghamdi

    April 18, 2018 at 3:01 pm
  • Fanny See Reply

    Hi Ali,

    Thank you for your questions and we will love to help you work out your workflow. I believe our support team lead, Jenny is already communicating with you.

    I hope you will enjoy using Detrack!

    April 29, 2018 at 1:47 pm
  • Taylor Bishop Reply

    Thanks for the cool article about proof of delivery. I had no idea that electronic ones could allow delivery drivers to record if there was a reason for a failed delivery. This seems very useful for having all of the data for the delivery available so people can reference or read through it quickly.

    July 10, 2018 at 8:17 pm
  • micheal john Reply

    after i have completely gotten my proof of delivery ,how long will it take dhl to update my tracking details and move my item

    December 8, 2018 at 6:14 pm
    • Dason Goh Reply

      Hi Micheal,

      Thank you for your comment.

      You can contact your courier or DHL directly for further information as we are unable to provide delivery information directly to you due to data protection policies, which we adhere to strictly.

      We hope you will receive your item soon!

      Dason Goh

      December 11, 2018 at 3:02 pm
  • hjjj Reply


    December 5, 2019 at 7:41 pm
  • shohan Reply

    To be honest your article is informative . I search many site to know about Proof of Delivery but I didn’t get the information I needed.
    I saw your site and I read it. I got some new information from here. It is beneficial for many more like me.
    Thanks for share your kind information.

    October 8, 2020 at 12:17 am
    • Iqbal Ghani Reply

      Glad you found the post informative, Shohan!

      October 9, 2020 at 2:57 pm

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