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Proof of Delivery (P.O.D) in Courier/Logistics: Types & Benefits

Puneet Bhalla

Associate Director - Marketing @ Shiprocket

December 28, 2017

7 min read

The customer is your most valuable asset. Almost all your strategies and policies revolve around the customer and their positive experiences. Hence, a document that gives them the advantage of being sure of the conditions of their shipment is required. A proof of delivery one such document that helps you conduct this check in an organized manner.

What is proof of delivery and why is it important

What is Proof of Delivery?

A Proof of Delivery or P.O.D. (pronounced P.O.D.) is a receipt which establishes the receiver’s acknowledgment of the freight received in good condition. P.O.D. contains information relayed by the carrier, which includes the name of the person who received the product, the date and the time when the freight was delivered, and other relevant shipping details. A P.O.D can be in a hardcopy format, or you can also feed it electronically.

What is the Significance of Proof of Delivery?

Proof of Delivery is crucial for business owners as well as customers. It helps maintain a record of the deliveries that one can refer to at a later stage if required. Here is why maintaining this record is important:

  1. Guards against Fraud – Proof of delivery can guard against fraudulent activities. Both parties benefit from this record as the chances of making any false claims related to deliveries can be lowered this way.
  1. Transparency – Proof of Delivery helps build transparency. The chances of missed deliveries are reduced substantially when there is a strict policy to maintain POD. Delays and other issues that cause inconvenience to the customers are also lowered with POD.

How to Examine the Delivery Before Signing the POD and When to Raise a Complaint?

  • Once the product leaves your warehouse and is on its way to the end customer, the responsibility gets exchanged. It then becomes the duty of the customer to inspect the package and look for any damages before accepting it. Therefore, educate the customer beforehand to avoid any hassle.
  • It’s best to examine the freight for torn outer covering, opened cover, tampering, or leakage of any kind. In case of any dissatisfaction, the customer should immediately raise a remark on the P.O.D. copy. Failure to do so will make it impossible to file for a claim later.
  • The customer can also refuse to accept the product if they are not happy with its condition.
  • It is advisable to check and be satisfied with the condition and quality of the product before signing the P.O.D. If the customer does not follow this procedure, then the carrier cannot be held responsible for the damaged freight.
  • Similarly, the same procedure should be followed during an R.T.O. delivery as well. If, at the time of R.T.O. delivery, you find the outer packaging of shipment has been tampered with, instantly give your remarks on P.O.D. If the delivery executive refuses to take comments over P.O.D., then do not accept the delivery and raise a complaint with Shiprocket. Call recording or CCTV footage is always helpful to make your case stronger.
  • In case the shipment received is in a damaged condition, or the contents are missing, it’s imperative to raise a claim within 24 hours to 48 hours of receiving shipment, with mandatory negative remarks on P.O.D. as well.
  • Please remember that the courier is only liable to deliver the shipments with intact outer packaging. Since they don’t check the inner content of the parcel, therefore liability can be imposed for outer packaging only.

What are the Key Information in a Proof of Delivery?

Given below are the details included in a proof of delivery:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Recipient’s address
  • Name and logo of the carrier
  • Product specifications
  • Item weight and quantity
  • Customer’s order details
  • Shipping details
  • Description of the transaction mode
  • Date and time of delivery
  • QR code or barcode
  • Tracking number
  • Signature of the recipient

What are the different kinds of Proof of Delivery?

Here are two ways to record the Proof of Delivery for an order – 

1. Paper Invoice: This is the most common method. It requires the receiver to sign an acknowledgment upon receiving the product. This method is being used by many companies while several others have switched to electronic POD. Paper-based proof of delivery can prove to be costly and time-consuming in cases where large volumes of deliveries are involved

2. e-P.O.D: This document refers to electronic proof of delivery. The carrier agent usually carries a device that requires the receiver to sign a document confirming shipment electronically. It is better than the paper P.O.D because it offers other features, like, geotagging, real-time status updates, and of course, saves paper in the process.

3. Photo & e-Signature Proof of Delivery: Many companies choose to click the picture of the receiver in addition to their e-signature. This advanced POD method is known to be the most reliable of all. It is helpful in cases of damaged goods or other disputes related to the delivery.

4. Straight POD: It is used in cases where the customers have already paid for the delivery.

5. Claused POD: When the shipment incurs damages and does not match the delivery specifications, it is termed a claused POD.

6. To-Order POD: In this type of POD, the delivery’s ownership is transferred from one party to another via a third party. It is mostly used by third-party logistics companies. Their name is listed in the document enclosed with the shipment

More and more companies are opting for e-P.O.D instead of continuing with the old-school paper method. It’s easy, tech-savvy, and efficient while recording the notes and remarks/information related to the freight.

What are the Key Benefits of Using an Electronic Proof of Delivery System?

Here are some of the main benefits of using electronic or digital proof of delivery:

Faster Processing of Data

Carrying paper documents from one place to the other, managing them, and keeping them systematically can be a daunting task. It is equally difficult to process the data manually. These tasks can be time-consuming and require effort. Digital POD does not involve any such hassle. Entering and verifying data is easy with digital POD. It facilitates fast processing of data.

Accuracy of Data

The paper-based POD comes with its set of challenges. There is a chance of the documents getting misplaced, the writing may not be clear and the data may be subject to human errors. Electronic POD helps minimise the scope of such errors.

Minimises the Cost

By using electronic POD, you can save on the printing charges and the cost of the paper. Paper-based POD also requires storage space which adds to the cost. However, electronic POD does not involve any such cost. You can also share the data easily through digital mediums without incurring any additional cost. Thus, it reduces the overall cost.

Conclusion

  • The critical point is to educate your customers to always check the freight’s condition before accepting it
  • Raise a complaint and give negative remarks on the P.O.D if, during the R.T.O delivery, the packaging is damaged.
  • In case it is found damaged, they should either not accept it, or ensure that the P.O.D has comments regarding the same. This way, it becomes easier for them to put up a claim later and get the right product. The overall importance of POD and the need to switch to digital POD has also been explained in the article.
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