Proof of delivery [POD]

A key shipping document, the proof of delivery (POD) is crucial for accurate deliveries, dispute resolutions and inventory tracking.

Track Shipment

Proof of Delivery

Proof of Delivery

Using the Signature Pad library, the Cargo Airline Express Proof of Delivery add-on allows your client to add their signature when the shipment is delivered. This library converts the signature to an image file that can be attached to the shipment information. This add-on allows the administrator to create a Driver account, which allows them to amend the shipment status after it has been delivered.

What Does Proof of Delivery Do?

One of the essential pieces of paperwork used for shipments (alongside the bill of lading and terms and conditions), the proof of delivery serves three main purposes. 

Acts as a Cargo Receipt

As the proof of delivery includes an account of all items delivered to the recipient, it acts as a cargo receipt, ensuring everything has been delivered as expected. This is one of the reasons why this paperwork is essential. It may be requested by insurance companies for liability reasons, especially if something is amiss. 

It also provides details about weight, quantities, origin, dimensions, and other shipment information.

Provides Evidence of Contracted Carriage

Ensuring that the freight has arrived and follows the specifications of both parties is critical. As the recipient must sign the proof of delivery, it acts as evidence that the recipient not only received the freight as per the contract but that they approved the condition in which it arrived too. This can be an invaluable tool when resolving freight claims surrounding the fulfillment of contracted carriage. 

Used as a Title to Goods or Products

A proof of delivery record can be used as a title to goods or products, tracking both when the goods were received and accepted by the recipient, and when ownership was transferred from the shipper to the receiver. 

Again, this is critical to establishing ownership and liability for the goods. If disputes arise, it helps provide a paper trail and history of ownership for the delivered products. 

Why Is Proof of Delivery Important?

One of three key documents in the shipping process, a proof of delivery can be used to:

  • Verify the cargo was delivered to the correct location 
  • Confirm the date and time of delivery
  • Record who signed and approved the delivery
  • Prove the freight was delivered as expected or explain why it was refused
  • Record any damaged or missing items
  • Serve as evidence in a freight claim

PODs are particularly important if high-value items are being shipped or if the cargo needs to be delivered by a specific time or date.

The Different Types of Proof of Delivery

There are two types of proof of delivery records: digital and physical.

Digital POD

The electronic proof of delivery is (unsurprisingly) the modern and preferred way of keeping track of a POD. You can use an app or online service to track your POD records, although email and PDFs are also suitable. Parties typically use a digital proof of delivery when the shipment is relatively small. 

Physical POD

A physical POD, on the other hand, is used for larger deliveries where there is a greater chance for error. That’s because a pen and paper require someone to manually go through the inventory, which is akin to using a fine-tooth comb. 

It is generally accepted that physical proof of delivery records are more reliable, even if they take longer to send and generate.