Proof of Delivery (POD)


“What do you mean you didn’t get the package/shipment? We sent it to you on Tuesday!”

This consternation between supplier/distributor or distributor/consumer is how Proof of Delivery (POD) was born, thus providing protection on all sides from shipment to destination. Let’s take a look at how Proof of Delivery works to protect various parties in the supply chain.


The POD provides suppliers with a guarantee that the shipment(s) that left their dock were received as intended. Information on the POD generally (depending on the type of shipment and carrier) includes:

  • Delivery address
  • Delivery contact
  • Shipment contents
  • Shipment quantities
  • Purchase order number
  • Other special instructions.

Upon delivery the supplier usually receives notification that the shipment reached its final destination. Previous these documents were mailed or faxed, today these documents are for the most part transmitted electronically.


For carriers, the bill of lading (BOL) and the POD documents combine to provide simple, but powerful, insurance that the goods they are transporting are accurate and accounted for while being moved. This ensures things don’t magically disappear from the plane, truck or van while in-route to their destination


For consignees (recipients), the POD document provides a formal signoff that all expected items in the shipment are received. As a good practice when a shipment arrives to the receiving dock, the receiving manager should be using the bill of lading as a checklist of shipment contents and inspect/count all arriving pieces. Once confirmed, they can officially sign off on the POD that the shipment arrived intact and damage free.

Home Delivery

Large national carriers have evolved their POD options to customers overtime as well. A sticky note on the door transformed into email confirmations and now carriers are offering real time updates on truck load status, estimated time of arrival and pictures of the packages on doorsteps.

Your multi-carrier shipping system should provide a POD for you. l

The POD is a simple concept that provides protection for both the supplier and the end customer in the chain of custody. If you’re interested in learning how CLS can help you with your package and shipment tracking, drop us a line at

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