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What is Proof of Delivery? How to Choose the Best Method

A driver takes photo proof of delivery

A lot goes into a delivery. When a delivery finally arrives at its destination, there’s just one more thing to do.

Proof of delivery (POD) confirms the time, condition, and the exact recipient of a delivery. POD also gives customers peace of mind knowing that they received their delivery.

There are a few different POD methods—each with their own strengths and weaknesses.

Which method should you use? Different industries have different needs, but there are commonalities regardless of the industry. In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each of the most common proof of delivery methods.

Signature Collection

The concept of signing for a package is nothing new. Signature capture rose to popularity in the late 1800s and remains the most common POD method today.

Unlike other POD methods, a signature can be used to identify the person delivered to. So, when an item is age restricted, or needs to be delivered to a specific person, signature collection is your best option.

Photo Proof of Delivery

Photo proof-of-delivery has seen an increase in popularity in recent years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and an increased need for contactless delivery. With photo POD, drivers can now include a picture of the location delivered to and the package when collected. Customers often appreciate having this added level of assurance.

Barcode Scanning

Barcode scanning is a simple and accurate POD method. Businesses often require that drivers scan a package before it can be marked off as delivered. Barcode POD can be paired with location confirmation. This not only confirms that you’re delivering the right package but that you’re delivering it to the right place.

Time Stamp

Although time stamps aren't a POD method, they are an important element of a good proof of delivery strategy—especially in certain industries. For example, most deliveries in the medical industry require that a time stamp be associated with a signature for auditing purposes. Timestamp information can also help you find more effective ways to use scheduling and route tools.

What is Proof of Delivery Software

Proof of delivery software helps you collect photo and signature POD data quickly and easily. In years past, proof of delivery required a signature capture device, barcode scanner, camera, and somewhere to store all this information.

With OnTime, you have access to all these POD methods in one central location. OnTime Mobile is fully integrated with OnTime’s cloud-based data system, allowing POD to be uploaded automatically. OnTime also has a customer web portal where your customers can see signatures, photos, and time stamps for delivery.

With an OnTime subscription, you gain access to advanced features for proof of delivery along with all the tools you need for your courier service. Ready to try it out? Contact us for more information.

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