Instead of being a time-saving convenience, online shopping has now literally become a lifesaver.
In conjunction with the pandemic, this change in consumer behaviour has presented enormous challenges to the retail and transport industry worldwide. Stores struggle to keep up with demand as stockpiling and bulk buying reach new levels, and border restrictions lead to supply chain issues.
And, as if the challenge of meeting soaring consumer demand wasn't enough, society's less socially responsible members are profiteering by stealing goods in storage while in transit or upon delivery.
Unfortunately, cargo theft has become more prevalent as logistics bottlenecks present vulnerabilities at warehouses and distribution centres and in-transit hijacking increases in third-world countries. Porch piracy significantly impacts the eCommerce industry in developed nations, with 36% of Americans surveyed by C + R research stating they have personally had a package stolen.
Technology has been the great saviour during the pandemic but does it offer a solution to the transport and retail industry? Read on to find out why at LifeHash, we believe blockchain technology can revolutionise Proof of Delivery and reduce the opportunity for theft, counterfeit and fraud.
Proof of Delivery (PoD) is essentially a delivery receipt confirming that the consumer has received the listed goods from the retailer. In addition to confirmation of delivery, the consumer usually signs to agree that the consignment is complete and free from damage.
Like a traditional till receipt, a PoD will also contain further relevant information such as time/date, name of courier/recipient, and delivery location. If the consumer isn't available, the courier will likely obtain photos or a recipient's signature to prove they left the delivery at the address.
In short, the primary role of Proof of Delivery is to record that the consignment has been delivered to its new owner as agreed.
The Proof of Delivery is a vital document for two parties, the consumer and the retailer. For the consumer, it provides a record that the consignment is complete and the condition of the goods is acceptable. This is important should the consumer want to claim further down the line if there are any issues with the product. For the retailer, it is perhaps even more beneficial, the Proof of Delivery (PoD) confirms the consignment has been delivered to the consumer, therefore handing over responsibility for the goods. The retailer can also use the data contained within the PoD to investigate reports of substandard delivery methods, tampering or theft.
There are two main types of Proof of Delivery; we will look into the pros and cons of both.
Paper is long past its day as the primary method of transferring and storing information; this is the case with paper PoD as it has many drawbacks for all parties concerned.
There is no getting around the fact that paper is slow. Upon delivery, drivers must manually complete paperwork before it's returned to the office, collated, transferred, analysed, and physically stored. This time-consuming, convoluted system increases room for human error or manipulation at all stages. Furthermore, paper is also easy to duplicate, damage, or lose, none of which is a bonus when it comes to PoD!
For the above reasons, the logistics industry by large has moved to an electronic system. An electronic Proof of Delivery (ePoD) has many benefits over its paper counterpart. EPoD allows for a more streamlined, concise process where data is less likely to be corrupted. Let's have a quick look at the most significant benefits.
Speed - without the burdens of processing paperwork, data can be shared in real-time, allowing for closer monitoring of logistics and reduced office staff.
Customer Service - a digitised delivery process looks more professional than a piece of paper and increases consumer confidence.
Detail - data points can be automatically populated, allowing for extra information to be harvested, including GPS data and performance indicators.
Blockchain has been making waves in the financial sector, but it is also used across many other industries. The decentralised nature of blockchain means data entry can be completed by anyone on the network instead of just one central computer. This creates benefits in tracking items, especially when it comes to supply chains and any kind of physical product that needs proof of delivery. Blockchain provides a safe, secure and transparent environment that all parties involved in the delivery process can rely upon, including sender, receiver, courier company and third-party service providers. With a blockchain solution, all parties have access to the item's status at all times, eliminating any confusion on where it's in transit or when it will arrive at its destination.
It's no longer enough to just send a package; you need to track it and be able to prove that it was delivered. Without Proof of Delivery, customers wouldn't know what happened with their packages, and business owners would struggle to control their shipments. For business purposes, PoD (Proof of Delivery)is a necessity because you need to prove that you delivered the parcel.
To reduce the risk of fraud or theft, companies are implementing PoD into their trade system. Blockchain technology has been a massive help for this process because it allows everyone in the supply chain, from manufacturers to retailers, to see where a product is at all times. There are many ways that blockchain can be used to track these packages from start to finish - not only tracking the location of a package but also recording what happens with it once it arrives at its destination. The addition of metadata like GPS map stamping, timestamp and geolocation is another game-changer for the delivery industry.
Blockchain technology will disrupt many industries and significantly reduce fraud, theft, and counterfeit. It consists of a network of data blocks, which are linked together in chronological order, creating a "chain." The blockchain contains information about each transaction being made - when it happens, where it happens, who initiates the transaction and who accepts the transaction.
Blockchain provides an immutable record that can be accessed at any time and from any location. Records cannot be deleted, modified or altered without alerting anyone else who has access to the same record.
PoD (Proof of Delivery) systems are becoming more and more popular in today's digital markets. This is due to an increase in international trade between countries.
The benefits of Proof of Delivery are that it is a safe way to track the shipment's delivery status. It provides assurance that it reaches its destination, reducing insurance premiums.
Proof of Delivery provides several other benefits such as:
-It reduces the number of disputes between customers and service providers,
-It helps providers protect themselves from fraudulent claims,
-It boosts customer trust in providers by providing them with tangible proof that their items arrived safely without any damage during transport and many more.
- It reduces the need for paper-based record keeping, saving companies time and money.
One example would be using Proof of Delivery for cross-border trade to prove that the shipment arrived at its destination by following the package on its journey until it reaches its destination.
With blockchain, businesses can cut down on fraud, theft and tampering with package contents. This will help companies grow their customer base because they can ensure that their packages will arrive safe and sound.
Blockchain technology can significantly reduce the cost of transacting across supply chains by eliminating the need for middlemen.
Blockchain is a digital ledger that facilitates secure transactions between two parties without requiring a third-party intermediary. It offers supply chain benefits because it allows all participants in a supply chain, from manufacturers to retailers, to track goods and data in real-time.
Blockchains are decentralised databases that are not stored on any single computer but instead split up among many computers worldwide. This ensures that no hacker can break into one computer and steal all the stored data, which can happen with centralised databases.
Proof of delivery using blockchain technology with a focus on the logistics industry
Blockchain technology creates a new way of recording data that is entirely transparent, immutable, and auditable. It is expected to revolutionise logistics by disrupting the industry completely.
PoD is the process of providing evidence that an order has been fulfilled. PoD might be completed in several ways, like signing for a package or taking an acknowledgement photo of the item delivered. The PoD verification process is currently done through emails and manual checks on websites, but Proof of Delivery with blockchain technology will make this process significantly more efficient and secure than ever before.
PoDs can be stored on blockchain infrastructure using public key infrastructure (PKI) authentication methods to prove both sender and receiver are who they claim to be.
Blockchain is a technology many companies are interested in applying to their processes. Some use cases include supply chain management, personal data security, and file storage, and PoD is another.
The future of Proof of Delivery using blockchain looks promising because the technology offers a level of transparency that is hard or impossible to achieve in existing systems.
Proof of delivery systems are a great way to assure your customers that the package they ordered was delivered. At the same time, it can help reduce customer complaints when an order is not delivered or arrives in a damaged condition.
LifeHash utilises mobile and web app technology in conjunction with tried and tested blockchain from Bitcoin and Digibyte to instantly secure data at source. With LifeHash as a solution PoD is reconcilable, auditable and 100% accurate.
Please contact LifeHash so we can walk you through the benefits of implementing Proof of Delivery systems in your business and allow us to demonstrate our blockchain solution.
A GPS stamp, aka geotagging, is a term used to describe the process of adding location data to a form of media.
Yes, a PoD can be used as a legal document, if you can verify its authenticity.
An ePoD is simply a digitised record of delivering a consignment to a client.
Delivery drivers take photos of deliveries in situ when they can't contact a recipient, and the delivery must be left unsigned for.
It all depends on what data is attributed to the photo. For example, suppose the image contains time, date, and location data. In that case, it is good evidence but falls short of proof as, ultimately, the delivery driver may be dishonest.