What is a delivery order form?
A delivery order (D/O), also known as the shipment form, is a document used by dispatchers to relay delivery instructions to freight forwarders. Essentially, it is issued by the carrier’s destination office in exchange for the bill of lading (B/L) and identifies the parties legally allowed to receive the cargo.
Although it does not serve as evidence that the recipient has received the cargo, it can serve as the paper trail for the recorded transition of shipment responsibility from the carrier to the freight forwarder. The parties legally permitted to receive the shipment include the consignee or customs broker indicated as the ‘notify party’ on the B/L.
In this article, the following points are explained:
Elements of a Delivery Order Form
To properly facilitate delivery of the goods and avoid errors, the delivery order form should include the following information:
- Shipper Details: Includes the name and address of the individual or organization initiating the delivery order.
- Consignee or Recipient Details: Indicates the name and address of the recipient.
- Reference or Tracking Numbers: Used to monitor the status of the shipment.
- Carrier: Refers to the shipment transport used for delivery. This can either be by sea or air.
- Port: Pertains to the port of origin where the package is loaded into the carrier and the port of destination where it is to be unloaded. In point-to-point deliveries, the destination port is usually different from the final delivery address (place of destination).
- Delivery Date: Indicates the date for when the recipient should receive the shipment.
- Shipment Details: Contains specific information on the goods to be shipped: quantity, weight, and dimensions. It can also contain special delivery instructions from the consignee.
The importance of issuing a delivery order form for shipping
Logistics is a complex operation that involves several moving parts to function, and it includes multiple processes that require plenty of communication, organization, and physical transfer of the goods. This complexity requires proper documentation for a cargo handover to identify the parties liable in case of damages or lost goods.
On top of this, the delivery order helps to ensure that the goods are released to the correct party. Because the carrier can only issue a delivery order once they have confirmed that the consignee has surrendered an adequately endorsed bill of lading —in that the consignee is verified as the correct party to receive the cargo and has settled all necessary charges — the cargo cannot be pulled out easily just by anyone.
In comparison: Delivery order vs. Bill of lading
Although both the bill of lading and delivery order are surrendered to the consignee or the import agent at one point in the shipping process, they are essentially different in function. The B/L is the contract between the shipper and carrier indicating that the latter has received the cargo and must safely deliver the cargo to the consignee.
On the other hand, the D/O is the document that facilitates the release of the cargo. The written validation indicates the carrier’s obligations have been settled, and the cargo is ready to be released to the appointed consignee.
How the delivery process happens
To understand it better, let’s take a look at one example:
A 20-foot container of clothing was shipped from Thailand to the United States by sea. Before it arrives at the destination port, the carrier must submit the manifest, notify the consignee or importing agent through an arrival notice or freight invoice, and send the requirements for the release.
Once that is done, the customs broker will now accomplish the following to secure the D/O.
- Present the original copy of the bill of lading and turn it over to the carrier. If the bill of lading was already surrendered at one port, a telex release could be presented instead. The same principle applies to a sea waybill.
- Present a letter of authorization from the consignee to claim the cargo on their behalf. This will require measures to ensure the proper identification of the rightful representatives.
- Pay all necessary charges by the carrier as indicated in the freight invoice.
After all the steps are done, a delivery order will officially be issued, and the cargo can be turned over from the carrier to the consignee. This allows the appointed parties to complete all remaining import activities, clearance, and final delivery. As a shipper, forwarders and consignees should always check the export regulations beforehand to ensure that the goods do not remain at customs.
Enhance your logistical process with digital delivery order forms
Not only are paper delivery orders vulnerable to damage, but they can also potentially be subject to illegible handwriting and errors. These can often cause unnecessary delays to the shipping process. On the other hand, a digital form brings real-time data updates, improved accuracy, and convenient communication among dispatchers and coordinators because information can be sent anytime and anywhere.
With Lumiform, you can enjoy all the benefits that digitization brings. Even better, our mobile app can make accessing delivery order forms easy across the board, as information is readily available even when you’re offline. Our powerful tool can take your logistical process so you can enjoy efficiency and convenience with every transaction.
- Create your delivery order form easily with our ready-made 12,000 templates that you can easily customize to suit your needs.
- Set defined workflows that your team can easily follow and include push notifications so you can stay on top of important issues raised within the app.
- Consolidate relevant data and visual documentation in one place so you can easily monitor each shipment you have.
- Input mandatory fields so you can make sure dispatchers have all the information they need to conduct a successful delivery.
- Generate reports instantly, so you always have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on with your daily operations.
- Seamlessly incorporate an automated humidity and temperature monitoring system for your valuable cargo through the Lumiform monitoring kit and have complete control over the quality of your delivery service.