The rise of photo delivery confirmation

Many of us are used to seeing signatures on receipt of item delivery. This is now changing (or more precisely adapting,) as many couriers move towards photo delivery confirmation either in addition to signatures or in place of them. Our latest blog will take a closer look at this, the reasons behind it, and what it means for you.

What is happening?

Courier delivery drivers are increasingly taking pictures once they drop parcels off to their destination. Pictures are often taken of a customer’s porch, showing the parcel being set down, a photo of where the parcel was left behind the gate, or even when it has been physically handed to the recipient.

What is the purpose of this?

There are many reasons why photo delivery is important, and it is catching on to more and more delivery companies, whether they offer general services, or bespoke ones such as same day. Firstly, it serves as proof that the delivery driver has fulfilled their obligation of actually delivering the parcel. No one can then say that the parcel was never received or the driver did not turn up. Sometimes, delivery drivers make mistakes and can deliver to the wrong address. By a photo of a deposited parcel and its surroundings, it can be quite easy to tell whether this was at the recipients location or somewhere else. A photo of the delivered goods also alerts the customer that a delivery has been made, and they can have physical cite and expectation of where to find this parcel. That can then make it much easier to say, ring a neighbour and describe where the parcel is located, in order for it to be retrieved for safe keeping. Taking photos also helps with pinpoint accuracy and time, because most notifications of deliveries often happen in real time or within a few minutes.

What doesn’t it help with?

Most people know that parcel theft is big business, and unfortunately this will not help with that problem. Beyond protecting the courier because they can prove the item was delivered, it is then free to be taken by anyone who knows or happens to chance that a parcel might be there. It is also then less likely that the customer will have any redress in these circumstances, because once the courier company can prove the item was definitely dropped off as planned, the assumption of ownership passes to the customer and it becomes their responsibility, even if they are out at the time.

Will we be seeing more of it?

In all likelihood yes. Anyone with a smartphone (which lets face it is a lot of people) can take photos on the go, and therefore it does not take much effort to be able to do this. Some use specific systems and networks to be able to integrate this facility into their delivery platforms, which may take a little more time.

Are there any other concerns?

Some have raised the issue of taking photos of peoples houses because they are private property, or even people themselves when parcels are handed to them. GDPR and data security is tight these days, and anything which can identify someone individually is a bit of a concern. Mechanisms need to be in place to ensure that once photos are taken and uploaded, they are stored securely for a period of time and then deleted to avoid any kind of data leakage.

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