Delivery Note

Updated on June 25, 2024
Article byShrestha Ghosal
Edited byShrestha Ghosal
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is A Delivery Note?

A delivery note is a document that is exchanged between a buyer and a seller of products and services. It comprises the shipping information of an order and serves as proof of delivery of the consignment. The note is a crucial record for both parties since it helps prevent disagreements between the sender and recipient.

Delivery Note

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This note provides details pertaining to the delivered items, which include the amount, quality, and other delivery-related information. It also includes sections for each of the parties to confirm that they received and approved each of the items listed in the note.

Key Takeaways

  • A delivery note is a document exchanged by a buyer and a vendor of goods and services. It includes an order’s delivery information, like the type and amount of goods that are included in the shipment.
  • These notes may provide legal defense to businesses. If there is a dispute or legal issue, the notes might be used to prove that the products and services were delivered as guaranteed.
  • The notes act as tools for monitoring inventory levels. Organizations are able to maintain a record of the goods or services that have been delivered and verify that their inventory data are accurate.

Delivery Note Explained

A delivery note is a record that is enclosed with a shipment of products delivered to a recipient. It specifies the type and quantity of products included in the package being shipped. The recipient may sign a copy of the delivery note and return it to the seller as evidence of delivery. All items specified in the note must be included in the associated package.

The note specifies if any items from the initial order have not been included. It offers a quick overview of the items that the recipient purchased and everything that was included in that specific package. It performs an essential function in ensuring an uninterrupted flow of products. The note assists with streamlining operations by making it quicker and simpler to record data accurately. It ensures that businesses can function smoothly and successfully.


The types of delivery note are:

  • Standard Delivery Note: This is one of the most prevalent types of notes. It contains details such as the shipping date, the sender and recipient’s names and addresses, and the details of the products included in the shipment.
  • Packing Slip: This includes details regarding the materials inside of a package, including the amount and nature of the items. It may not contain details regarding the sender or receiver.
  • Commercial Invoice: Commercial invoice is used for international deliveries. It contains essential details such as the shipment’s price, the sender’s and recipient’s addresses and names, and any relevant duties or taxes.
  • Return Note: This note is issued when a customer wants to return a specific shipment. It includes information about the cause of the return, the date of the initial shipment, the amount, and an overview of the returned items.
  • Delivery Confirmation: This note certifies that the addressee received the merchandise. It includes the recipient’s signature and acknowledgment.

Contents And Template

The contents of a delivery note are:

  • Date of shipment: This is the date the shipment was dispatched.
  • Sender’s details: The sender’s details comprise the sender’s address, name, and contact data.
  • Recipient details: The note must contain the receiver’s address, name, and contact details.
  • Description of goods: A brief overview of items is essential in every note. It contains information on the objects being sent, such as the volume and size, along with additional significant details like serial numbers or stock-keeping unit (SKU) codes.
  • Delivery guidelines: Some notes provide additional instructions, including how to handle the shipment or who to notify when it arrives.
  • Order and Reference Number: If necessary, the note must include an order or reference number for the items.
  • Signature or Confirmation of Receipt: The note must include a section for the recipient to sign or confirm receiving of the package.

A delivery note template is provided below:


Let us study the following examples to understand this note:

Example #1

Suppose Maeve Softwares is a company that is required to purchase 50 laptops for its employees. It placed an order for the laptops with a vendor. The vendor accepted the order and shipped it to the company. Upon receiving the consignment, the representative of Maeve Softwares was asked to sign and acknowledge that the company had received the shipment in a note. The vendor issued the note to the company and kept a copy for future reference. This is an example of a delivery note.

Example #2

When businesses deliver goods, they provide a paper delivery document that comes along with the shipment until the package is received. It gets transmitted and handled manually. This process is tedious, prone to errors, and resource-intensive. A digital delivery note may resolve these issues.

The concept was put to the test in a joint experiment conducted by the nonprofit logistics organization BVL (Bundesvereinigung Logistik), GS1 Germany, and T-Systems. 20 organizations from the consumer products, retail, and transportation sectors evaluated the digital note for four weeks in August and September 2021. A majority of the users questioned stated they would continue to employ the industry-standard solution for digital notes.


The importance of delivery note includes the following:

  • These notes offer confirmation of delivery. It is valuable for organizations that have extensive product or service quantities. The note enables the buyer and seller to keep track of when the goods or services were sent out and who collected them. This information is necessary in case of future disagreements or issues.
  • They ensure correctness and effectiveness in the distribution process. The notes may help minimize errors and speed up the delivery process by containing all relevant information about the products or services being delivered.
  • The notes are beneficial in tracking inventory. Businesses can maintain track of the products or services that have been supplied, ensuring that their inventory records are updated and correct. It can assist in preventing products from being overstocked or understocked, which leads to lost sales or unnecessary expenses.
  • These notes may offer legal protection to businesses. In the instance of a disagreement or legal proceeding, the notes can be employed as proof that the products or services were supplied as promised. It may assist businesses in recovering any losses or damages that have taken place.

Delivery Note vs Goods Received Note vs Bill Of Lading

The differences between the three are as follows:

Delivery Note

  • This note is an official record issued with a shipment of products. It comprises an overview of the items and amounts of items that constitute the delivery.
  • The notes provide customers a method to confirm they have received all of the items that they paid for and assist businesses in obtaining a clearer understanding of their input and output.
  • The recipient can promptly notify the sender if something is missing from the package, and both parties can use the note to keep track of the issue.

Goods Received Note

  • A goods received note is a record that acknowledges that a supplier has delivered products to the customer.
  • A GRN includes an outline of the items that the purchaser has received. This document allows the customer to evaluate the goods provided against the items for which they placed their orders.
  • When the customer receives the items, the store’s staff may verify them to the purchase order and evaluate their physical condition. The staff issues the GRN after ensuring that all products are received in perfect physical condition.

Bill Of Lading

  • A bill of lading is a legal record that a carrier provides to a shipper that specifies the type, size, number, and final location of the goods being transported.
  • The record must be included with the package containing the products and must be authorized by a designated representative of the transporter, the shipping company, and the recipient.
  • A bill of lading, when properly retained and examined, may assist in preventing the theft of assets.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a delivery note a legal document?

These notes usually do not hold legal power. However, they play an essential role in establishing proof and paperwork for economic transactions. The note’s legal significance depends on the context in which it appears, the local regulations, and the manner in which it is used when combined with other documents and contracts.

Is the delivery note the same as the delivery order?

The note differs from an order confirmation because a note generally does not mention a price, whereas an order confirmation does. The customer usually receives an order confirmation immediately after placing the order.

Can an invoice be used as a delivery note?

A primary distinction between an invoice and a note is that the invoice must explain the payment of the activity, whereas the note does not. The note of delivery confirms the delivery of the product or service. It does not provide any information on whether the product or service has been paid for.

Do you need to keep delivery notes?

These notes must be retained until an invoice for the products is issued. It acts as tangible evidence that the delivery process has been completed.

This has been a guide to what is a Delivery Note. We explain its template, examples, types, importance, contents, and comparison with bill of lading. You may learn more about financing from the following articles –

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