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Coronavirus – Practical Steps to Consider on Collection and Delivery

BIFA Members will be used to the process of obtaining a signed Proof of Delivery (POD) to prove delivery and requiring their drivers to sign for collection of cargo and possibly endorsing any notice of damage when going to other premises to collect.

Of course, this is usually done by pen and paper but with Government advice to stay two metres away from anyone else and not to touch surfaces that could be contaminated, using pen and paper is a concern. We recommend you contact all clients to discuss this and arrange some alternative manner of obtaining signed collection notes or POD. Whilst the Government advice remains in place you should confirm whatever is agreed, as the course of action, in writing.

Several suggestions have been received from both solicitors and insurers. BIFA are providing these as suggestions, but it will be for each BIFA Member to decide which is the most suitable for their business.

  • You could make arrangements to e-mail documents across to the receiver, they sign and pass a copy to the driver in exchange for the goods.

  • The driver can ask for the name of the warehouse person accepting cargo and note it plus a photo of the warehouse delivery point.

  • You could obtain advance email contacts at collection and delivery points to enable the drivers to exchange emails whilst in attendance. Collection notes and POD may be scanned in advance and then completed in electronic form by an email signature.

  • The parties should agree in writing beforehand (by way of email) that due to the COVID-19 issue, rather than signing delivery notes etc. the consignee will email the member confirming receipt of the delivery and all parties acknowledge that such an email will stand as evidence of delivery.

There is no “one size fits all” solution and your liability insurer should be advised of any proposed change of practice.

Clients who are resistant to such proposals should be warned that what is being proposed is the only acceptable way to proceed and that if they do not agree they should be notified that coronavirus is a force majeure situation and advised that whilst all is being done to work around the coronavirus, you cannot afford to risk the safety of the driver or the receiving party and the proposal is evidence of reasonable diligence under the BIFA Terms clause 24(B). One would hope that clients will accept any reasonable proposal regarding provision of services in such unprecedented circumstances.

If you are receiving deliveries, courier packages or post beware of signing an offered portable electronic device. Suggest the driver uses the machine to put your name into their system. Protective gloves for staff and a convenient disposal bin could be considered.

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