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What Is a Delivery Order?

By Daphne Mallory
Updated May 16, 2024
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A delivery order is a legal document that instructs the recipient, the bailee, to release supplies or goods to the designated individual or organization named in the order. It’s defined by the Uniform Commercial Code, and it’s also described in each region’s contract law. The industry term for a delivery order is D/O, and it’s commonly used in international trade, authorizing the release of imported cargo. Businesses often use standard order forms that can be printed from the Internet or legal software programs. The person who completes a delivery order is often called the consignor.

A simple form consisting of one page is often used by the owner of the goods to complete the order, and it’s similar to a packing slip. The main difference between a packing slip and the delivery order is the additional requirement of the bailee to ship the goods. The information on the order includes the container that’s to be delivered or the product and quantity. It also includes the name and address of the person who will receive the shipment and the name of the representative who will make the payment if it’s to be collected upon delivery. The delivery date is included so that the carrier knows when to ship the goods and to ensure that the designated party receives the goods on time.

The bill of lading is not to be confused with a delivery order. It’s the document that the carrier sends to the consignor to confirm that the goods were delivered to the person specified and at a specific address. Some orders include a delivery confirmation, which is a line or space for the carrier to sign in order to confirm that the goods were delivered pursuant to the delivery instructions. The receiver also signs the confirmation so that the carrier has proof that the goods were delivered and received. A consignor may accept a copy of the delivery confirmation in addition to or in lieu of the bill of lading.

Some exporters use delivery orders as a release form to import goods. The bailee has to release the goods to the designated party, such as a customs broker or other individual. The exporter is referred to as the owner of the freight, and she often uses the delivery order to instruct the bailee to release the freight to an individual or business. Another form, called delivery instructions, is used for the delivery of goods to inland carriers.

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Discussion Comments
By Certlerant — On Mar 10, 2014

There are a variety of templates available for free downloads of various business forms. Although they may be generic, they can be printed and used by anyone.

This may be especially helpful for a new business owner who is not yet sure exactly how many forms to order.

Once accounts are established and the business owner has a better of idea of what business supplies will be required, it may be a good idea to talk to a printing company.

Professional printers often have lower prices for larger jobs and can personalize any forms with the business name and contact information.

By Glasis — On Mar 09, 2014

Is there a way for a small business owner who is just starting out to get delivery order, purchase order, invoice and other business forms at a relatively low cost?

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