Delivery note - What is a delivery note?

A delivery note is a document that accompanies a shipment of goods. It provides a list of the products and quantity of the goods included in the delivery.

A delivery note is also known as a ‘dispatch note’ or a ‘goods received note’. Although they’re normally printed, delivery notes can also be sent by email.

Using delivery notes helps a business get a better overview of their input and output, whilst also giving their customers a way to check they have received all of the products they paid for. 

If anything is missing from the shipment, the recipient can quickly contact the sender, using the delivery note to inform both parties what’s wrong with the delivery.

What is the purpose of a delivery note?

If you send a delivery note with your shipment of the goods, it can be used as a checklist by your customer to ensure that everything’s there. Every item contained in a delivery note has to be in the accompanying shipment.

It also describes whether any goods in the original order are not enclosed - thereby providing an overview of what the recipient has ordered and what has been sent in that particular delivery.

In some cases, a copy of the delivery note is signed by the recipient and then returned to the seller or consignor as proof of delivery. This is then known as ‘recorded delivery’ or ‘signed for delivery’. 

If the delivery note has been signed by the recipient, you can rest assured that your parcel has reached its intended destination.

What should a delivery note include?

Although goods received notes are optional, they should still follow a certain structure, regardless of whether you use delivery note software or create your delivery note template with Word. There must be clear communication between both the sender and the receiver. 

The delivery note must therefore show:

  • The name and contact details of the seller

  • The name and contact details of the customer

  • The date of issue

  • The date of delivery

  • A description of the goods contained in the order

  • The quantity of each product included in the shipment.

The delivery note may also optionally require the receiver’s signature (or stamp) which confirms the delivery was received.

It’s useful to be consistent with your company branding across all of your communication materials. For example, ensure that the logo you include on your invoices also appears on your delivery notes and follows the same design and layout.

This makes a shipment more easily identifiable to your customer, as well as extends your company branding and professional image.

Additional details delivery notes can contain

While a delivery note usually doesn’t contain product prices, you may choose to include these, depending on your industry and the products being shipped. Rather than showing the price, products may be listed by their unique product number.

A delivery note might also include the address and banking information of the seller, as a confirmation or added reminder for contact and payment purposes.

Delivery note example

Below is an example of a delivery note. Delivery notes have a similar format to invoices but will be titled ‘Delivery Note’. They are also assigned a unique number that will help you keep your documents in order.