DHL Supply Chain has announced the launch of a new smartphone app to be used by drivers and third-party hauliers.

The company explained that it provides another way of capturing real-time data and electronic proof of delivery (POD) information. DHL has dubbed the new tool theSmartPOD and has been brought it to the market in conjunction with transport management specialist Microlise. The two businesses believe that this will provide greater insight and develop a better track of where packages have gone and if they have made it to their destination on time. It is also designed at improving the efficiency of supply chain jobs across the globe.

SmartPOD allows an at-a-glance vehicle location data which incorporates departure and arrival time while there is also real-time POD information. Following the initial trials, DHL Supply Chain stated that feedback has been largely positive. There have been reports of reduced admin costs and payment leads time while it also allows drivers to concentrate of deliveries rather than having to constantly report back to base.

In the UK the role of supply chains has been put increasingly into focus with Business In The Community (BITC) wanting more small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to be given the opportunity to secure major contracts. The charity wants more transparency within the system to ensure that it is not dominated by big corporations and squeezing the business sector in the country, Supply Management reports.

Matthew Lill, head of operations at BITC, explained: "If you have a £25,000 contract, do you need to have £50 million of public liability insurance against it? Often that is not deliberate and has just been copied and pasted from another contract, but it immediately excludes SMEs."

DHL's latest move to improve efficiency through innovation could go some way to help companies reduce their expenditure on delivery operations. The app is currently available from Google Play and compatible on the Android platform for smartphonesand additional features are set to be ready from June 2013.