In the next decade, the final mile industry is expected to grow from $3.7 billion to $12 billion, while the fastest-growing sector in the industry is – white glove delivery. White glove delivery services involve a customized service level that goes above and beyond the standard delivery for the customer. It can be anything from the assembly, unboxing, bringing an item to a room of choice, placing it under a cover such as a porch or a garage.
The white glove service is one of the most demanded types of services in the final mile delivery. As people have grown more comfortable with ordering items online, they’ve started ordering more expensive and bigger items, such as couches, appliances, TVs, etc. Consequently, the need for professionals to deliver these goods has increased.
White glove services and final mile logistics go hand in hand more than other segments of your delivery network. Both of these services seek to meet the increasing demands of a growing consumer base. The use of white glove delivery is starting to mean more than just going a few extra steps during item delivery – it has stretched into the use of technology (e.g., product inventory management, transportation management, warehousing, etc.) to provide additional care in the picking, packaging, shipping, and threshold delivery process. As a result, final mile deliveries run more effectively and efficiently. You need to realize the pairing of white glove services and final mile logistics means for your operations.
How Final Mile and White Glove Delivery Services Complement Each Other?
- Added services are always welcomed
For many years, the final mile delivery service has been used for shipping freight to commercial shopping locations (such as retailer stores). But recently, delivery professionals (whether we’re talking about a truckload carrier or a parcel and small package carrier) have used it to deliver heavy goods directly to end recipients. Everyone likes to see the added accountability and services that come with white glove delivery. Thanks to advancements in technology, today’s logistics providers have everything they need to provide white glove delivery services within their transportation management processes.
More and more products in eCommerce require more extensive shipping options and specialized equipment. That is precisely why platforms and systems used to manage final mile delivery should include features and add-ons for white glove services.
- Orders that require white glove delivery are common in eCommerce
Today’s consumers are ordering products from expensive electronics to household appliances. They often purchase things online because they either come with free shipping or are more cost-effective (cheaper). However, shoppers who are considering a purchase between two shippers are more likely to go with the one who can deliver their product faster (even if the shipper charges a premium). People are ready to pay more for white glove delivery, so sellers can use it to improve their final mile logistics strategies. Furthermore, offering better service leads to five-star reviews, improved performance, and repeat purchases – a win-win situation for everyone involved.
- Both final mile and white glove require the use of back-end tech
Implementing white glove delivery for final mile logistics requires back-end technology. For example, final mile logistics need to manage the incoming order, the picking, packaging, shipping, and service after the sale.
The use of hand-held scanners, and AIDC technologies, and Internet-enabled devices can help automate the entire package tracking process from the point of origin to the end recipient. Tracking packages may seem unimportant in parcel shipping, but it’s becoming a common thing for all items bought via eCommerce platforms. Thanks to tracking technology, shippers can manage package delivery schedules according to recipients’ demands. In turn, that adds the burden of optimizing different routes to fit in with the delivery schedules, and making it happen is possible only with the right technology.
- More control over the shipment with white glove services
With white glove services, shippers can mitigate risks inherent within final mile logistics better. In other words, they put more control over the shipped packages in the hands of the shipper. For instance, delivering packages in overpopulated urban areas can be difficult via traditional final mile processes. On the other hand, white glove delivery service uses more advanced technology to deliver packages to consumers’ workplace or doorstep at their convenience. This means that shippers can align their operations with customer expectations much better while improving visibility along the way.
- Expectations within final mile and white glove delivery vary
The final mile delivery concept shows that today’s consumers are willing to make repeat purchases when the expectations during final mile delivery are met or exceeded. Therefore, the question is whether final mile delivery services should be based on price or quality? Customers expect their orders to be delivered within 24 hours up to their order placement. These are high-speed deliveries that come with a premium cost, but they don’t negate the need for free or low-cost shipping. By offering added services (such as installation), which are part of final mile logistics and white glove services, shippers can leverage this demand.
But besides more stringent expectations, consumers have varying expectations, which is a problem for itself. They may send messages with their delivery instructions, making the one-size-fits-all approach to final mile delivery ineffective. That’s why adding white glove services as an added service within final mile logistics management helps shippers provide more accountability and information to consumers.
Ultimately, white glove delivery services are in demand for final mile deliveries. Customers want to know everything about their shipment – when it’s picked, packaged, and shipped. These are white glove services and are becoming standard in final mile logistics. The global eCommerce market for appliances and furniture requiring white glove delivery is worth almost $200 billion (17% of the current eCommerce market). Also, customers want to know the exact location of their package at any moment and when it will arrive. When viewing final mile service, customers have come to be very scrutinizing.
How to Implement White Glove Delivery for Final Mile Logistics?
White glove delivery services can entail many things, but now we will focus on the most common definitions and services. Remember that white glove delivery entails will often vary based on the company being delivered for, their parameters, and what you are delivering. Of course, if you add white glove services to your company offering, you’re not obliged to complete all of these tasks.
- Installation. This involves removing the delivered item from the packaging and installing it. It requires some expertise and knowledge by the technician/driver based on that specific item.
- Room of choice. Delivery of the package to the space of the recipient’s choice is often the room where the product will be placed. It is especially true for furniture, exercise equipment, and appliances.
- Big and bulky. Delivery of items that don’t fit within the regular operations of parcel delivery because they’re too large (e.g., refrigerators) or oddly shaped (e.g., pianos).
- Threshold. Delivery at a porch, garage, or over the front door of the recipient’s home.
- Dunnage and debris removal. Includes the disposal of all trash associated with the product delivery, such as bubble wrap, cardboard boxes, and others.
What You Need to Perform White Glove Deliveries
First and foremost, you probably already have the vehicles you need to complete white glove deliveries. However, the type of vehicle you’ll need can vary significantly because of white glove deliveries’ custom nature.
You want to make sure that your delivery personnel will navigate the trucks they are using because most white glove deliveries are made to locations such as offices and residential neighborhoods.
Box trucks, Cargo vans, and Sprinter vans (24′, 20′, and 16′) are the most common vehicles used for white glove deliveries. The best vehicles for this type of work are smaller vehicles because larger vans or trucks can cause damage and cannot navigate residential areas with ease due to their size.
It would also help if you were prepared to send more than one driver/technician to complete the delivery, depending on the items delivered. Some items require several people to move them (e.g., household appliances and furniture).
For moving the bulky items off the ground, we recommend ensuring that your delivery vehicles have a lift gate and equipment your delivery personnel will need to place the delivery, like a handcart.
How to Choose the Right Delivery Services for Your Customers
From the beginning of a contract negotiation with your truckload carrier, it’s essential to make sure they can provide the services your consumers may need. Therefore, we present you with the most important questions you should ask your team before engaging in a conversation with your carrier.
What do your buyers want and need? It’s imperative to keep your customers’ needs at the top of your mind because customer experience is the number one factor that drives repeat sales. Ask your customer service staff what top delivery-related complaints are and prioritize them when talking to your carrier.
- What is your delivery network like? Can your customers expect similar services regardless of where they’re located in the country? Make sure that your carrier’s service offerings and definitions match your shipping needs.
- Do you sell any products that have unique shipping requirements? Do any of them need special handling in the final mile?
- Do you have any expectations or baseline metrics for your current carrier performance?
Being more than just trending buzzwords in the logistics industry, last mile delivery and white glove service have proven to be essential elements of any supply chain. They provide transparency, efficiency, and consistency in logistics operations.
For many companies, implementing white glove delivery services for last mile logistics can be a very profitable choice. Consider reaching out to Logistics Titans for resources, opportunities, and partnerships if you’ve decided to add these services to your offerings. We are an experienced logistics company that can help you bring together final mile and white glove delivery. Contact us for more information or request a free quote today!