Shipping isn’t free. The Amazon Effect has perpetuated the myth that shipping is free. Free shipping has created consumer expectations that far-exceed the parameters for quality final mile services, especially in the white glove delivery market which requires trained, professional delivery teams, as well as, fair transportation investment by forwarders and retailers to ensure customer satisfaction.
White Glove LTL
In a few words, white glove delivery is a highly-specialized and unique niche in the transportation landscape, but most customers are unaware of the complex logistics planning involved in its speedy and professional execution. Roman Sobieri, head of Shipping, Listing Management, and Payment Operations at Etsy, explains that online shoppers have become accustomed to “speedy delivery at little-to-no cost, visibility into shipment status, and easy returns.”
What providers of these specialized heavy goods home delivery services have come to realize is that while the actual deliveries are rife with complications, – residential streets unsuitable for large commercial trucks, long stairways, expectations for services not ordered such as setup, room of choice placement, and many other details – customers aren’t worried about how it happens, only that it does.
And these customers are buying nearly everything online. As Dan Walsh, President of XPO’s last-mile business explains “consumers are getting more and more comfortable with buying everything online, including items they were hesitant about before.” According to Walsh, this comfort has turned into about 40,000 deliveries a day to homes, businesses, and new construction sites.
Last-mile deliveries amounted to about $8.9 billion in 2018, which was up 10% from the previous year, according to Satish Jindel, founder of SJ Consulting Group. But those numbers do not tell the whole story.
Customer Expectations and Quality Delivery
Quality white glove delivery is a premium service. It requires freight forwarders to find trained, and highly qualified last mile providers. Home delivery providers must meet stringent delivery requirements while providing the soft-touches that homeowners want and expect–including uniformed delivery personnel who have excellent customer service skills and mechanical abilities for safe set-up, placement and assembly if required.
Blue Eagle Logistics residential delivery approach is designed for those willing to invest in a satisfactory customer experience.