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What Exactly is White Glove Delivery?

By Louis Black, VP National Accounts

Technical Transportation, Inc

We use the term “white glove delivery” a lot in our industry, but what does it really mean to be able to offer this service? Truth be told, though there are a lot of definitions provided to the term, there’s no standard definition of it in the logistics space. It has a lot of different meanings and varies from place to place and company to company.

For some logistics providers, it’s simply means dropping off an item on your porch or loading dock. For others, it can be a much more comprehensive and careful process.

However 3PLs are defining it, most manufacturers today—especially those producing higher-end, technologically intricate, heavy weight or delicate equipment—expect more from white glove delivery. These companies will likely expect a more thorough approach to this service that ensures their products are delivered to end-users at their location of choice, in pristine condition and operationally functional, where relevant.

Exact specifics may still vary on a case-by-case basis, however, manufacturers who require more care for their product should, at a minimum, look for providers who can offer:

  • Expert packing and crating that caters to the product’s needs and specifications
  • Transportation in a suitable box truck (or larger) with a working lift gate
  • A multi-person uniformed delivery crew with a professional appearance
  • Inside delivery with specialty handling, using the right tools that protect the product and delivery personnel
  • Unpacking and debris removal from site, leaving no messes
  • Product setup and installation to ensure it is at the proper place and ready for the end-user to operate
  • Product training, if needed, so end-users understand the product’s basic functions

An ideal white glove delivery partner will work with product manufacturers and end-users ahead of deliveries to create customized delivery plans that include site surveys as well as communication of expectations and deadlines/delivery times between all parties. Part of that communication should include tracking programs that can be monitored by everyone involved.

There should also be special considerations during this time of pandemic, including necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for delivery teams and other protocols dependent upon the delivery setting. For example, a hospital, lab or other healthcare environment will likely have heightened requirements and restrictions for delivery personnel, and end-consumers may not want delivery teams in their homes without protective gear.

The ideal partner should also have additional expertise and services on hand for products or circumstances that require specialized help. This could include:

  • Merge-in-transit services
  • Product assembly and testing
  • Regulatory compliance for the equipment
  • Deliveries that meet specific date and time criteria
  • Direct assistance from engineers and field technicians
  • Reverse logistics including equipment destruction and decontamination

If want to learn more about white glove delivery services and what a customized plan looks like for your organization, feel free to contact us today.

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