White-glove and final mile services refer to the services provided by a shipper or carrier that go beyond the traditional drop-off for delivery. As a result, white glove logistics are typically reserved for high-quality purchases and those requiring extensive setup and delivery. Imagine furniture, items too big to fit in a regular pallet within a full truckload, items requiring extra care and consideration during shopping and much more
Shippers Will Look to White Glove Services to Solve Complex Shipping Problems and Pain Points
As explained by Merrill Douglas of Inbound Logistics, white glove services offer shippers an opportunity to solve some of the most complex problems in the industry. One of these includes the concept of space wastage and utilization. As the capacity crunch tightens, securing available capacity to ship large, bulky items via regular freight would grow stricter. Unfortunately, this will result in extensive costs for shipping items that would not meet the criteria for a full truckload, such as an LTL shipment. However, using white glove logistics to reduce costs for bulky, and labor-intensive purchases can effectively remove the concern from traditional carriers and ensure shipments to consumers on time.
Personalized Final Mile Services Will Continue to Improve Brand Reputation
Offering an additional level of white-glove and final mile services will effectively increase the brand reputation for a shipper. Personalized final mile services must consider the unique needs of consumers. Consumers may want purchases left inside their homes, vehicles, workplaces, other locations, and such purchases may even require assembly.
How Technology in Logistics will Shape Shipping in 2019
Final Mile Will Become the Most Important Part of All Shipments
Due to the increased pressure on shippers and carriers to move bigger products throughout the supply chain, such as furniture, the use of white glove and final mile logistics will increase. Most importantly, final mile logistics are the step in the logistics process that consumers have the most interaction, and as a result, any failure during the last mile delivery phase will be noticed by a consumer. Therefore, shippers must begin working to enhance last mile delivery services, including outsourcing, to ensure they can reach consumers, regardless of where they are located.
White-Glove Will Offer Additional Support During Peak Seasons
There will always be times when white glove service is not necessary, but simply having access to white glove service will enhance the scalability of an enterprise, especially during peak shopping seasons. Moreover, peak season represents one of the periods when white glove logistics may be in the highest demand.
For example, consumers may want to leverage white glove service to set up new furniture, office equipment, gifts, décor and more. The need to complete these activities while consumers are away is an essential aspect of successful white glove service. Since white glove service means an added layer of trust and skill during delivery, shippers can work to give consumers more than just a product. They can become an extension of their interior decorator, carpenter, IT team and more. The opportunities for expansion of white glove services are extensive, and shippers that take note can position their organizations to stay competitive with Amazon and the major retailers.
Final Mile Services Will Begin to Include Service After the Sale
According to Douglas, an exciting prospect surrounding the use of white glove services and last mile capabilities will be the evolution of contracted services after the sale. While white glove logistics is traditionally associated with delivery and set up, it is likely that more companies will look to use white glove services as a sort of customer satisfaction career. This might include removal of all property, servicing of existing property, and installation of new property.
What Does It All Mean?
More shippers will look to white glove and final mile services to offer an additional benefit to consumers. The most important part of any transaction is delivery, but a misstep in delivery can render all prior actions useless. It does not benefit the consumer to have their package delivered to a neighbor. Therefore, shippers should begin investing in new technology to increase accountability and visibility into last-mile logistics. Furthermore, shippers should consider utilizing white glove services for all items more massive than a standard pallet or requiring advanced assembly.