What is White-Glove Delivery Service in Freight Shipping?

The freight shipping process can be confusing, difficult and complex. This is especially the case for those individuals and companies who don’t have the resources needed to properly offload freight. You’ve recently felt the impact of a difficult offloading process and are looking for a solution to these issues. 

In the past, you’ve heard of white-glove shipping services and are looking for more information on them. Here at ATS, we’ve been shipping freight for decades so we know a thing or two about these white-glove service offerings. 

We also know that this service can be a really helpful tool that makes the lives of receivers easier. In this blog, we’ll outline:

In the end, this blog will leave you with a far better grasp on this topic so that you can decide whether this service fits your supply chain, your needs and your bottom line. Let’s get into it. 

What Is White-Glove Delivery?

In the freight shipping world, white-glove delivery services are final-mile freight delivery services offered by many logistics companies. When requested, carriers offer white-glove services as a way to inject additional value into the freight delivery process.  

In a nutshell, these services are high-end services meant to accommodate a shipment’s recipient in ways beyond what they’d receive with a traditional dock-to-dock delivery.

White-glove deliveries can include: 

  • Taking product inside its destination
  • Unloading products using a liftgate 
  • Uncrating/unboxing a shipment
  • Placing store fixtures on the floor
  • Removing old store fixtures 
  • Removing all packing material before leaving

Although this is not a comprehensive list, it should give you insight into some of the forms white-glove service can take and how it can benefit your business.

White Glove Shipping Graphic

Who are White-Glove Services Best For?

White-glove services are frequently utilized by both private individuals and commercial businesses spanning the globe. 

These services are best for companies and individuals who lack the resources to successfully offload and set up/position larger freight. These types of stakeholders frequently find great value in white-glove offerings since a lot of the heavy lifting is removed from their plate. 

Residential and commercial shipments that commonly utilize white-glove, include but are not limited to:

  • Furniture
  • Medical devices
  • Exercise equipment
  • Large electronics
  • Store fixtures

If you’re a smaller company or private individual who’s expecting a shipment similar to, or that mirrors, any of these products, consider asking your transportation provider about white-glove services. 

Residential White-Glove Services

White-glove final-mile services are frequently offered to receivers at their private residences. This helps these individuals to safely and efficiently offload and position their freight. 

When it comes to residential white-glove service, there are three tiers or “routes” that residential consignees can opt for:

  1. Curb Service: An offshoot of residential white glove service where the recipient’s freight is left on the curb or close to the spot where the carrier parks their truck. 

  2. Covered Service: Another option available to residential recipients where their freight is left in a covered area near their house. This means that a carrier will leave freight in a location with an overhead roof where it’ll be protected from the elements.

  3. Inside Service: If a receiver wants their shipment to be delivered inside of their private residence, this can be done using residential white-glove offerings. 

The type of delivery service requested depends on the recipient's needs and the types of resources available to install their newly-received shipment. As such, if you’re considering employing a white-glove service for your next shipment, you’ll want to take stock of your needs and request accordingly. 

Ask yourself: 

  • Do I need help getting this treadmill in the door? 
  • Do I need assistance moving this new couch into place? 

Using white-glove delivery services is a great way to ensure everything goes smoothly with your next residential drop-off. 

White Glove Freight Shipping Truck

Commercial White-Glove Service

Sometimes commercial enterprises request white-glove delivery services as well. This is often the case when the receiver doesn’t have a loading dock, forklift or crane on sight to receive and unload a shipment. When offering these companies white-glove, a carrier can assist them in several ways.

This means that — upon request — a driver, or team of drivers, will:

  • Unload products from their truck (via liftgate)
  • Bring the freight inside of the store/building
  • Unpackage/uncrate the products
  • Set up the products to the specifications of the receiver
  • Take all of the packaging materials and the old product with them when they leave. 

These services can prove extremely helpful to receivers who simply don’t have the wherewithal, bandwidth or ability to get freight installed. 

How do White-Glove Services Impact Shipping Price?

The pricing of these services is highly elastic. Since shippers and receivers can essentially pick and choose the level of white-glove service they opt for, it’s difficult to accurately pinpoint how these services will impact the price of any given shipment. 

Note: the more intensive this white-glove service becomes for the party responsible for supplying it, the more these services will cost.

So, the more white-glove assistance you request, the more you're likely to pay. 

For this reason, you must find a great transportation provider with a demonstrated history of supplying white-glove services to their customer base. This will help you understand the costs — which vary from one provider to another— attached to these services as you strive to maximize your budget. 

Are White-Glove Services for You?

Now that you understand what white-glove means in freight shipping, including: 

  • What white glove services are
  • Who white-glove services are best for
  • How white glove services impact price

It’s time for you to self-identify whether these fit your circumstances. 

To help you do this, we've provided some high-level questions to ask yourself when making this decision. 

  • “Do I frequently find myself struggling to unload my freight?”

  • “Am I constantly struggling against the clock to get my shipments properly installed?”

  • “Is getting larger commodities into my residence/business becoming too time-consuming?” 

  • “Do I even have the resources to quickly and effectively offload and reposition my shipments?”

Do any of these queries sound like you?

If they do, you may want to consider what white-glove services have to offer.

If you’d like more information on how ATS can help you incorporate white-glove into your delivery process, request a quote. We’re always happy to help in any way we can.

Tags: Transportation Solutions, Freight Brokerage, Dry Van Shipping, Terminology

Richard Phillips

Written by Richard Phillips

Richard has been an integral part of ATS' success over the last 15 years. Today, Richard serves as the managing director of supply chain solutions where he strives to develop out-of-the-box Logistics solutions that create value for his customers.

Get the Latest Content Straight to Your Inbox!

We Have a Podcast! Find Us on Your Favorite App.

Apple Podcasts logoSpotify logoGoogle Podcasts logoAmazon Music logoAmazon Music logo

Beyond the Road Podcast logo

Recent Posts

Work With a Transportation Provider You Can Trust

You don't want your freight in just anyone's hands. Find a transportation provider that cares about your safety and your reputation. Learn how ATS can help.

Connect With an Expert