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The Complete Guide to Threshold Delivery

by Murray Phillips,
Jun 17, 2024
threshold delivery man
threshold delivery man

Table of Contents

The demand for residential delivery is at an all time high, fueled largely by the growth of online shopping. People now want their orders literally at the doorstep — or even having it delivered directly in your driveway.

To fulfill this need, companies are turning to an additional service called threshold delivery.

Threshold delivery is one of the many additional services companies provide to set themselves apart from the competition and boost customer satisfaction.

Ever tried to have furniture delivered to your home? Then you might have signed up for a threshold delivery service without knowing.

This guide will break down the key features of threshold delivery, allowing you to understand what it involves and how it is different from other services. 

What are Threshold Delivery Services?

Standard delivery, white glove delivery, there are a number of customizable shipping services out there.

The threshold delivery process involves having carriers deliver an item to the first secure and dry place on the customer’s property. It applies to mid-sized items such as furniture, outdoor equipment, or sensitive deliveries such as alcohol.

Service Level for Threshold Delivery

Service levels for threshold deliveries are easier on drivers compared to other delivery services. The delivery only requires the driver to drop the shipment at the drop off location.

But there are two types to learn about – basic threshold and threshold delivery. 

Basic threshold delivery means a driver can leave the shipment in the first dry place on the property. Basic threshold delivery services deliver even when the customer is not at home.

This is where points of contention tend to to occur. While the service stipulates they need to be home upon delivery and that drivers can only delivery in the first dry area, customers tend to complain why the shipment failed to deliver when no one was home. Or, fail to understand why your deliver driver is unable to bring the shipment inside their property.

With the threshold delivery option, customers request to receive packages within a certain delivery window and deliveries are marked as complete after obtaining their signature.


The difference in service level for threshold delivery means there’s a cost difference too. It is an additional service and cost on top of less-than-truckload (LTL) or standard delivery. But it is cheaper than other methods, such as white glove service.

Other service levels will cost extra as they are designed for an easy, stress-free delivery experience. These additional costs vary from the different delivery companies. 

Area of Delivery

Knowing the property type (house, apartment or office) is important for threshold deliveries. This will determine what is classified as the first secure and dry place for the shipment to be left.  

If delivering to a house, the first dry area could be the garage, porch, or the front door of the house. 

When delivering to an apartment, you are required to deliver beyond the shared entrance and place the shipment into the lobby. There could be stairs required to access a property. So, drivers can leave the shipment at the bottom of the stairs. 

You are not required to deliver the shipment inside any type of property.

It will make your job easier if the customer has clearly stated in the delivery description where the secure and dry area is for the shipment.

Types of Products

Another factor for threshold delivery is the types of products that a driver can deliver. As the customer is the one required to bring items inside their property, they need to move them without damaging the shipment.

The kinds of products that are best suited to threshold delivery are items that are not heavy, fragile or any kind of luxury item. Products such as large furniture or equipment, or white goods are not good for threshold delivery.

Some properties can have difficult access paths or stairs in apartment buildings. Unless the customer is confident they can manage the shipment themselves, they should opt for a different service. 

How is threshold delivery different from other services?

threshold delivery option

As we know, threshold delivery may lead to some unhappy customers. But customers need to know the difference between other delivery services to pay for the service they expected.

For standard delivery, which is the most common type of delivery service, shipments can be delivered outside the property but may not be in a dry area. Due to the level of service, it is the cheapest option for delivery. 

Let’s look at white glove delivery. White glove delivery services are a type of premium service where drivers carry the shipment into the property. This service is better for heavy items like furniture, expensive luxury goods, medical or white goods. As customers can pick a ‘room of choice’ for the shipment to be placed in, so they don’t have to carry it.

Extra cost services such as unboxing, packaging removal, and assembly can be added to the delivery.

Customers can save themselves from carrying heavy items upstairs or through the threshold of their property. It is a top-level service and stress-free for the customer compared to threshold delivery.

Offering Threshold Delivery Services? Get a TMS to Help You Out

A transportation management system (TMS) can be a highly effective solution to support threshold delivery services.

  • A TMS lets you set delivery schedules or windows depending on the customer’s availability.

  • You can also track your shipment in real-time, allowing customers to know when to expect their delivery (and improving customer satisfaction in the process).

  • A TMS also captures electronic signatures to confirm deliveries without the need for paperwork.

  • Finally, a TMS optimizes delivery routes, so you minimise travel time and fuel costs.

Feel free to get in touch if you have additional questions about using a TMS. We’ll be glad to you walk you through, no commitment necessary.

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