What is white glove delivery?

by Murray Phillips, 19 May 2022

And should you consider offering it as a service?

Have you ever wondered how someone would ship a vintage Porsche to a customer?

Surely anything rare, unique and easily damaged needs some TLC when being posted. Chucking a Faberge egg into the back of a van (even when done with real care) just doesn't seem right, does it?

That's where white glove delivery comes in. This is the Porsche and Faberge egg of delivery, and it's also where you'll find the most interesting goods being moved around the world.

Ready to find out what this mysterious form of shipping is? Here's everything you need to know.

What is white glove delivery?

Any industry expert will tell you that not all goods to be delivered are made equal. Different items need different delivery options, which is why there are so many out there.

From rare diamond jewellery to a luxury Lexus hand-finished car, some items need a little extra care when being delivered. Can you imagine losing a luxury Lexus?

This is where white glove delivery services come in. 

The picture of a white glove itself conjures up images of finery and special attention, and that’s what defines white glove delivery. When a client invests in these delivery services, they're paying extra for a service that's superior to other options and much more dependable.

When paying for white delivery, you should be able to trust the service with your life. In fact, you probably could safely deliver yourself, but we wouldn’t recommend it. 

How much does white glove delivery cost?

White glove delivery isn't always overly expensive, and still falls in the lower-cost area of large-item shipping. There are a few factors that can affect the price, though, and if a client ticks all the boxes on the expensive side of things, you can expect them to pay more for these reliable services. Let's take a look at some examples.


It's common for transportation services to be more readily available in certain areas. For example, inner-city Melbourne will have more options than a small town in the Dandenongs. The more competition there is, the less the service tends to cost (up to a certain point).

However, you may have to pay more for the same distance travelled in cities than in towns due to traffic. If the vehicle takes an hour to travel a few streets, you’re going to pay for that hour. 

The distance from the pickup of the package to the location will also affect the price. This will all be worked out prior to delivery using truck routing software to find the best options.

The delivery technicalities

If the driver can drop a parcel off in a driveway (such as if it's a car), that's going to be much easier than if they have to deliver an antique bed frame five stories up. How difficult it is to drop off a parcel will almost always affect the price.

Product specification

How large or heavy is your item? If you have a huge Land Rover, it's going to take a lot more energy to transport than a case of Dom Perignon. So, it's going to cost more.

Delivery timing

If the client wants the parcel delivered overnight, next day, or over a busy season—such as Christmas—they're going to pay more. If the timing places additional stress on the delivery company, it's only right that they'd charge extra.

How does white glove delivery differ from other services?

So that’s what you need to know about white glove delivery, but how does it compare to other delivery options out there? In particular, let's look at standard and threshold deliveries.

Standard delivery is the most common delivery service out there. It's quite inexpensive and usually takes anywhere from 5 to 10 business days to deliver the parcel.

Threshold delivery is slightly different in that the parcel is taken inside when it's delivered. Peloton, for example, will offer a service to take their exercise bikes into the room the user chooses and can help with set-up.

White glove is different to both options, but it's more similar to threshold delivery. The biggest difference between the two is that white glove delivery is intended to be a more dependable and reliable service where the goods are taken care of to an exceptional standard. It's almost certain that any item sent with white delivery will turn up exactly as it left.

The delivery driver will then do the same as threshold delivery drivers. They'll take it inside and unpackage it, as well as set it up if need be.

What types of items are usually delivered with white delivery?

Anything that's easily damaged is usually delivered with white glove delivery service. Of course, that doesn't mean a cheap mirror from a high-street shop; it's usually something that's both expensive and easily damaged.

Cars, champagne, and jewellery have already been mentioned, but there are plenty of other items that clients will want to be delivered with the utmost care. For example, they may have a special delivery of food, like a wedding cake. Nobody wants a smashed wedding cake to arrive at the venue, do they?

Anything that can be tarnished with heavy handling is another good candidate for white glove delivery service. When clients have spent good money on something, they need to know it'll get to them in one piece. This is especially true with rare, one-off items.

Should you expand your services to offer white glove delivery?

White glove delivery is more niche than standard and even threshold delivery, but there's still a market for it. If you're expanding your delivery and freight business, it could be wise to consider offering it. If you're not sure how you'd keep on top of many options as you scale, we can help.

At TransVirtual, we help delivery companies by offering high-quality transport and logistics services. Book a free demo of our tools today to see if they're the right option for your business.

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