Freight home delivery is growing
With the rise of e-commerce over the past decade, customers are steadily going online to purchase big-ticket items that are too large to be shipped parcel — making residential delivery more and more commonplace. In a competitive business environment, for the brand to be perceived well, the customer’s experience when they receive the product can be just as important as the product itself. For maximum customer satisfaction, the key to these types of shipments is understanding how the process works from start to finish, proactive communication with your customers and selecting a logistics provider that can execute with excellence.
What is residential delivery?
Residential delivery involves transporting goods directly to a customer’s home, or to a business operating out of a home, rather than to a commercial location. These shipments are typically initiated through consumers purchasing products online and commonly travel within a logistics provider’s LTL network. Examples of products customary for residential deliveries include home furnishings, workout equipment, appliances, mattresses, large unassembled items like sheds and tiny houses, and bulk orders on pallets.
In contrast to a commercial delivery, where a driver backs up to a dock and dock workers unload the freight, residential deliveries don’t involve a dock. This means special equipment with a liftgate is usually required, and the driver unloads. Options available with residential delivery include curbside, threshold and inside delivery.
How does the process work?
When a customer orders a product that’s too large to ship parcel, and they want it delivered to their home, here’s a high-level look at what happens:
Your customer orders on your website or other sales channel, and you collect all the necessary information, including their residential address and contact details.
You prepare the product for shipping and contact your LTL carrier for pickup.
Once picked up, your LTL carrier consolidates multiple smaller shipments into a single trailer that is moving in the same direction (allowing for more efficient transportation and cost-sharing)
Once it arrives at the service center closest to the customer’s location, the carrier schedules a delivery appointment with the customer, giving them a window of time for delivery.
The local delivery driver brings the shipment to the customer’s residence and unloads it (generally with a liftgate), following specific instructions provided by the retailer or shipper.
The customer (or their representative) receives the shipment at the residential address. They check the shipment for any visible damage and sign the delivery receipt. If the customer requests additional services, such as installation or setup, the carrier or a third-party service provider will assist with those tasks.
Note: Businesses that operate out of a home in a residential area are also considered residential deliveries.
Essential details to communicate to your customers
As you know, residential customers aren’t like typical B2B customers. They’re consumers who have purchased items online, and they have high expectations of what the delivery experience should be like. They expect clear communication, including an estimate of when it will arrive and how to track it along the way. And they don’t want to be surprised by added shipping costs. To help ensure an excellent experience for your customers, be sure to communicate these details ahead of time:
- Shipping cost and any related fees
- The estimated delivery date
- How to track the shipment
- Delivery instructions
- How proof of delivery works
Residential Delivery Tips
To help ensure you get an accurate quote and that things go smoothly at delivery, here are some things to keep in mind:
- On the front end, note any special equipment that is needed, such as liftgate service, special handling requirements, etc.,
- Provide accurate shipment dimensions and weight
- Include accurate contact information, including the name of the person receiving the shipment, their phone number and address
- Confirm that an adult 18 years or older will be home to accept the load
- Identify any low-hanging branches, narrow or gravel driveways, or steps that would prevent the driver from performing the delivery in their current equipment
- If white glove delivery is requested, make sure the freight dimensions do not exceed the doorway dimensions
- For inside delivery, ensure the delivery location is clear of any obstructions
- Note any special instructions, including gate codes or parking restriction
Residential shipping at ArcBest
With 100 years of LTL shipping experience, ArcBest understands that dependability is part of your brand experience, so when you need to ship goods directly to your customers’ homes quickly and reliably, we deliver. As an integrated logistics provider with multiple solutions, we’re equipped to move products from the manufacturer’s location to your customers’ living rooms — with residential delivery through our industry-leading LTL carrier ABF Freight and our extensive brokerage network.
Our team listens to your needs and goals and partners with you to design shipment plans that get your residential shipments where they need to be in a timely, cost-effective manner. To accommodate your customers’ needs, we offer two- to four-hour residential delivery windows, enabling us to set a more specific delivery time so they’re available to receive their shipment. For optimal customer satisfaction, we also offer around-the-clock shipment tracking and a central point of contact from pick-up to delivery.
If you need home delivery services, trust ArcBest to deliver your freight on time and intact. Connect with us today to get started.
Learn more about ArcBest’s Final Mile Solutions.