Defining Blanket Wrap and White Glove Services

What is Blanket Wrap and How Does it Work?
Blanket wrap is a type of service where carriers wrap items in blankets to protect them during transit, generally used for larger unpacked items such as furniture. This type of service is exactly how it sounds: items are wrapped in blankets, strapped securely inside the truck, and transported onto a truck with other items wrapped in the same way. Each truck is staffed by two drivers who make all of the pick-ups and deliveries.

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Blanket wrap providers usually have multiple warehouses around the country. The closest office will first contact the shipper to arrange a pick up. Once the item is picked up, it is then brought back to the closest warehouse. From there, the item may be transferred on another truck to the terminal closest to the destination. When the item arrives at the closest terminal to the destination, that office will then contact the recipient to arrange delivery.

What is White Glove?
White Glove describes a delivery service level. It includes delivery inside the home, placement in room of choice, all packing materials removed, and basic assembly if necessary.

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Is There a Difference Between Blanket Wrap vs. White Glove?
Yes. The terms “Blanket Wrap” and “White Glove” are often used interchangeably, although there is a slight difference. Blanket wrap is the method used to transport goods throughout the whole shipment. On the other hand, white glove describes the type of service offered at the final delivery to the customer.

Since blanket wrap providers transport unpacked items, all blanket wrap shipping includes white glove delivery. However not all white glove deliveries are necessarily transported by a blanket wrap carrier. For example, the freight could have been palletized and shipped to a delivery agent, who unpacks the freight, inspects it, and delivers it “white glove” to the customer.

Why Choose Blanket Wrap?

  • Most economical way to ship used goods or unpacked items.
  • Great fit for fragile items, unpacked freight or oversized pieces. The transit is far less turbulent since there is less movement of each item and shipments travel within their own vehicles.
  • For highly fragile items such as chandeliers, mirrors and art, most blanket wrap carriers can provide packing and crating services in addition to wrapping in blankets.

Expectation Setting for Blanket Wrap Shipping

  • Since carries only use their own vehicles, they schedule their routes as efficiently as possible based on their capacity.
  • Transit (pick-up and delivery dates) varies greatly compared to traditional freight transit. Typically you should allow 1-3 weeks for pick-up to be arranged and an additional 2-3 weeks for delivery. Remote areas could take longer. Thus, we suggest setting customer expectations for a 3-8 week transit time. Depending on the location, a more precise time frame can be provided.
  • Appointments are based on the carrier’s availability, not the customers. The carrier will contact the customer a few days in advance to provide a date and time frame of 2-4 hours. Similar to following a bus or train schedule, the customer will need to make themselves available to meet the carrier to make the pickup or delivery. In high density metropolitan areas such as New York City, carriers often have dedicated trucks to accommodate customer’s schedules, but generally both shippers and recipients need to be flexible to accommodate the driver’s schedule.
  • Pickup and delivery dates are not guaranteed. Weather, traffic, and mechanical issues can interrupt scheduled routes. However, carriers make an effort to communicate directly with customer as quickly as possible to inform them of any changes.

Exceptions to the Rule and Additional Charges

  • The weight limit for two movers is approximate 150 lbs. If the item is extremely heavy, there will be additional charges per additional mover.
  • Quoted prices assume that there is a clear path and no stairs at both pickup and delivery. If a delivery location is difficult to reach or if there are stairs at either end, there will be additional charges for labor or time.
  • Chandeliers need to be disconnected by an electrician prior to pick up. Movers will not install them for safety reasons.
  • There are additional charges for disassembly or assembly of beds.
  • Depending on the carrier, the drivers may be willing to roll a rug and pick up and unroll at delivery, but they do not move pre-existing furniture for liability reasons.

Which Blanket Wrap Providers Do You Offer on ShipHawk?

  • Plycon
  • Team WorldWide
  • Ukay
  • Vintage Transport
  • B Cubed
  • Justo
  • AirSea
    +we can add your tariff!

Why Utilize Packing Algorithms?

cost of shipping

Packing Algorithm. When you say it out loud it sounds pretty fancy. Definitely wins the wow factor. But what is it? What’s the point? Well, for our enterprise customer who utilizes this service, it has been a godsend. So let’s break it down and define it as simply as possible: A packing algorithm will tell you how to most efficiently pack an item. You’re probably thinking… “Well I can that out figure it out! I don’t need a computer to tell me how to pack an item!” While that may be the case, there have also been many times where the lack of a packing algorithm led to less than efficient packaging strategies. 

Exhibit A: Rogue Fitness

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The above was packed by an employee at a multi-million dollar fitness equipment company. I guarantee you this isn’t the first and only time. By not utilizing packing optimization and not selecting the correct box size based on the item’s dimensional weight, this company lost out on profit margins that could have easily been saved. While a couple dollars saved here and there may seem minuscule, when you consider hundreds of boxes, shipped out every day with the wrong packing dimensions, a few dollars can turn into thousands, and thousands can turn into millions lost, all due to inefficient packing.

If only there was a software that showed me what the proper size box, padding, bubble wrap, void fill etc. to use… Well ShipHawk is the only shipping company with a patented packing algorithm that will take any item and do exactly that. To pack a chandelier, it will tell you what size crate to use, how many rolls of large or small bubble wrap to use, how many scoops of peanuts and best of all how much it will cost. No matter what item it is, what size or weight it is, or what material it is made out of, ShipHawk’s ability to plug and play item characteristics always ensures the most cost efficient packaging each time.

So why waste time and money – 2 things we never have enough of? Let’s ShipHawk help ease the shipping burden of your shoulders. Stop wasting valuable resources and equip yourself with the only tool that will help you get ahead of the competition.

What is Ground Shipping?

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When shipping domestically, ground shipping is usually the most cost-effective and flexible method of getting your package to your door. Ground shipments are generally forwarded through freight services such as FedEx and UPS, which route smaller and larger trucks across the country to ship and deliver your products. Ground shipping will typically take more time to arrive than products shipped via overnight or second-day air because freight trucks stop at various distribution centers across the country to drop off and pick up multiple shipments. With ground shipping, time to delivery is purely a function of the location between the sender and the receiver.

Below is an example of UPS shipping times for a package that is being ground shipped from California:

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And FedEx follows the same general timeline for their ground shipping rates:

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The price of ground shipping will vary across freight carriers, but let’s compare the rates this year vs. last year’s between both UPS and FedEx to give us a general overview. The shipping rates at UPS and FedEx have recently changed with the beginning of the new year, so it’s important to recognize the costs and adjust any pricing changes you may need to make in order to match your personal or business shipping needs.

Effective January 2017, UPS and FedEx ground shipping rates will both increase by about 4.9%. For example, sending a package with 10 x 10 x 10 dimensions headed within two zones (150 miles) will incur the following costs as compared to last year’s rates:

2016 2017
Dimensional Weight 7 pounds 7 pounds
Cost $8.81 $9.22

Of course, there will be some variation in these rates between the two companies, but the general increase means that shippers should try and minimize the size of their shipments in order to avoid paying more for ground shipping. As carriers like FedEx and UPS move more towards utilizing a dimensional weight calculator to price their shipments, businesses should pay greater attention to the dimensional weight of their packages in order to cut costs. Especially if businesses ship in large volumes, a great way to continuously optimize dimensional weight is by utilizing shipping intelligence software, such as ShipHawk. With the use of such software solutions, businesses can find the best shipping rates without having to go through the hassle of searching through different carriers manually and continue to optimize profit margins off of ground shipping.

Why Packing Optimization Matters

When it comes to eCommerce, every penny counts.pennies-1444661_1920

The traditionally thin margins that are often associated with eCommerce must be protected at all costs. But what if there were actually areas that could not only be optimized to maintain margins, but also grow them? This is where shipping strategy and packing optimization comes to play.

Most people see shipping as a necessary evil and an unavoidable added expense. However, on the contrary, the most successful eCommerce companies actually use shipping as a differentiator and growth mechanism. One place we can look for low-hanging fruit, ripe for improvement, is packing optimization. So, what is packing optimization? It is the simple practice of using the smallest possible box for shipping of any order, regardless of piece count and size. By  leveraging hardware-free dimensional pricing mechanisms, your company can use this as a means to mitigate shipping costs and even increase profit margins.

A common way to calculate packing optimization is to use a hardware-free dimensional pricing calculator that finds you the most cost effective service and box size to minimize business expenses. By doing so, businesses can then provide optimized in-cart pricing directly to buyers, which reduces shipping costs while also increasing conversions.

While using a dimensional pricing calculator gets the job done, just imagine if your software could automatically determine the optimal packing for a mix of items without any human intervention on your part.  Not only would you save money on shipping, time, and labor costs, but you would also eliminate the chance for human error. That’s what hardware-free dimensional pricing and packing optimization software is all about!

If you choose to use shipping software to utilize packing optimization, the next question is, which shipping software should you select? There are many factors you must consider, but the very first step is determining what your needs are.  Do you ship parcel, LTL or both?  Do you need software that is able to rate shop both parcel and LTL options? Do you need software that determines when a large quantity of boxes would be better suited for LTL shipping or when a pallet would be more cost effective to ship as loose boxes?

While there are a number of ways to achieve dimensional pricing optimization for every need, not all options are hardware-free. Some 3rd party softwares require hardware and software to provide packing optimization, so it is critical to spend enough time determining what your needs are and how you need the software to work.  It may be helpful to visualize how you currently fulfill orders and try to pinpoint where you would benefit from such efficiencies, which often includes removing a step or two from your current fulfillment process.

Another thing to keep in mind is carrier flat rate boxes. Through packing optimization methods that include hardware-free dimensional pricing calculations, you can implement a system that determines when it is more cost effective to leverage a carrier flat rate box instead of a standard box.  By using software capable of making these decision on an order-by-order basis, you will ensure that every shipment is priced appropriately and can be confident you are not giving your hard earned profit to the shipping companies.

Regardless of whether you choose to go with a hardware based solution or hardware-free, the sooner you implement a packing optimization method into your fulfillment processes the better.  This will allow you to reduce costs, increase business, and free up resources to focus on what matters most: continuing to grow your business.