Are Drone the Future of Parcel Delivery?
The logistics industry is becoming increasingly reliant on technology and automation, in a bid to provide a faster, more reliable ...
13:57 29 March 2018
The logistics industry is becoming increasingly reliant on technology and automation, in a bid to provide a faster, more reliable and competitive service. With further developments in this area, headlines have recently centred around AI and the uptake of robotics in logistics. But what about drones?
First Drone Delivery
In an innovative move, Domino’s were the first to successfully experiment with and implement drones, using them to deliver pizzas to customers in New Zealand. This was back in 2016 and while other companies, most notably Amazon, have followed suit, exploring its potential and making leaps in this area, drones are yet to become the innovative logistics solution that they were predicted to be.
Development and Super Drones
While delivery by drone has proved itself to be a viable logistics solution, it is limited. In completed trials, drones have been restricted by parcel size and weight, as well as distance travelled. However, developments in this technology could soon provide a bigger drone that is capable of covering more ground.
A tech startup in America is currently working on several drones that measure 30-feet, 80-feet and 140-feet respectively. The largest of the drones will be able to carry up to 200,000 pounds and travel as far as China. This could become a reality as soon as 2020, revolutionising the logistics industry.
Benefits of Drone Delivery
With all of the hype around drone delivery, just why are they so innovative? And just how could they benefit logistics companies and transform parcel delivery?
•Operating on battery power and carrying no crew, a drone releases less emissions and is better for the environment
•Avoiding road traffic, drones can provide faster delivery to customers
•They also allow orders to be shipped quicker, with no need to wait for a full delivery vehicle
Despite benefits, while drones have proved successful during tests, there are still questions about the feasibility of this technology as a method of delivery. In the US, this is largely due to regulations enforced by the Federal Aviation Administration, which states that drones must be within sight, effectively stopping any commercial use.
In the UK, the use of drones looks more promising. While the Department for Transport is concerned about potential safety issues, it looks like drone delivery could soon be a reality in Britain, allowing large logistics firms like TNT Direct to improve their services. As such, drones could soon be taking to the skies and delivery parcels.