As autonomous technology becomes more advanced, many retailers are exploring how self-driving vehicles can be used to optimise their logistics operations. Find out more about how the ecommerce sector could benefit from delivery drone technology in the infographic below from 2Flow.
McKinsey predict that in the future up to 80% of all items will be delivered by self-driving vehicles and drones. Drones in particular present an attractive option for retailers. While delivery drones have yet to become mainstream, we are already seeing major players within the ecommerce industry experimenting with this technology.
For example, in 2015 Amazon launched the Prime Air which aimed to deliver goods by drone within 30 minutes to customers in a handful of locations around the world. According to Amazon’s own estimations, the increased distribution efficiency resulting from the use of drones could bring about cost savings of up to 80% for last-mile shipping alone.
Proponents of cargo drone technology say that it could help improve delivery logistics in a major way. Some propose that drones could be used alongside traditional road haulage to cover the last mile of each delivery. This alone could drastically reduce the travel time for last-mile delivery thereby boosting efficiency, saving time and slashing costs.
One example of this is UPS who are experimenting with placing mini-helipads on the top of their vans. According to the company’s own projections, eliminating just a single mile from the routes of each of their 66,000 delivery drivers could save up to $50 million.
However, a few critical issues still remain that need to be resolved before delivery drones become commonplace. The law represents the biggest obstacle, as air space restrictions are greatly limiting where drones can currently travel. What’s more, short battery life means that drones can currently only handle small journeys with small loads.
For more information about delivery drones, take a look at the infographic below.