Drones And Droids For Last Mile Delivery

The growth and success of specialist logistics company will be driven primarily by the increasing usage of new technologies in logistics including the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics software powered by artificial intelligence and enterprise applications.

One of the new technologies that logistics companies can leverage for business growth is drone technology. A few months ago, drones became the logistics and transportation companies’ poster child after Amazon and Walmart started to experiment with the smart gadget. Drones were used in streamlining inventory tracking and small package/in-store delivery.

According to IT experts, the market for drones will grow at a CAGR of 20.7% to reach $22.15 billion by 2020. However, some analysts believe that droids or those tiny delivery robots travelling on the sidewalks are a cheaper alternative to drones and do not require FAA certification. Droids hold the most promise when it comes to logistics, retail and ecommerce.

Delivery solutions using robots will be solve the last mile problem of logistics companies. The final leg of a parcel’s journey accounts for 30% to 40% of the total delivery costs. Robot-assisted final mile delivery will reduce delivery fees by as much as 10 cents per mile.

45 thousand robots are being used by Amazon to pick orders and restock shelves. The robot workforce according to reports saves the company $22 million per fulfilmentcentre. More than 140 hospitals in the US use TUG robots to deliver meals, medications and laboratory supplies to nursing stations.

However, according to Pavel Shylenok, CTO of R-Style Lab, the challenge to mass adoption of robots in logistics is the high cost of the innovative software/hardware like machine learning that helps the robots identify individual items. Logistics companies are not required to overhaul their IT infrastructures if they want robots to be a part of their IT strategy.

Costs do not matter to specialist logistics company as long as they are able to deliver the highest quality service to their clients. The focus of logistics companies today is to innovate to increase efficiency. There is no denying the fact that logistics have to prioritize their efforts at efficiency by transforming to digital in the future.