After many years of working through many of the technical difficulties, the idea of having drones deliver packages is slowly becoming a reality. This will be able to cut back on the delivery time drastically. There have been multiple companies trying to become the first major drone delivery service.
The biggest competition right now is Amazon. For a couple years now, Amazon has been behind the scenes developing and implementing drone deliveries. An article in Forbes stated, “Since Amazon first announced its plan for a Prime Air delivery service back in 2013, the company says that it has gone through more than two drone dozen designs, none of which was as quiet or able to avoid other aircraft, wires, or people on the ground as well as their current model.” Being that it is still in the testing phase, they say deliveries will be happening as soon as mid 2020. Soon drones will be in the sky being able to make deliveries anywhere and at anytime. That is the convenience that most customers would like and that companies strive to have.
There are many factors to consider before this technology goes mainstream. There are still some restrictions with drones, such as it can only carry packages that are five pounds and under, as well as, only being able to travel about fifteen miles. The drone can not carry heavier packages due to the legal restrictions.
Some countries have tested this process out. Some of the countries are New Zealand, Japan, and Australia. In New Zealand they tested pizza deliveries. In Japan there is a prototype that is being tested in the United States from a company called Yamato Holdings. Their prototype is about six feet high and nine feet wide. Which is able to travel over a hundred miles per hour increasing delivery output. In Australia there are transporting medication to consumers. The main goal of this technology is to cut the shipping time in order to get packages to the customers with this fast and flexible delivery option.
How will this technology affect E-Commerce Sales?
For retailers this could be the delivery option that consumers have been waiting for. By getting packages faster to their customers it will increase customer satisfaction. By shipping through the air it gives companies to facilitate faster deliveries for customers who want to receive their goods as soon as possible, even to the most rural areas. “According to ARK Investing Group, Amazon could charge shoppers only $1 for drone delivery on packages under five pounds.” This only fits the criteria for certain companies and it also depends on what the consumer purchases. One of the reasons customers are hesitating with this technology is because of the lack of privacy. The drones will have webcams in order for the employees to know its surroundings. The thought of drones flying around at any time day or night is not appealing to most people.
While this is great technology that has been invented and could be very beneficial, there are some advantages and disadvantages.
- Delivers to any location
- Conserves energy
- Prompt and Safer delivery
- Higher level of accuracy
- Expensive to purchase
- Not effective battery life to go to destination and back
- Stolen drones
- Privacy risks
The focus of the drones is to deliver goods, but it can be used for other reasons as well. It would also be helpful in the warehouse setting as well. The drones will be able to reach places easily where it is more difficult for a person. It will be able to count inventory to ensure there is enough stock for the orders. It would increase productivity and help the other workers focus more on the other aspects of the warehouse.