In today’s world, shopping is being done online more than ever before. Bespoke’s Paul Hickey says that “The days of the internet and online shopping being “just a fad” have come a long way over the years” (CNBC 2O19). In fact, in April “the total market share of “non-store,” or online U.S. retail sales was higher than general merchandise sales for the first time in history” (CNBC 2019). So, with this high demand for faster delivery times some are starting to turn towards a modern kind of technology to make these more prompt delivers possible. Drones.
“Unlike delivery trucks, drones can travel “as the crow flies” – skipping over traffic congestion and complicated navigation paths” (getelastic 2019). Because of this, drones can get to their destinations much faster and so these “faster fulfillment times brought about by drones could result in lower shipping costs for the customers, meaning more sales and higher revenues for businesses” (getelastic 2019). In addition to this, businesses can also lower their environmental impact by utilizing these drones to make some of their deliveries. However, even with all of these benefits there’s still a few challenges that we are faced with. “The most pressing of these are the airspace governance and legal barriers that physically restrict where drones can travel” (getelastic 2019). Having places where drones can’t travel make it difficult for nationwide drone delivery to become a reality. Additionally, there’s also “limited battery technology” which means “drones can only travel for small distances with very small loads” (getelastic 2019). Even with these obstacles Amazon, UPS, and even Domino’s have gone about testing drone deliveries. Amazon Prime Air “aims to deliver goods to customers in 30 minutes or less” and is “currently being tested in several international locations” (getelastic 2019). UPS is “testing drone deliveries, using the top of its vans as a mini-helipad” and “according to their estimates, eliminating just 1 mile from the routes of each of their company’s 66,000 daily delivery drivers could save up to $50 million” (getelastic 2019).
Before drone delivery can become a reality, companies need to work around the obstacles that are in the way of making this happen. The industry for drones continues to grow and if this can be made possible, it seems like it will be overall more beneficial for everyone involved in the process.
“Online shopping overtakes a major part of retail for the first time ever”
“Are drones really the future of delivery? [infographic]”