Autonomous logistics has long been touted as the next big thing for the industry but with drone delivery not yet off the ground, Westcoast Retail’s MD Carl Oxley discusses the main attractions for the logistics industry.
1. Cutting costs
Companies such as Amazon, UPS and Domino’s have already tested drone delivery, and it’s largely due to the potential cost cutting.
2. A speedier delivery
With no pedestrian crossings or red lights, drones in particular offer a much quicker and more direct route to either consumers or retailers. There would still need to be vehicles on the ground as drones are limited in how far they can travel, though the likes of the Mercedes Vision Van, which acts as a staging ground for drones, make this potential closer to reality
Having autonomous vehicles that can deliver goods and avoid typical human errors, such as turning up late or making a wrong turn, improves the reliability of the delivery. One of the main issues holding up greater reliability is ensuring there is adequate network connection to run the drones. Once this has been solved, the reliability of the tech should improve greatly.
4. Reduced return issues
Not just increasing the speed of delivery, the use of drones in particular also means that goods can be collected from consumers without the need to return to a post office or organise a return themselves, as it can come directly to them and quickly. The quicker turnaround benefits both parties and results in considerably less hassle for the consumer.
5. Greater streamlining
The use of autonomous logistics will undoubtedly result in greater streamlining in the supply chain. Whereas previously there would be multiple stages involved, from a product being picked in the warehouse, put on a carrier and eventually delivered to the customer, autonomous logistics will mean that whole process is rolled up into one. Use of autonomous logistics in the warehouse as well as in the delivery of goods will result in a quicker and far simpler service, a key benefit to the use of the tech.