In order to keep up with the evolving customer expectations and high volume of deliveries, these three innovations in last mile logistics are paving the way into the future.
The biggest advantage to utilizing unmanned drones is speed. Without having to deal with road congestion and infrastructure issues, drones are able to deliver faster and more efficiently than cars and trucks. Drones can also travel through difficult terrain, such as mountains and forests, easily and with a shorter route. Utilizing drones instead of delivery cars and trucks offers a decreased environmental impact, as less cars and trucks will be needed on the roads, resulting in less pollution.
Similar to drones, delivery robots are unmanned delivery devices that are remote-operated by a controller. But, these devices are designed to travel by “foot” or bike at no more than 4 miles per hour. This innovation is perfect for suburban areas that aren’t busy, assisted-living facilities, and campuses. They allow quick, flexible delivery and a reduced environmental impact. Robots are carbon-emission free.
Their advantage over drones is their larger shipping capacity. Of course, this means they’re able to delivery larger packages, but it also means they’re able to carry more than one package at a time. This increases efficiency and allows multiple deliveries to be made to customers in a close area.
Driverless, or autonomous, vehicles are becoming more and more buzzworthy. These vehicles are capable of sensing their environment and navigating with no human input or control. Major automakers and tech companies like Google and Uber have already begun testing autonomous vehicles, and hope to significantly reduce the number of car accidents and car-related fatalities through the use of them.
Delivery companies are attracted to these vehicles because of the little-to-no labor costs associated with using them. In addition, without a human driver, the cars and trucks can operate for longer periods of time without stops and breaks. Driverless vehicles would also be ideal for deliveries to remote locations.