Lots of tools and new technologies exist to potentially help you increase profits and customer satisfaction. One of those worth exploring is drone delivery, a concept that's been a hot topic of discussion for several years. Thanks to advances in technology, suppliers are considering using this mini-aircraft to provide last-mile deliveries to customers. Let's take a look at progress and hang-ups impacting drone delivery.
Last-Mile SolutionOne of the most expensive tasks in a supply chain involves moving shipments the last few miles to their destination. This problem increases tenfold when you deliver to residential customers in remote locations. You may not have the extensive transportation system necessary to deliver to every location, which can result in lost customers and increased costs.
Delivery by drone is a cost-effective solution. With drones, you can ship to any destination, as land obstacles don't get in the way of this flying technology. In addition to increasing residential shipping avenues by taking to the skies, drone technology also has the potential to provide in-warehouse delivery solutions.
Obstacles to OvercomeRecreational drone technology has been around for some time. But, turning drones into commercial delivery tools is not a simple task, and many obstacles still stand in the way. One of the most critical problems to deal with is the weather. Wind has the potential to interfere with navigation, and could even ground drones and prevent a successful delivery drop.
Speaking of drops, another hangup for delivery by drone technology is the final drop off of the package at its destination. Simply dropping the package from many feet in the air could lead to damaged products and unsafe conditions. Attaching parachutes to packages, having the package lowered by a cord, and using street lamps as landing locations are just some of the possible solutions—although shipments could still end up missing the target.
Additional ObstaclesA slow rollout of regulations and getting the public to accept drone technology are two major progress roadblocks. Gaining regulatory approval from legislators and proving drone delivery can be safe will be an uphill battle. Furthermore, steps will have to be taken to keep drones safe from people who may damage them if they fly over private property.
Shippers understand the exciting potential of using drone-delivery services in their supply chains. But there are still some issues that must be solved before businesses can fully adopt this technology.
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