The Covid-19 pandemic brought a new reality – everyone stayed inside and avoided human contact. All industries experienced a whole new challenge never seen before, shining a light on new technology, specifically drones, and drone delivery.
Drones allow for an opportunity to deliver small packages quickly and efficiently and have a list of benefits over traditional transportation methods.
As we see things begin to return to our typical “normal,” where will drones fit into our lives, and how will they change the way we view freight and logistics today? Let’s take a look at some predictions.
First, what exactly is drone technology?
While drones seem straight out of a sci-fi movie, they are real, legal, and are becoming more and more common every day. Delivery drones are pilotless aircrafts that carry packages to a specific area. These vehicles are either remotely controlled through ground control stations or are entirely autonomous.
The key thing to note with drones is that drone operators can monitor multiple drones simultaneously, maintaining tracking of every single package in a much faster way. In the past, road transportation used to be the foundation of the logistics industry, however, as more and more urban settlements are evolving, it is getting tricky to maneuver. Not to mention how difficult it is to reach remote areas with no infrastructure in place. Drones can solve all of these problems for commercial shipments.
What are the benefits of drone delivery?
The benefits of road delivery stem from how much faster and more efficient carrier drones are and have several benefits for both companies and customers. First, environmental pollution is significantly reduced.
Drones drastically reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment much more than other transportation and logistics methods.
Drones in logistics also reduce road congestion as there are lesser delivery trucks and vehicles on the roads, which helps reduce congestion. The transportation cost is also reduced with drone carriers as delivery drones have a desired setpoint without being affected by traffic.
Delivery times for light cargo delivery drones are diminished from two to three days to only a couple of hours, and there is less of a chance of the package being damaged during transit and handling as drone flight is pretty smooth.
Customers can get their deliveries within 30 minutes or less.
What are the disadvantages of drone delivery?
While there are many benefits of drone delivery services, there are also challenges when it comes to the future of delivery. Dropping packages or delivering them from the air is very difficult to navigate. Not to mention the security risks of autonomous vehicles and drones being expensive machinery. Doing things more traditionally with proper freight management is a safe and secure way to deliver packages, something that drone delivery lacks.
Customer safety is at play too, which the drone industry is trying to understand completely. As with any new technology, the challenges are plentiful, but with time, training, and good software, the benefits could significantly outweigh the cost.
Are drones being used for deliveries? How?
In many places around the world, drones are already being used for deliveries that are difficult to make using traditional vehicles or extremely time-sensitive deliveries, like medicine or items with really short shelf life.
Drone package delivery has the potential to change logistics as we know it, replacing many deliveries currently made by traditional vehicles, especially for light packages. On a local level, drone food delivery is a huge potential for drone delivery services. However, drones are not capable of carrying large, heavy deliveries. In the future, we might witness some changes in the way drones work, but now In these situations, you might want to rely on dependable freight management.
Instead of companies like Doordash or Uber using cars or bikes to pick up and drop off food orders, autonomous drones can be used. This technology is already in the works in many places worldwide and was even further established with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ultimately, while drones have not gone mainstream yet, they are already in use in many industries and will be seen more and more in the coming years. Companies will begin to establish them as standard vehicles for smaller, lightweight packages.
How will drones deliver packages?
On a commercial basis, drones will be able to deliver packages up to five pounds, how much a standard delivery drone can carry, in less than 30 minutes.
These vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies and sophisticated technologies that will be able to sense and avoid.
Working with regulators and transportation logistics industries to design an air traffic management system will help recognize who is flying where, what, and whether they are adhering to requirements.
Will Drones continue?
Drones in logistics grew in trend over the global pandemic due to circumstance, but even with the light at the end of the tunnel, drone technology is here to stay.
Convenience and efficiency make drone delivery services much more reliable and desired, and we will continue to see the technology grow in multiple industries, especially food and personal eCommerce.
Drones, however, are not practical for heavier shipments that are necessary for the economy, so while drones will most likely take over commercial shipments, freight logistics management is here to stay for the long run.
Drones will play a significant role in creating smoother processes for freight and shipping operations as they remove some of those unnecessary ground shipments off the roads like commercial packaging.