The Dawn of The Drone

Will FedEx and UPS Use Drones to Speed Up Deliveries?

Nowadays technology is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Once upon a time the concept of driverless cars and robotic arms that can help surgeons to save lives were regarded as pure folly, but not anymore. The digital revolution is very real and is set to enhance and modify almost every part of our lives.

Advancements are being made in all fields, from medical to education, manufacturing to transport. There is even an experimental farm in Edgemond, UK (managed by Harper Adams University) where approx.5 tons of spring barley has been tended to from start to end (including sowing, fertilizing, collecting samples and harvesting) – allrobotically by autonomous vehicles. Automation seems to be the byword in a world where speed is of the essence. There have always been 24 hours in a day, but the world seems to be consumed by an innate need to do everything faster. People aredetermined to make every single second of every minute of every hour count.

It’s no surprise to hear that delivery companies are looking to enhance new technology too. Amazon have already trailed “delivery by drone,” with UPS and FedExhot on their heels, busily exploring the possibilities too. The notion is that drones will initially work alongside traditional couriers – the aim being to speed up deliveries to customers.

With businesses shipping far and wide, delivery companies are keen to secure and maintain customer loyalty. Companies often spend large sums of money on delivery fees, and in return they expect a top-notch service. If they are happy bunnies, customers may return and repeat business equals more profit. It is in the interest of the delivery company to offer the most efficient and effective service possible.

Despite best intentions, things don’t always go to plan. It’s not uncommon for parcels and packages to arrive late and for paperwork to be not quite right. When you are running a successful business life can be hectic and who wants to spend precious time checking that the delivery company is always getting it spot on? Well, that’s where freight auditing comes in. A FedEx freight audit and a UPS freight audit will highlight any discrepancies and serves as an effective way to reclaim some of that money paid out in delivery fees.

So, will drones equal speed, efficiency and accuracy? Will the use of drones make the whole delivery process slicker and quicker? UPS seem to think so, in September 2016 UPS launched a drone test flight simulating an emergency medical-supply delivery. The aim? To prove that drone delivery can be efficient and safe. UPS diligently gather data, in the hope that they can convince the U.S. regulators that robotic delivery is the way forward. In February, UPStested home delivery by drone,in Florida. The drone was launched from atop of a UPS vehicle and purposefully made its way toward the delivery address. In the meantime, the UPS driver was able to continue to his next drop off point. Once the drone had made its delivery it re-joined the driver and UPS vehicle, ready for its next mission.

FedEx also understand the need to stay in the technological advancement race. Early in 2017 they secured investment to explore the use and development of autonomous vehicles.

Daimler and Volvo are already heavily involved in progressing the design and development of autonomous vehicles, but they are not expected to “hit the road” for another ten years yet. Alongside the vehicles, FedEx are also keen to join the drone appreciation society! The company are well aware that their rivals are looking to bring in this new method and are keen to explore the possibilities. So, are customers looking forward to the possibility of “delivery by drone?” It’s interesting to note that people’s perceptions are currently mixed.

If the drones do get off the ground (so to speak), deliveries will no doubt be faster, but can accuracy be assured? A small parcel audit will prove very useful when checking parcels are making it to the right place at the right time. A UPS audit and FedEx audit will allow a business to check if everything has gone to plan and make sure that the robotic helpers are doing a spot-on job with our precious packages.