Drones and the Logistics Industry
Drones have experienced a unique transformation. From highly technical equipment used for military tasks, they have become more affordable and accessible with a great variety of commercial uses, including entertainment and mapping. It is estimated that by the year 2025, the industry will have a global value of 82 billion dollars. Even Microsoft founder Bill Gates said, “drones overall will be more impactful than I think people recognize, in positive ways to help society.”
The logistics industry is not foreign to these new changes. As we noted in a prior blog entry, New Trends of Maritime Transportation, drones are part of supply chain companies’ digital and technological transformation. The adoption of new technologies allows for competitive advantages, efficient use of resources, and improved customer service.
But how are drones being used and what relevant changes will the industry see in the coming years? These are not easy questions to answer since many projects continue in the testing phase, but the cases that have already shown success can help us understand how logistics businesses direct their efforts to integrate drones into their processes.
Since drones can work as a means of small transportation, one case that has been consistently tested is the delivery of packages or mail. Amazon has begun to develop its own network of drones to make home deliveries in the United States. Their objective is to consolidate drones as a delivery option for consumers and even further automate their processes.
Apart from the delivery itself, other initiatives involve improving speed by monitoring highways and optimizing the routes that their fleets use more frequently. These efforts seek to complement the processes of delivery by integrating drones in key sections of their shipping process.
There are other specific applications that have been implemented to reduce time within inner logistics processes, for example, inside warehouses. Walmart tested its own delivery system to compete with Amazon on home delivery. However, after seeing that the project did not flourish, Walmart began to employ drones to manage their warehouses and inventories more efficiently. The project was a huge success and now, with the help of drones, warehouse managers inspect how fast a product is running out, reducing inspection time considerably.
For the success of drones in the logistics industry, it is important that companies not only invest in drone technology but also in other innovations that help merge technologies in order to solve specific problems. Drones, along with automated software, sensors, and augmented reality will drastically change the way in which logistics processes are carried out and will set a new paradigm in the supply chain.
At Woodward Logistics we understand your company’s changing needs and that is why we adopt new technologies in order to offer the best innovations in logistics and supply chain. We invite you to learn more about the variety of transportation services and solutions we can provide to your organization. Visit our official website.
Levick, R. (15 de Mayo de 2018). Drone Industry Just Beginning To Take Off. Obtenido de Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/richardlevick/2018/05/15/drone-industry-just-beginning-to-take-off/#5d16670b72bc
Amazon. (s.f.). Amazon Prime Air. Obtenido de Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Prime-Air/b?ie=UTF8&node=8037720011
Doyle, M. (2018). The Impact of Drones on Supply Chain Management. Obtenido de American Express: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/foreign-exchange/articles/drones-impact-supply-chain-management/
Supply Chain 24/7. (3 de Junio de 2016). Walmart Testing Warehouse Drones to Catalog and Manage Inventory. Obtenido de Supply Chain 24/7: https://www.supplychain247.com/article/walmart_testing_warehouse_drones_to_manage_inventory