How your parcels will be delivered in the future


Posted on: 04 December 2018 by Morgan Franklin

Technological development and innovation is reshaping our world, the way we view it, and how we live our everyday lives in countless ways.

Technological development and innovation is reshaping our world, the way we view it, and how we live our everyday lives in countless ways. It seems not a day goes by without a new bright idea or exciting prospect comes to light that promises a radical transformation to the world we know - or at least, we think we know, for now. And so, from wearable medical technology, to driverless cars, our world becomes increasingly advanced and automated, and new ways to do different things are unlocked and revealed.


Perhaps one of the most important industries to the functioning of a society and an economy increasingly reliant on online industry and retail, is the postal and delivery services. These services have always been vital for disseminating information, keeping people in touch, and delivering goods, and whilst email has replaced the traditional letter, and direct debit has rendered posted bills irrelevant, the postal services remain extremely important for delivering packages and parcels.


So with the dawn of a new age of innovation and development, and the importance of the industry established, it is no surprise that one of the industries near the top of the target list for technology companies, looking to find a niche and industry to develop technologies for. And so the delivery industry stands on the precipice of a revolution, that may speed up postage, bring down costs, and benefit consumers and business alike. So, as such, here is an overview of how new technology is changing the postal industry.


The most oft-discussed innovation that looks set to change the delivery process - or what is known as “the last mile” in the process of retail, referring to the last segment of the journey from seller to consumer - is that of drones. These are unmanned, remote controlled flying machines, that are capable of carrying an attachment such as a camera, or in the case of deliver, a claw, or other carrying device, to transport packages. Amazon has already begun piloting the everyday use of drones for delivery - pun not intended!


US company Walmart is planning on going a step further, submitting the patent paperwork for an epic-scaled flying warehouse, which would be carried by a huge drone, and would be manned by smaller drones, that would fly out to deliver packages. This extremely ambitious plan appears to be Walmart’s attempt to one-up their opposition, and to make maximum use of drones, getting their share of $100 billion industry that drones will be in five years.

“Vision Van”

Mercedes Benz has a slightly different, and even more innovative plan, however. They have produced designs for what they call their “vision van”. They intend to use drone technology to staff an electric van. The idea is that when the van arrives at a delivery location, the driver will get out and drop off the parcel, whilst a pair of drones, stored on top of the vehicle, deliver an additional two, speeding up the process, allowing three items to be delivered at one time - an exciting development.


The van, the drones, and the cargo will all be cloud connected, allowing packages to be tracked by the recipient and the driver, allow them to get up-to-the-minute news as to where the package is, and an estimated time of delivery. This is a step up from Amazon and Walmart’s plans, allowing for even more efficient delivery, via a rolling system, rather than from a central location, and still involves the use of a human driver!

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Jonathan Trott posted 09 January 2019

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