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The Day We Have Waited for is Almost Here: Drone Delivery

A day where waiting only a day or two for online purchase has seemed pretty far off, until now. Here’s how drones are revolutionizing shipping.

Online shopping could arguably be one of the best inventions of the 21st century. The only pitfall? Waiting for your purchase to reach you. But instant gratification might be an attainable goal with the use of drones. Industry giants like Amazon, Google, and Walmart are competing to market their shipping strategies and routes first. But how does it work? Here’s what you need to know so you’ll be prepared when you open the door to a drone instead of a delivery man.

Why it Still Might Be a Dream
Currently, there are two major factors that suppliers take into account when deciding shipping costs: route density and drop size. When companies consider route density, they try to maximize the number of deliveries a truck can make on one route. Drop size means the quantity of product being dropped off during an entire delivery cycle. That’s why to maximize profit, suppliers either try to make lots of deliveries in one route, or go to the location where they would drop off the most.

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Right now a delivery truck can make a 120 stops a day to deliver thousands of packages. A drone wouldn’t make sense for this type of work because right now a drone can only deliver one package before it needs to go back to its’ homebase and recharge. We might need to wait for more technological advances before it becomes economically feasible to use drones for all deliveries.

The Reality
For small singular packages in a lot of different locations, using a car to go on many different routes is time consuming and expensive. Amazon has been testing out a drone that can fly up to fifteen miles. Because eighty-six percent of Amazon’s packages are under five pounds, drones would be perfect for delivering these small objects. In addition, for retail superstore Walmart, about seventy percent of their customers live within a five mile radius of their store location. This would make recharging fast and easy. In these type of situations, small packages close to warehouses/stores, drones could be making a more immediate impact into our shopping lives.

The Verdict? Improvements in shipping quality are on the horizon. With this new technology, that pair of sneakers you’ve been eyeing could be at your doorstep in time for your daily afternoon yoga class.  Happy Shopping!