How To Implement Drones In Logistics

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  • Post last modified:July 31, 2020
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How to promote contactless delivery?

 

One of the most “thought about” topics in the logistics industry during COVID 19 pandemic. As the world prepares to reduce human-to-human contact and increase social distancing, delivery of food and medical supplies also need to be made as contactless.

This gives the opportunity to incorporate drones in the delivery fleet.

The process, players, procedures are described in the following points. Let’s check each aspect of modern technology in intracity logistics.

 

 

PROCESS

 

 

1. A new set of regulations needs to be framed to operate drones which includes handling of the drones, flying them, and managing cases of theft, damage, or cybercrime.

2. Companies need to follow the “Line of Sight” rule while using the drones for delivery which means the drones must be at a visibility distance of the operators at all times.

3. Various other rules are being framed to ensure safe flight which is used after sunset, single operator flying multiple drones, flying at a certain height, and flying at a ground speed of 100 miles per hour.

4. Data privacy is another factor in this as the data from the customer to the seller is being used by the logistics company. The logistics and drones operating companies will need to ensure data privacy and safety at all times.

 

 

PLAYERS

 

 

1. Software and Information Technology is a key player in the whole implementation. The drones need to be free from glitches caused by software and should have high-speed internet connectivity to get real-time guidance from the control room.

2. Customer’s confidence also plays a role as the customer should be ready and in a suitable situation to accept the delivery from drones.

3. Companies supplying drones are the ones responsible for ensuring good quality products without any earlier mentioned software glitches or good quality materials used to build the drones.

As the importance of the package being delivered could be high, it is a must for the drone manufacturing companies to ensure that the delivery completes without any problems or damage to the package.

4. Drone operators are the ones who would be guiding the drones to their destination. They need to be properly trained to navigate and control the drone’s flight.

In other words, the drone operators need to be authorized to fly the drones and must adhere to the rules set by the local government.

5. Suitable weather is also a factor that adds to the implementation of drones. Unsuitable weather can damage the drone as well as the package.

Extreme windy or area with heavy rain or snowfall, desert storm, or regular storm are the examples of unsuitable weather.

6. The customer’s location should be feasible to receive the order. Ideal locations would be rooftop or the portico or some safe open space in front of the building.

7. Warehouse design has to be made favorable for the parcels to be attached to the drones. This means restructuring the warehouse layouts to have docking and picking stations for drones.

8. Test sites are being provided by local government bodies to prepare for the future. The drones can be tested in various capacities and conditions which will help the frame rules and laws accordingly.

 

 

PROCEDURE

 

 

1. Since each drone would have different sizes and capacities, therefore it is very vital to know what kind, shape, size, and weight of packages to be attached to what kind of drone.

2. Factors like direction, speed, and height of the drones must be clear to the operator. Though these factors are pre-set before the flight, however, there must be an option to make changes in real-time.

3. The GPS location must also be updated on a real-time basis as the flight progresses.

 

 

Advantages

 

 

1. The “turn around time” would be much less, which means that a drone can deliver a package and return in much faster time compared to a delivery person as the fly route is straight without any turns or traffic.

2. Contactless delivery is made possible without much hassle. All the protocols of contactless delivery would be practiced. This is of great importance during the current COVID 19 pandemic.

3. Reduce the risk of human life due to traffic accidents. The implementation of drones adds to saving human life which is prone to death due to accidents while rushing to deliver the package in the given time and during the rush hour traffic.

4.Positive impact on the environment. Fewer vehicles on road would mean less carbon emission thus reducing the carbon footprint. This would also reduce the dependency on fossil fuel and use more clean energy.

5. Drone delivery had more efficiency than other vehicles as per a survey conducted in 2018 – 2019.

 

 

Points to note

 

 

1. As there is no standardized or regular delivery surface availability, the delivery of packages would be a challenge. Some addresses might have a rooftop availability while others would not.

2. Some delivery locations might have an open area to land the drone, others might not.

3. Weather conditions have to be favorable of at least be good enough to deliver the package without any kind of damage.

4. Flying drones would need trained people who are authorized after clearing all the prerequisites. Also, they need to have the proper infrastructure to have seamless connectivity to the drones.

Drones with such capabilities of delivering packages would have a high price tag. So, the companies implementing them need to ensure safe handling and no accidents take place during flights or not hitting any birds.

 

 

Conclusion

 

 

As the technology evolves, giant players are working on the possibility of using gigantic drones to be used in logistics across cities, states, and even countries.

Many companies like Amazon and other such logistics businesses have begun experimenting with drones in logistics of small size packages during the testing times of COVID 19 pandemic to make delivery contactless.

With all the different probabilities wouldn’t it be exciting to see the development in this field of business?

 

 

You can have automated routes & schedules with delivery management system