From drones to unmanned cars and robots, there are a whole host of innovations in development that have the potential to transform and revolutionise the parcel industry.
Increasing consumer demand for instant gratification, spurred on by their access to on-demand technology like mobile payments, has proved that the market is ready for this elite technology, which will improve efficiency and shorten delivery timescales.
So what sort of technology innovations are we talking about?
Last year, Amazon revealed that it was working on a project called Prime Air, which aimed to get packages into the hands of their customers in 30 minutes or less, using unmanned aerial vehicles (aka drones). However they still have a long way to go with the project, as they need to be able to satisfy the various rules and regulations regarding aviation.
Amazon isn’t the only company interested in using drones for parcel delivery though. Back in September, DHL announced that they would be conducting regular drone flights to deliver emergency medicines and other goods to the North Sea island of Juist. Whilst it did say that ‘DHL Parcelcopter’ is only a research project and that the company has no set plans for using them for ordinary deliveries as of yet, it is still an avenue they can explore in the future.
Whilst drones will essentially allow for quicker parcel deliveries, there are a number of hurdles that companies need to jump before they can fully launch unmanned aerial vehicle delivery services. This includes developing drones that won’t crash (something ex-Google employees at Skydio have been tasked with) and finding a way to meet the requirements of the regulations.
Although Google likes to keep a lid on its R&D plans, there have been demonstrations and live testing of driver-less cars and perhaps less successfully humanoid robots, which could be used by the parcel industry to offer quicker and more efficient deliveries.
Like with the drones, it’s going to be a long while before you actually open your door to a robot handing you your parcel but isn’t it exciting to think it could be a possibility in the future?
Of course, it’s not just drones, robots and the alike that are transforming the parcel industry but other technologies too like parcel tracking. In fact, DPD’s Follow My Parcel service ranked as one of the top digital retail innovations of 2014, coming second to Google Glass.
This piece of technology is designed to help retailers and parcel companies give their customers what they want. Basically it provides them with notification of their delivery the evening before it is expected and gives them options to choose from, which include changing the delivery day, delivering to a specific neighbour and delivering to a safe place. Customers are then able to make changes to their delivery to make it more convenient for them.
Not only that but the technology also notifies customers of their one hour timeslot on the day of the delivery so they know when to expect their parcel. Using the unique mapping tools, they are able to find out the location of their driver and how close he or she is to their door.
With so many amazing technology innovations transforming the parcel industry, we cannot wait to see what 2015 has to offer. From unmanned aircraft parcel deliveries to track and trace services, there is a lot going on in the parcel industry to be excited about.