With the massive boom of E commerce, and companies like Amazon making next day delivery (and in some cases same day delivery) the norm, the shortest leg of the delivery process is the most difficult.
In the US, last mile delivery accounts for up to 50% of the total delivery cost, showing just how complex & how financially very rewarding solving the problem could be.
Click & collect was one of the early solutions, & continues to grow. You will have also probably noticed more & more smart locker solutions in places like garages, train stations, retail parks etc. I think I have only used these twice in my whole life, so I am not sure how popular these actually are, they serve a purpose but they are not easily scalable & limited to the types of goods they can be used for.
In cities and large towns many companies are using bikes & mopeds, but our roads are at breaking point & the environmental cost of moped micro deliveries is high.
We need to look to the air, Wing, Alphabets drone delivery service has just announced its launching one of the worlds first drone delivery services in Canberra, Australia. Wing got approval after a 18 month trial with 3000 successful drone deliveries.
100 homes in Canberra will be able to order household staples like food, coffee etc from local businesses via Wings mobile app, & hopefully minutes later the goods will be delivered to them, through the air.
Regulation as always is a big issue, according to the Verge:
“Wing’s regulatory approval comes with restrictions. Drones will not be allowed to fly over main roads, they will only be allowed to fly between 7am and 8pm on Monday to Friday (or between 8am and 8pm on Sundays), and they will be restricted from flying too close to people. Customers in eligible homes will also be given a safety briefing about interacting with the drones. “
“Business Insider reports that the Australian regulator, CASA, said the launch was “very likely” to be a world first. It means that Google’s drone delivery company has beaten Amazon to offer a commercial service to the general public.”