Emerging Last Mile Delivery Trends: Battle of the Drones!

As online shopping and eCommerce grows, so does the demand that comes with it for improved customer experience, whether it’s about more secure payment options, or faster delivery.

Same day or instant delivery is quickly becoming a trend; in fact, for some countries it’s a must-have as part of the store’s service.

For customers in the city area, same day delivery is very much possible, but what about those in rural areas?

Consequently, rural areas and islands may turn out to become one of the key drivers for eCommerce in certain regions such as Indonesia and Philippines, given that the logistics and shipping cost for big retailers to set-up and maintain brick and mortar stores could quickly become a challenge.

In many ways, technology has come to the rescue. Let’s take a look at some emerging trends when it comes to last mile delivery!

#1 Drone Delivery!

Definitely something to keep an eye on for the next few years in the retail industry. While many countries do not yet have governance over the use of drones as a delivery service, it has proven on many occasions to aid with delivering items for disaster relief. This is easily translated to the ability to deliver items to areas not so easily accessible by road.

For eCommerce, sounds like a great option to deliver items to rural areas.

drone delivery

img credit: digitaltrends.com

Drones can typically carry packages up to around 2 kilos. In the US, startups like Flirtey has already begun and achieved successes in making the first approved doorstep delivery drone.

The Australian post is also already currently testing drones for commercial use to deliver packages; the project referred to as droneports.

#2 Droid Delivery

Drones may be challenged by the weight of the package. So while it sounds like a great solution for rural areas or smaller packages, what about the larger heavier packages?

For city areas, droid delivery sounds like the next best alternative to beat the traffic and make it for same day delivery.

A droid could possibly hold a load of about 9 to 10 kilos compared to 2 kilos by drones. Many drones can be deployed at the same time to deliver packages simultaneously, reducing the delivery bottleneck. At the same time, the simultaneous and better programmed routing should eventually emerge as delivery droid hit the sidewalks.

This in turn can help logistic companies reduce the cost of last mile delivery!

droid delivery

img credit: damngeeky.com

#3 Urban Warehouse

With millennials quickly becoming the main consumer segment, this ‘need it now’ generation has taken last mile delivery to a whole new playing field.

When it comes to supply chain, companies may begin to consider urban warehouse not just for storage, but as part of the efforts to address consumers’ needs and boost online shoppers’ buying experience.

In the end, for eCommerce the importance of last mile delivery cannot be emphasized enough. The last mile delivery person is practically the only face the online shopper will see in his/her entire buying journey. Nevertheless, people do not only want to see a friendly face, but receive their parcels in a timely and accurate manner.

For new players in the field, last mile delivery may well be the tipping point on whether a customer will become a returning customer or be ordering from a different online store for their next purchase.