We are already used to the idea that the evolution of technology exceeds the limits of our imagination, and that technology touches every aspect of life and business, from the way we interact with each other to logistics, medicine, and education. As technology offers people and businesses more reliable and advanced tools, more innovative ideas and solutions are created to help us live and work better, simpler and more efficiently.
In the world of logistics the advancements of technology are already visible in the wide range of automated machines and devices which minimize manual labor and help companies run their operations faster, safer and with fewer costs. However, in terms of means of transportation, little progress has occurred since the dawn of airlines. Apparently, this is about to change in the not too distant future.
Could a Toy Evolve into a Logistics Machine?
Drones were initially created as sophisticated toys for adults. The first models had a restricted radius of movement and a low capacity battery. They were also very expensive, just like every novelty. However, this gadget became so popular, that many professionals from various industries started looking into the possibility of using drones for something more than just entertainment.
Photographers were the first to see the potential of drones to become their eyes from the skies, capturing mesmerizing landscape and time lapse images, which they could not have photographed in any other way. Then security agencies started using drones as mobile surveillance cameras.
Now the largest online store in the world, Amazon, plans to use drones to deliver packages to their clients. Could this mean the first major breakthrough for logistics and merchandise delivery in the 21st century?
The Pros of Considering Drones as Means of Transportation
As packaging professionals, we are constantly monitoring the evolution of any industry connected to our line of business, including transportation. After all, we design and manufacture our plastic packaging in order to offer the best protection to our clients’ products during transportation and to help them save costs by using trailer space more efficiently.
If drones are proven to be an efficient means of transportation, it is probable that industrial grade models will be developed to accommodate large containers. Using drones for deliveries on medium to short distances will definitely speed up the time of deliveries and reduce traffic on the highways. The costs with fuels will also decrease and thus, transportation costs will decrease.
The Downside of Using Drones in Deliveries
At the present, feelings are mixed in relation to the use of drones. Some people see them as an useful new gadgets, others as an intrusion on their privacy. There have already been various incidents reported, involving homeowners shooting down drones. If the transportation industry starts considering them as alternative means of transportation, it will take time to educate the population and develop acceptable guidelines for the use and routes of delivery drones.
Another potential issue is that of deliveries over the border – there need be regulations concerning customs, inspections and taxes, and such regulations take time to be enacted.
Not a Conclusion, but a Parting Thought
The logistics and packaging industry have always grown together, taking cues one from another. When new means of transportation were invented, new packaging materials were also developed. And when the packaging industry found new ways to save time and costs, the transportation companies were willing to adopt the best practices suggested by packaging specialists.
Right now, the idea of using drones to delivery merchandise is restricted to small packages and short distances and is still in the experimental phase. Should it develop into an industry standard for logistics, the packaging companies will be ready to embrace this change, as well.