Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

Will drones reduce delivery times from hours to minutes?

Blog
16th August 2017

A few months ago Amazon began delivering orders by drone in the UK. Their drone experiment has moved a long way from the initial tests and regulatory checks to now actually being operational – the first drone delivery was last December when a customer in Cambridge ordered an Amazon Fire TV and the drone delivered it inside 13 minutes.

In Dubai, a general purpose drone system is planned for next year. This would allow any company to deliver products of up to five kilograms anywhere across Dubai. The drone technology market is expected to be worth over $1.5bn just in the Middle East by 2022.

Drones have clearly moved on from being seen as hi-tech toys and are becoming an integral part of the delivery ecosystem. However, there are some legislative difficulties in important markets like the USA.

Drone pilots require line of sight under US regulations. This makes delivery by drone almost impossible, as it would require that the drone can only deliver to locations that are within sight of their operational warehouse. Similarly, in regulatory environments like the UK, it is possible for a pilot to fly several drones simultaneously and this is also not allowed in the USA, reducing the efficiency of each pilot.

Amazon only started testing drones in July last year. By the end of the year, they had made the first commercial delivery to a real customer. The rate of acceleration in delivery technologies is astonishing. Five years ago the media barely ever mentioned drones and now there are dozens of articles on this subject every single day.

That Amazon delivery in 13 minutes is where we should all pay attention. Amazon recently entered the Singapore market with a promise to deliver anything anywhere in two hours. That’s not using drone technology, but there is no reason why they could not extend their capabilities to include drones in future – potentially reducing the delivery time from hours to minutes.

I remember a time when 28-day delivery was common and considered normal. Now customers are impatient if the only option is next-day delivery. Omni-channel retail is developing fast and I foresee that drone delivery will be an important factor, with services run by individual companies, like Amazon, and delivery services offering their drones-for-hire to anyone needing to send a package across town quickly. It will not be long before delivery in two hours is unacceptable. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think, or get in touch on LinkedIn.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.Required fields are marked *


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Recommended for you
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
AI: Tackling the Global Skills Gap

Author: Craig Gibson, Chief Commercial Officer, Webhelp The swift emergence of AI and automation technologies is creating a strategic challenge in terms of expertise. Increasingly, businesses are struggling to attract and retain the people they need. Webhelp’s Director of Strategic Marketing, Dave Pattman, examines the AI skills gap and international data trends to find creative ways to solve...

News
Pedalling hard for CF Warriors

Webhelp's Director of IT services, Stephen Dickson, joined record breaking Cystic Fibrosis warrior, Josh Llewellyn-Jones, this week, as he attempted his latest endurance feat by cycling from Edinburgh to Cardiff in just five days. Stephen cycled with Josh and his team for the final three days of...

News
Ten Heart-Warming Calls Show Why Consumers Prefer Human Customer Service

Leading customer experience provider Webhelp asked 8,000 contact centre employees to share their most distinctive customer interactions   4 April 2019 The woman whose cats eat better than she does. The holiday shopper who provided life advice and inspiration. And the mum-to-be who was...

Whitepaper
AI AND AUTOMATION: IMPROVING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

How do we really want to interact with brands? What do we really think about AI and Automation? How important is it to strike the right balance between human talent and AI and Automation for CX? Read our new paper to find out more.   The Webhelp Disruptor Series. Be part of...

Case Studies
Webhelp People Analytics

...

Load more
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook