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.


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Service Provider
Solution Designer
Technology Enabler
Blog
Meet our Advisors – Romina from Madagascar (ep.1)

One of the most intense experiences I had recently was with a customer, a mother of two, who had organized a trip for her family to Tahiti. After saving for 5 years, she was ready to make her family vacation dreams come true. While making the reservation online, she, unfortunately, entered the wrong date of the departure flight. When she realized her mistake, her world was falling apart...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Webhelp response to the Covid-19 Coronavirus

Webhelp Business Continuity in a responsible manner Our response to the Covid-19 crisis ensures the continuity of our business for our people, our clients and their customers. We face an unprecedented time of disruption and uncertainty. From individuals, to families, to companies, we have all...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
A message from the Founders

  ​​​Hello, We are facing an unprecedented situation today, which requires that we take an exemplary citizen's approach to protect the most vulnerable people and to do everything we can to limit the spread of this pandemic. Thank you for your mobilization in recent...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Whitepaper
The HUB #12 – Diversity In Business – January 2020

Cheers to the new year! And with the new beginnings, we are not only happy to present our 12th edition of The HUB magazine, we are also delighted to welcome our new readers into the community! In our latest issue, we take a look at one of our strengths as Webhelp: Diversity! And because we...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Case Studies
Phillip, Senior Key Account Manager, Nuremberg

...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
×

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