Soon, drones will deliver some of your online purchases to your doorstep. The FAA has granted UPS permission to deliver medical supplies in a number of cities using drones. Amazon has been experimenting with Drone Deliveries.
Drones can play a vital in order fulfillment however; it will be some time before these aerial vehicles can handle the delivery of a substantial number of packages in the USA.
The investment in the infrastructure to support such an operation is huge. Only a few Logistics Companies have the financial backing to develop such solutions. Do not expect your neighborhood freight forwarder to roll out a delivery program using drones. You must also keep in mind the legal hurdles facing delivery with drones. Technological limitations still pose a problem, these aerial systems still cannot travel very long distances and there is a limit as far as the weight it can carry. How many packages can be delivered in a single run? Can you just imagine a sky riddled with these devices, attempting delivery, where you cannot even see the sun? How can we prevent accidents? And what will happen to the packages?
Another question to ask is: Will drones handle the return of packages? What about damaged goods? There are a lot of questions to be answered and we simply do not have the answer to that.
Drones and Security
The other obstacle to implementing drones for package delivery is security concerns. Will hackers be able to hack into a drone and change the delivery location or just steal the drone? Will they be able to hack into the drone’s guidance system and create chaos? We still do not know the answer to that.
The bottom line is that we are still in the experimental stage and we should not expect all packages to be delivered using drones nor expect courier companies to go out of business because of them.
There are some issues that need to be sorted out before drones become the primary method of package delivery, so please be nice to your delivery man as he will be delivering your packages for a very long time.