|Women awaiting delivery of children by storks [painting by Carl Spitzweg]|
Some of us still fancy children being delivered to the parents by storks [popularized by Looney Tunes], and wanting mothers would leave sweets by the windows as a message (or an order) for storks to deliver a child. Wait a minute! How does this relate to Amazon? The answer lies in the new R&D initiative of Amazon that will employ drones to deliver packages (upto 5 lbs.) to customers living within a certain proximity to their warehouse. [link to wall street article]
- Working cost of using a drone compared to using a delivery man?
- If the cost of keeping a drone is relatively high compared to keeping a delivery man who can drive to nearby customers from warehouse on demand maintaining the shipping time of 30 minutes. What will be the benefit of using a drone?
- Approval from federal aviation authority?
- The drones shown so far are noisy, fly at certain elevations and will definitely need an approval from FAA for safety and security.
- Staffing of drones at a warehouse?
- Sporadic delivery schedules coupled with a short lead time will make the scheduling and recruitment of drones difficult specially for Amazon who has a very high service level for deliveries
- Delivery confirmation, package safety and theft?
- With human interaction package confirmation, safety and theft and easier to track. What will be the new technologies that will replace the existing ones?
Update: UPS is also speculated to be researching on its own delivery drones. [link]