The idea of a drone delivering products and goods at your doorstep may seem like a headline taken from a newspaper dated 10 years ago. But times have indeed changed—enter UPS and China’s JD.com, two companies that are making big investments towards the implementing of drone deliveries in their shipping processes.
Since drones are capable of going places—literally—UPS has estimated how cutting off just one mile for the routes of each of the company’s 66,000 delivery drivers can amount to $50 million in savings, should a drone delivery system be employed in its deliveries. In JD.com’s case, forty six-rotor craft drones have already been produced, delivering food and smartphones to places in China where land transport is impossible or expensive. This has allowed the Chinese e-commerce giant to shorten delivery times, save costs, gain public attention, and build a fanbase, perhaps composed of those who are looking into the future of ordering and receiving goods in the most convenient manner possible.
As told by Raconteur’s infographic, the numbers that define customers’ perception about drones can tell a story that can help you form an opinion on drones. For starters, only 16% among surveyed customers by Statista are sure to use drones, while 35% fall on the “I would probably use it” category. 19% would probably not use drones, while 14% are certain that they will not use drones at all. 16% of surveyed customers are still unsure about drones in general.
In terms of costs, drones can let companies save $1 per delivery. It comes with a setback, though—drones are fast and cheap, but are unable to deliver heavy packages. This is one reason why Packaging Digest has forecasted only a limited number of industries that can benefit from drones: pharmaceutical/medical, food and beverage companies delivering non-refrigerated goods or fresh produce, and companies or brands offering consumer goods that are non-perishable.
Drones can be the future of deliveries. However, it’s important to note that employing drones isn’t easy. There will be challenges, logistical nightmares to wake up from, tech hurdles that are unpredictable, and of course, unavoidable costs that may prove risky. As always, make an informed decision, do your research, and consider the numbers before sending anything—or everything—up in the air.