In today’s troubled world, ideas are being sought everywhere to meet new needs or to anticipate them. The crisis has had the salutary effect of having developed a desire to anticipate disasters, even if the 2011 tsunami made us taste the disastrous consequences. During COVID days, the ecommerce sector grew x1000 times and needed some innovations especially delivery.
Today, Enkronos team prepared great and inspired delivery innovation news for you
Deliveries by drones take on the world.
A decade ago, no one would have imagined that a simple little flying machine would be able to transport a package and deliver it in a short time to a consumer’s garden or balcony. However, this idea has been possible since the giant Amazon was willing to deliver its customers all over the world via a network of drones. Since then, full-scale tests have multiplied all over the world and many companies such as the German carrier DHL, the American UPS, the Post Office or the multinational firm Google have deployed their drone delivery project. A large-scale procedure is not possible for the moment. Indeed, some factors prevent drone delivery from becoming widespread: the issue of battery autonomy is often addressed, since it would not yet be able to deliver packages without a decrease in the transportable load. What stops its development are also the laws in force concerning the safety of the airspace, the overflight of autonomous drones being forbidden in many countries including Europe and in several urban capitals like Paris. Only a few lucky ones, such as Amazon in the United States and the Chinese online shopping company, JB, have received approval from their authorities to deploy a fleet of autonomous delivery drones. The model of the American company named “Prime Air” would be able to deliver packages within a 25km radius at a speed of 90km/h. However, the Post Office is not giving up its ambition and is thinking about setting up options reserved for the delivery of hard-to-reach areas by drone: in particular, it opened commercial lines in the Var and Isère regions in 2016 and 2019 to serve isolated mountain villages.
The desire for a more ecological delivery method.
Ecology and the preservation of the environment have indeed become in a few years, concerns anchored in the mores of millions of individuals, who wish today to turn to new greener alternatives. According to a study conducted in January 2020 by Generix Group and the Institut du Commerce, 73% of European people say they are willing to wait longer for their order if it reaches them thanks to an ecological delivery method. The “green” delivery trend seems to be progressively settling in the landscape, especially in urban areas, and has a bright future ahead of it. Defined as a delivery method that uses clean and non-polluting vehicles such as bicycles, scooters or electric cars, it combines speed, efficiency and the fight against air and noise pollution. This new type of delivery has the advantage for companies specializing in this sector of reducing unnecessary travel, optimizing routes through precise targeting, improving organization and limiting the risk of theft as much as possible through hand delivery.
The green urban distribution division of Labatut Group, Vert Chez offers green distribution solutions in major cities such as Paris, Lyon or Bordeaux thanks to a fleet of 100% environmentally friendly bicycles and vehicles, running solely on electricity and natural gas and carrying out deliveries of all types (from parcels to pallets or sofas) in urban areas. The start-up Stuart, a subsidiary of the UK Post Office, specializing in express parcel delivery for retailers and e-businesses, also wants to revolutionize the transport of goods in the city by providing a network of couriers whose objective is to deliver goods in person in less than 30 minutes. As for Cocolis, a young European start-up, it has set up a collaborative platform as an alternative to traditional delivery, allowing individuals, merchants and e-commerce platforms to have their parcels transported by drivers who can place them in their vehicles and drive to the same destination. This “carpooling of parcels” is both economical, with shipping costs up to 80% lower than those of traditional carriers, and secure. La Redoute was particularly attracted to this service and decided to integrate it into its second-hand products sales site called “La Reboucle”.
Other technological solutions are being developed.
While the delivery industry is getting excited about drones, it is thinking about implementing technological alternatives such as ground robots or autonomous cars. San Francisco-based Starship Technologies, which develops small delivery vehicles, decided in March 2020 to set up its first full-scale trials of its ground-based delivery robot in Greenwich, a London neighborhood. Equipped with sensors, a camera and GPS guidance, the robot can avoid the slightest obstacles day or night within a 4km radius while consumers can track its route in real time on an app. Able to carry loads much heavier than a flying drone, about twenty kilos, it would be able to complete its journey in less than thirty minutes and at the destination, the person simply has to take out his smartphone to unlock the contents and retrieve it. Since then, it has made deliveries to more than twenty locations around the world, going from 500,000 deliveries made in June 2020 to 1 million deliveries in January 2021. The invention has attracted a lot of interest, as the firm raised $17 million last month from new investors such as TDK Ventures and Goodyear Ventures. As for its sister company Nuro, in February 2020 it got approval from U.S. regulators to operate its own autonomous delivery vehicle, becoming the first company to get the green light in California for real-world testing. A small, futuristic-looking car named “R2”, it has no steering wheel or seats, measures 1.3 meters wide by 2.7 meters long and 1.9 meters high while having two compartments capable of carrying more than 190 kg of groceries. Traveling at 40km/h, the vehicle is, according to the startup, ideal for “delivering consumer goods, food and hot meals over short distances. “. With the global pandemic, the autonomous vehicles of the American company Pony.ai, which primarily serve as cab robots, have been converted into package delivery vehicles for the occasion. In association with the E-commerce platform Yamibuy, they delivered groceries during the first containment to individuals as well as meals to residents benefiting from an emergency shelter in the city of Fremont. This initiative is an opportunity for the firm to test a new service and perhaps to install it permanently in its system, given that this is the first time it deploys its autonomous vehicles to carry out deliveries of goods.
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