Think about the revolutionary changes humankind has seen. The cotton gin dramatically impacted textile production. Ford’s assembly line placed indelible marks on manufacturing. One can even go all the way back to the first time a wheel was chiseled out of a piece of granite. Humankind always finds a way to improve processes and do something a little quicker and a little easier. The next arena for this type of creative change is automated delivery. Self-driving semi trucks as well as other types of automations will pave the road to the future, and last mile delivery will never be the same.
The question of automated delivery is no longer if but when. The COVID pandemic significantly boosted already growing eCommerce and bolstered a corollary industry— automated delivery. Self driving truck companies and even robot deliveries are predicted to reach a global market of $237 million by the year 2027. Increasing online sales create a natural need for automation in logistics. Additionally, automated delivery addresses the lingering labor shortage we saw develop during the pandemic.
What Will it Look Like?
The future of automated logistics is sure, but the question remains of what that will exactly look like. When it comes to last mile delivery, there are two facets. First, robot deliveries are already being utilized and will most likely increase. Many college campuses are already using robotic food delivery, and robotic methods of package delivery in urban areas are also being tested.
A second area is more of a hybrid approach. Self driving semi trucks of various sizes have delivery people that ride in them. They can get out to pass out parcels on foot while the vehicle continues to transit traffic, and the two will link up later. The advantage of such an approach is that drivers don’t have to take the extra time to find parking spaces freeing up a lot of congestion in crowded business districts. This hybrid approach also shortens delivery times.
Is it Profitable?
The physical transfer of goods to consumer is a primary consideration, and profit margin equally factors into the equation of last mile delivery and automated logistics. Automated delivery in the last mile contributes to the bottom line for the manufacturer or retailer in more ways than dollar signs. In fact, the merchant often pursues automated delivery more as a means of securing customer loyalty by providing a convenience. By a margin of 52% to 38%, customers care more how quickly they receive their goods as opposed to whether they receive a discount. When you add to that statistic the fact that automated delivery can make delivery times more highly predictable, automated delivery can be an option for greater customer service. Elite EXTRA leads the way in the development of automated delivery with its cutting edge software development.
Automated delivery like self driving 18 wheelers and self driving truck companies are the way of the future and are a growing business that has been catalyzed by recent world events. Details such as whether delivery will be fully automatic or an assistance to delivery people remains to be seen, but just as sure as the first wheel being carved out of stone impacted humankind, automated delivery will shape our lives for the future.