A new era of logistics is coming. With more advanced technology and additional tech companies breaking into the shipping and logistics sector, we wanted to get a view of what these companies think about the future. From driverless trucks to your personal delivery bot, here are some world-changing innovations on the horizon.
Recently, Uber, the on-demand car service, purchased Otto, a start-up that’s been working on developing self-driving trucks. Uber has been interested in expanding the self-driving division of the company. With the opening of an advanced technology center in Pittsburgh filled with 50 robotics engineers, and now, with the purchase of Otto they are doing just that.
Otto is designing self-driving trucks for long-haul transit as a way to prevent the hundreds of trucking accidents that happen each year on the highways of America. Self-driving trucks also combat the very real problem of driver shortages happening in America as well. In the process, Otto hopes to disrupt and take a chunk of the trucking logistics business sector with them.
Delivery By Drones
Amazon is constantly evolving how it delivers goods to your home. As part of that evolution, they recently have purchased a fleet of trucks. Along with their newly branded trucks, they have added a Boeing 767 airplane with 40 more planned. All of this to ship and deliver goods to their robot-powered warehouses across the country.
Amazon Prime Air will be the delivery service that will get packages to customers via drone within thirty minutes of them ordering online. The range has to be within a ten-mile radius, and the package has to weigh five pounds or less.
In their hometown Seattle and other test cities, Amazon has rolled out Amazon Flex. This is an Uber-like service that uses independent contractors to shuttle goods to where they need to be delivered. People sign up for shifts through an app that prompts them to pick and deliver packages for about $20 an hour.
Obviously, Amazon is not satisfied with the status quo of shipping and logistics, and this will have a ripple impact on the entire industry in the coming years.
Your Own Delivery Robot
The founders of Skype, Ahti Heinla, and Janus Friis have started Starship Technologies. This company executes their vision of robots to deliver packages with the hope of disrupting the local delivery market. The robot will be a small, six-wheeled vehicle capable of carrying as much as 20 pounds for a mile from a central service hub.
Their initial target is the grocery market, but they quickly plan on delivering standard packages. Starship claims they can deliver packages much cheaper than human delivery services. Where your current fee might be $5-15, Starship will cut that cost by at least one dollar.
Uber, Amazon, Starship, and many more companies are entering the logistics world to create and disrupt current practices. As technology continues to advance, we can expect to see others join as well. As a consumer, this is an exciting time of shipping and receiving goods. For business owners that handle freight, we need to watch carefully and execute with a fast follower mindset.
If you have questions about what our technology is here at Langham Logistics, give us a call and talk to one of our team experts.