Drones Going Postal – A Summary of Postal Service Delivery Drone Trials

Drones Going Postal – A Summary of Postal Service Delivery Drone Trials

27 JUNE, 2016 Postal Delivery Drones With the rapid demise of snail mail and the explosive double digit growth of e-Commerce, postal companies have been forced to seek new ways to expand beyond their traditional letter delivery business models. Given the online consumer’s expectation of fast parcel delivery, it is not surprising that many of these postal service companies are now turning towards delivery drone technology to remain afloat. This article focuses on the recent activities different postal companies from Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Singapore and Ukraine have undertaken as they test the feasibility and profitability of unmanned delivery drone services.  Although the general consensus is that it will still take a while for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to become the defacto parcel delivery mode given a variety of existing obstacles (e.g. consumer expectations, end recipient safety, threat of theft, regulatory frameworks, battery life limitation, etc.), the current trend does indeed point to a time where Fido won’t be able to savor the mailman’s leg. The Australia Post parcel delivery drone in action. Photograph by Eddie Jim via the Sydney Morning Herald Australia Post In 2015 Australia Post reported their first full year loss in over 30 years of operation. Their AU$222 million (US$171 million) loss was a dramatic change compared to their AU$116.2 million (US$89.72 million) profit in 2014. What they did see however was that although letter volumes fell by 7.3%, parcel revenue rose by 3.6%. Ever since then, this government owned postal company down under has been quite active in the testing of delivery drone usage “It is not a matter of if, but rather of when” This...
Singapore Post (SingPost) Delivers Mail by Drone

Singapore Post (SingPost) Delivers Mail by Drone

Singapore Post (SingPost) Delivers Mail by Drone Last mile mail and packet drone delivery successfully completed in Singapore Unmanned Cargo Delivery Concept – Chronicle 17   SingPost Collaborates with IDA to Develop First Drone For Mail Delivery  (08 October 2015) (Editor’s Note: A nice video of the SingPost Alpha Drone Trial can be found here) What the Article Chronicles:  There seems to be an emerging trend for testing mail delivery drones. Following in the footsteps of SwissPost and Posti, SingPost announced today that they had successfully completed a last mile mail and packet drone delivery trial between Lorong Halus and Pulau Ubin. The customized quadcopter flew a distance of 2.3 km (1.4 mi) over Serangoon Harbour in Singapore. Its payload? A letter and a T-shirt. Although this might seem mild in comparison to SwissPost’s 1 kg (2.2 lb) or Posti’s 3 kg (6.6 lb) payload capacities, what really sets SingPost’s trial apart is the fact that it also tested a prototype app designed with very specific security and verification features in mind.  As SignPost highlights, none of the other mail delivery drone trials from this year featured “point-to-point, recipient-authenticated” deliveries or an app that will allow customers to select their preferred time and date for delivery. No specific date has been given as to when the service will be commercially available. However, the testing does underscore SignPost’s aim to become a leading e-commerce logistics provider in the region. Establishment of a wide-ranging commercial drone delivery network would help the company not only compensate for the global decline of mail volume but also improve mail delivery in the heavily congested urban environment...

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