Weekly Roundup: Automated Unloaders and In-Car Delivery Service
UPS and FedEx Work to Automate Loading/Unloading of Delivery Vehicles
As Amazon continues to up the ante by offering things like one-day shipping, UPS and FedEx are striving to keep up.
In addition to the same-day delivery bots we talked about last week, UPS and FedEx are now experimenting with automatic loading/unloading of delivery vehicles.
According to this article, companies like Siemens AG and Honeywell International Inc. have developed devices that pull packages off trucks and place them on conveyor belts to sent off for sorting.
Automated unloaders have taken years to develop, and still haven’t been perfected. The challenge: Every package is a different size, and these new machines take up significant space within logistics hubs and warehouses. On the plus side, they “hold out the promise of increasing productivity while reducing the need for one of the most grueling jobs in logistics.”
Though UPS declined to provide an estimated roll-out date, FedEx plans to start using these devices in the field within the year.
Amazon Expands In-Car Delivery Service Through New Ford Partnership
Speaking of Amazon, they recently announced the expansion of their in-car delivery service.
Ford Motor Co. is the latest automaker to partner with Amazon, following General Motors Co. and Volvo Cars. As a result of this partnership, the online retailer can now deliver packages directly to 2017or newer Ford, and 2018 or newer Lincoln vehicles.
Here’s how it works: Consumers can provide information on their vehicle in the app Amazon Key. After completing the verification process, delivery drivers can use the app to unlock a customer’s car, place the package inside, and relock it. It’s as simple as that!
The service aims to address customer concerns about the security of packages left unprotected on porches. According to Peter Larsen, Vice President of Delivery Technology at Amazon, “In-car delivery gives customers that same peace of mind and allows them to take the Amazon experience with them. And, with no additional hardware or devices required, customers can start ordering in-car delivery today.”
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