Weekly Roundup: Drones Deliver Medical Samples and Amazon Improves Shipping Efficiency

by | Apr 8, 2019

2 min read


UPS Now Using Drones to Deliver Medical Samples

While Amazon has been expanding their air fleet via jets, UPS is expanding their air transportation in a different category – drones. UPS is now the first and only FAA-sanctioned company allowed to use drones to deliver packages. To get this drone operation off the ground, UPS has partnered with Matternet (https://mttr.net/)

Matternet’s M2 quadcopter can fly up to 12.5 miles per hour and carry a maximum payload of five pounds, making transporting medical samples an ideal “beta test” for the project. A typical drone delivery for the current project can be completed in three minutes, whilst a delivery person’s time would be 30 minutes.

Drone flights are autonomous, but there is always a drone pilot that monitors the trip with the ability to intervene if necessary. The medical samples that the drones are carrying are locked safely in a compartment underneath the drone with the security of a special key to unlock the secured package. Currently, drones are flying 10 trips per day, but that number is expected to increase given the project receives the green-light.

North Carolina is the only U.S. location to have these drone shipments underway as of now. Switzerland and Rwanda have had ongoing projects since the start of 2016, both founded by UPS, with Matternet joining the Switzerland-specific project. All the projects have the same mission, to provide the best healthcare logistics possible.


Amazon Developing Small Warehouses in Big Cities to Improve Shipping Efficiency

Amazon has begun moving towards warehouses 20 percent smaller than their average warehouses, but located in large cities with more employees on site. Currently, they are seeing a 50 percent increase in efficiency on delivering packages on time and undamaged.

This development is a game-changer for Amazon’s internal logistics operations. Amazon can now fulfill orders quicker, while utilizing half of their warehouse real estate.

The main objective of their warehouse scale-down is to move as close to the inner city as possible, so deliveries can be as fast as possible. A key takeaway forAmazon consumers was that 80 percent of consumers would buy something if it meant that they could receive the delivery in one day. A quicker shipment also equates to less delivery fees accruals for Amazon– it’s a win-win situation for all parties.

Topics: Amazon, Customer Experience, Data Science, eCommerce Shipping