Adoption of drones in transport and logistics industries
The transport and logistics industries have started investing heavily in drone technology. They are now partnering with start-ups offering services across the drone ecosystem while developing in-house capabilities core to their operations.
Major industry players have already started to offer drone services after obtaining regulatory waivers. Some of the big names include DPDHL, UPS Flight Forward, Amazon Prime Air, Walmart (in partnership with Zipline) and Alphabet’s Wing.
The adoption of drones presents significant advantages –
- Significant reduction in operating costs due to automation
- Increased personnel safety and efficiency of operations
- Improvement in carbon footprint owing to decreased energy consumption
- Enhanced data driven insights and decision making
Possible uses of drones in transport and logistics
Drones can be used in a wide range of operational areas in the transport and logistics sectors apart from their existing use for delivering goods and packages.
Some of these include –
Inventory management & audit
Drones can be used for automation of inventory management by keeping a count of pallets and scanning barcodes in different warehouse layouts. Scanning can be done at frequent intervals to gain a more granular and dynamic view of inventory stock. Drones can also be used to capture aerial footage and count inventory stored on the ground in bulk bays.
Factories and warehouses typically occupy very large land areas. Drones can significantly reduce security surveillance costs by providing a wider bird’s eye view and acting as a deterrent against parties with malicious intent.
Drones can be effective in fleet inspection and tracking of loading/unloading activities. Shorter inspection times and a real time view of vehicle location will reduce idle fleet time.
Many parts of logistics and transport operations involve a high degree of risk to the employees present on site. In case of an accident, drones can give a quick 360-degree view of the site helping the quick response teams in their actions with an increased level of safety.
The average size of a container ship has increased over the years. Drones can assist cargo ships in vessel and cargo inspection activities. Drones can also be used in accurate local weather assessment and incidence mapping where the affected area may span a large area due to ocean currents.