Drone delivery is growing, but is it worth the price - ShipRx
Blog / Drone market growing: is it worth the price?
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Drone market growing: is it worth the price?

When an autonomous flying robot delivered a Slurpee as part of a partnership with 7-Eleven in 2016, drone-based delivery company Flirtey became the first FAA-approved delivery to a US residence. In 2019, UPS beat out Amazon, Uber and Google parent Alphabet to become the first to win FAA approval for unmanned drone deliveries nationwide. A lot has changed in the past four years.

In April 2023, published its 2023 Drone Package Delivery Global Market Report, designed to give strategists, marketers and senior management up-to-date information on the state of the drone delivery market and a projection for what the future of the industry holds.

Today’s blog post will break down the report’s key takeaways, give you a glimpse into the future of the market, and share whether the cost for your business and the environment is worth the asking price.

Recent drone delivery growth and the major players

In the span of four years, UPS Flight Forward and Flirtey aren’t operating alone. The following carriers have joined the race to the sky:

  • Amazon Prime Air
  • Flytrex
  • Wing
  • Wingcopter
  • DHL Parcelcopter
  • FedEx
  • Flirtey
  • Zipline
  • Matternet

The increase in players is just one factor in the growth of the global drone package delivery market, from $1.46 billion last year to $2.10 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 43.9%.

Expectations for the future

Like the delivery mechanisms themselves, the future for drones seems to be on the rise. According to the report, the drone package delivery market is projected to be worth $9.21 billion in 2027 at a CAGR of 44.7%.

A logistics solution for drone deliveries

At the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show, Mitsubishi Electric announced its AnyMile drone-based logistics management platform, calling it a “holistic solution that is designed to enable businesses and fleet operators to schedule and manage cargo deliveries via drones over long distances of up to several hundred miles.” The platform delivers an end-to-end planning and management system for all categories of drones and aims to reduce transfer time to support just-in-time products.

Is it worth the price?

In a per-package comparison, McKinsey & Company showed that the cost for one drone to deliver one package is more expensive than electric vans, electric cars, and ICE vans. On the other hand, the environmental cost is lower than all three alternatives, with drones offering the lowest emissions on a per-package basis.

However, as soon as you increase the packages delivered by each driver or the number of drones being observed, the cost of drone delivery is slightly higher than deliveries made by electric vehicles, on par with electric vans, and slightly lower than ICE vehicles.

Drone logistics still has a long way to go, and AnyMile is a much-needed resource for the industry. In the meantime, save money the old-fashioned way.

ShipRx can help you cut costs through parcel rate negotiations and parcel audits. It’s free to get started, so get in touch today and watch your savings take flight!


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