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Drones and Other Innovations Shaking UP Parcel Deliveries

Entrepreneur and futurologist Peter Diamandis predicts that “in the next 10 years, we’re going to reinvent every industry on this planet, but the change is one that is for the benefit of masses, whether it’s in longevity or food or banking.” The shipping industry is one of many industries revolutionizing its day-to-day operations to stay relevant and deliver incredible service at the lowest possible price. This month, Google, FedEx, and UPS have announced initiatives that will transform this industry.

Google’s Wing business delivers ice cream and more in Dallas

On April 7, 2022, drone delivery company Wing launched its first commercial service in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Operated by Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Wing partners with Walgreens, Blue Bell Creameries, Easyvet, and Texas Health to deliver to “tens of thousands of suburban homes” in two Dallas suburbs, Frisco and Little Elm, by quadcopter. Deliveries are limited to first aid kits, pet prescriptions, health and wellness products, and ice cream. They even promise the ice cream will stay frozen on Texas summer days! 

Before launch, Wing partnered with Accenture, a global consulting firm, to determine the impact drones could make in Dallas. The study found that “drones could support around 2% of all purchases in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex at scale in the relatively near future, delivering significant benefits for the community.”

FedEx to us freight drones for middle-mile movements

Google isn’t alone in using drones– FedEx has recently announced its own drone initiative. Instead of delivering to customers, though, FedEx plans to use cargo drones to move freight between storage and sorting facilities. This hybrid-electric plane requires neither a runway nor a pilot to complete its middle-mile deliveries. Chaparral, the autonomous cargo drone by aircraft startup Elroy Air, can carry up to 500 pounds of cargo up to 300 miles away. 

Joe Stephens, FedEx Express’s senior vice president of global planning, engineering, and technology, says, “FedEx was built on innovation and we are always looking toward new technologies to help enhance the logistics industry through improved safety, efficiency, and customer service.” Currently, FedEx and Elroy Air are going through the steps to pursue certifications that will enable them to begin flight testing in 2023.

UPS testing eQuads for urban deliveries

Delivery by bike isn’t a new concept. In the 1880s, H.T. Baily set up a non-stop delivery service using bike messengers. However, UPS’s latest delivery vehicle is unlike any bike we’ve seen before. The carrier is testing 100 eQuad electric cargo bikes in urban areas where large trucks are impractical. 

The four-wheeled bike can go up to 15.5 mph and carry 441 pounds of packages within a range of 40 miles. Because the bike is only three feet wide, it can use bike lanes and enter pedestrian zones– granting UPS access to areas trucks cannot reach. 

No matter the delivery method or the innovation in the industry, you can count on ShipRx to help you recover refunds when deliveries don’t go as planned. Check out our parcel audit service and get started for free today!

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