What’s the scope of Robots in last-mile delivery?


A leading market research firm, Markets and Markets, made an astonishing revelation regarding the future of the logistics industry. According to recent report published by the firm, the delivery robots market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 19% during the forecast period (2018-2024). 

Yet another key market research player, Mordor Intelligence, went to the extent to show the growing demand for robots in the e-Commerce landscape by estimating the growth rate at around 50% in the coming decade.

last mile
last mile

Such data has been coming to the fore, giving air to the question whether robots can really outdo humans in delivery services. However, to understand the scope of robots in the logistics industry, in general, and in the last-mile delivery solution, in particular, it is crucial to understand the consumers’ psychology.

How is Consumer Psychology Changing the Facet of the Logistics Industry?

Online shopping has become a regular episode for consumers walking on the digital road. To fuel their quest for shopping accessories, numerous e-Commerce and logistics companies are striving to set the benchmark with products and services that can keep these consumers engaged with their brand. 

For instance, Yelp Eat 24 began testing autonomous food bots to deliver foods to waiting customers in 2017. And such examples are not fewer in numbers, especially when the on-demand giant itself—Uber—is testing autonomous cars to take its taxi-hailing app business to the next level. Such an intense competition to serve customers in a time-efficient manner has been pushing companies to innovate their delivery chain.

On the demand-side, customers have multiple options to choose from. Today, next-day delivery is a unique selling proposition of Amazon with Amazon Prime. This has been an attractive feature for customers to shop from the website or the Amazon App to receive their deliverables on the very next day. 

Read More: Explore the Future World through Artificial Intelligence

However, in the future, same day delivery will become a new unique selling proposition of consumers and then gradually, the fad will turn into a need.

Despite the price-competitive strategies devised by other e-Commerce players, the attraction of same-day delivery will be huge among customers.

Another aspect of the time-efficient delivery is the impulsive buying behaviour of consumers. They scroll down their shopping app feed frequently and add to cart the items they are willing to buy. However, they instantly make a buying decision if they get good deals and discounts. 

Such impulsiveness makes them impatient as they seek the product ASAP. This end-user behaviour encourages the logistics industry to push the envelope of their services and bring in constant improvement in their last-mile delivery services.

How will the Last-mile Delivery Solutions Look Like With Robot-integrated Mechanism?

Introduction of a robot will be a disruption to the traditional logistics system. Below are two types of possible robotic integration to revamp the extant last mile delivery solution:

Drone Services:

Once you receive the request for the delivery, you, as a logistics operator can program the robotic drone delivery system with optimized route using the route planning software. Once the robot is programmed, you can set it off for delivery. Such a system can also be used for cargo transportation.

Benefits offered by the last-mile delivery drone delivery services:

  • Real-time delivery tracking
  • Time-efficient delivery to increase customers’ satisfaction
  • No traffic jams
  • Less prone to manual error

Self-driving Robotic Delivery Services:

A system with self-driving robotic last-mile solution will include delivery packages in the vehicle. The self-driving vehicle will be programmed with optimized route to beat the traffic jam. Besides this, the vehicle will also include a camera and live tracking software, which will ensure high road safety. 

In case, the vehicle is stuck in traffic, the route optimisation software will provide an alternate route to complete the delivery in the stipulated time.

Benefits offered by the self-driving robotic last-mile delivery solutions:

  • Less dependence on human means less susceptibility to errors
  • One-time investment and high cost-efficiency in the long run over human resources
  • High business productivity
Key Highlights of the Concept

Though the logistics industry is currently only fantasizing about the concept of robots in the last-mile delivery solution, this system will be a game changer to remain competitive in the space. Some businessmen may also begin to fret over the high investment requirements to venture into this modernised ecosystem; however, long-term cost benefits offered by robot-based systems are sure to make them ditch their manually operated last-mile delivery system.

So, if thinking about expanding your logistics business, think robot.

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