Drones: The supply chain revolution
30 de March de 2020
30 de March de 2020
“Drones are here to stay and they will revolutionize our personal and professional lives, just like mobile phones did”
Drones, RPAs (Remotely Piloted Aircraft) or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) are small flying vehicles operating remotely by radio control. They can be equipped with a large range of sensors, cameras and/or tools. These small flying devices are now sold as toys, recreational tools or photographic accessories.
With a battery lasting up to 30 minutes, they are easy to control using your mobile or a remote control, and they are fitted with high-resolution cameras and various sensors. Here, we look at the current professional uses associated with the development of global supply chains, as well as predictions for the short and medium term.
Drones are here to stay and they will revolutionize our personal and professional lives, just like mobile phones did a few years ago. They represent a fundamental change in the planning and execution of global supply chains, especially in terms of the last mile, the last phase of the delivery process to the end consumer’s place of residence.
1. Last mile shipping: efficient, fast, agile, clean and economical.
In 2016, the leading global e-commerce company, Amazon, made its first and only successful delivery of a package by drone in Cambridge in the United Kingdom. They have also run various tests in rural parts of the United States, through UPS and other global operators.
2. Fast stocktaking and updating in logistics warehouses.For instance, DHL and Walmart already stocktake using drones in warehouses of different clients, at a rate of 600 pallets per hours, making them extremely competitive compared to human counting, and enabling pallets on high shelves to be counted without the worker having to go up using a lift, saving the associated energy, time and risks.
3. Healthcare logistics: emergencies and assistance for victims of catastrophes. I
In Africa, drones are used to deliver healthcare material and medication to rural populations.
4. Precision agriculture (AP).
In this case, drones with GPS and other technologies (sensors with multispectral and/or thermal cameras) are used to gather data on crops. When analysed, this facilitates better decision making in the efficient and more productive management of the countryside, enhancing its final yield.