Toddler Gets Popsicle by Drone

Toddler Gets Popsicle by Drone

August 27, 2018

Solving the last-mile delivery problem is difficult.

One approach that is being considered is delivery by drone.  Previous OM in the News posts have looked at drone use by Zipline and Doordash.  Now, the FAA has conducted a test with a drone out of line-of-sight of the operator.

The test: delivering a Popsicle in 6 minutes from a simulated store, to a 2-year-old more than a mile away. The FAA’s drone didn’t land, but instead hovered, and lowered the Popsicle with a tether.

Current regulations limit the use of drones to line-of-sight operation.  If tests like this one are successful, the line-of-sight limitation might be lifted.


Video Spotlight: Toddler’s Popsicle-by-Air Marks Milestone in U.S. Drone Delivery


This post is based on the Bloomberg article, Toddler’s Popsicle-by-Air Marks Milestone in U.S. Drone Delivery, by Alan Levin, August 8, 2018; and the Bloomberg video, accompanying Bloomberg video. Image source: wundervisuals/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. What problems are facing the use of drones for the last-mile-delivery?

Guidance: In the US, regulations are part of the problem.  The FAA hasn’t approved drones for use beyond line-of-sight.  The Popsicle delivery was one test of concept Continue reading

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Trucker shortages affecting supply chains

Trucker shortages affecting supply chains

July 19, 2018

OM in the News has previously posted about the national trucker shortage. The saga continues, and looks to worsen: there are 63,000 positions unfilled this year, and the number is expected to more than double in the future.

This is a challenging problem, especially since almost every item that is sold in the U.S. is transported by truck at some point.  Trucking companies are raising wages to the $60,000 – $70,000 range, with full benefits and signing bonuses, even for new trucking school graduates.  Those ready to work are snapped up quickly.

The dangerous and demanding nature of trucking makes it difficult to attract qualified workers despite the promise of generous compensation.  Rising wages are being passed along to consumers as transportation costs increase distribution costs and force companies to raise prices.

Delivery delays have become common, affecting inventory management and product availability.

This post is based on the Washington Post article, America’s severe trucker shortage could undermine the prosperous economy, by Heather Long, June 28, 2018. Image source: Rouzes/Getty Images.

Discussion Questions:

1. How does the trucking shortage impact manufacturers or other businesses?

Guidance: Trucker shortages mean businesses are finding it difficult to find Continue reading

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