Zipline Drones to the Rescue

Zipline Drones to the Rescue

April 15, 2018

Zipline, which launched its drone delivery service for life-saving blood supplies in Rwanda in October 2016, now reveals the next generation of autonomous drones, the fastest commercial drones on earth.

With about a 30 minute delivery time, blood can now quickly reach a population of 10 million people who utilize hospitals and clinics across the rugged and mountainous country.  Drones are launched from a distribution center, and the fixed-wing planes cruise at speeds of about 101 km/h to their destinations where the boxed blood is then parachuted to the ground.

With a top speed of 128 km/h, they are four times faster than traditional quadcopters, and their range is much greater.  The new drone will make it possible to launch a fulfillment order within one minute of its receipt, as compared to the previous ten minutes, and the number of daily delivery flights will increase from 50 to 500.

Zipline, whose logistics were mapped with help from UPS, has saved many lives since its inception by delivering critical blood in a timely way.

This post is based on two articles: DroneLife.com’s 1 Minute Fulfillment. 101 KPH Delivery. Zipline Announces New Drones, by Miriam McNabbon, April 4, 2018, Continue reading

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Supply Chain Failure: KFC’s Chicken Shortage

Supply Chain Failure: KFC’s Chicken Shortage

March 19, 2018

It seems hard to imagine that KFC would run out of chicken.  That’s their main menu item! How can they operate without chicken?

Turns out, they can’t. The majority of KFC’s UK restaurants were forced to close due to a chicken shortage.  Approximately 650 of the 900 KFCs closed in February 2018, while many of those that remained open, operated with a reduced menu.

The origins of the shortage: KFC decided to switch suppliers from Bidvest to DHL and QSL (a food distributor) in October 2017. They promised to “revolutionize the UK foodservice distribution market.”  Part of the promise included reducing logistics emissions to net zero over the life of the contract.

The change in distributors affected Bidvest and DHL.  Bidvest laid off 255 employees after it lost the contract, while DHL and QSL opened a new distribution center, and hired approximately 300 new employees.

Although improved performance was promised, not everyone saw such a rosy future.  GMB, the UK trade union for the displaced Bidvest employees, warned KFC of potential problems with the switch to DHL.  Mick Rix, the GMB’s national officer said:

“We warned them a few months Continue reading

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