Crowdsourcing the Last Logistical Mile

Crowdsourcing the Last Logistical Mile

April 23, 2018

Crowdsourced delivery is on the rise with 10% of retailers using this “last mile” delivery model currently, and 26% of retailers planning to use this delivery network in the future.  The challenges to crowdsourced delivery include finding a long term partner, sharing privacy data with vendors, and the potential for safety incidents at delivery.

But there are also opportunities, especially in densely populated areas, as retailers compete to offer same-day delivery.

This post is based on Logistics Viewpoints’ The Other Side of the Coin for Crowdsourced Deliveries, by Chris Cunnane, April 11, 2018. Image source: Shutterstock / Andrey_Popov.

Discussion Questions:

1. How can a major retailer select a safe, reliable, and financially stable “last mile” delivery partner?

Guidance: Students should develop a checklist to present in class that addresses vendor selection for a crowdsourced delivery partner.  Lists could include items related to financial stability, route coverage, delivery guarantees, contract penalties for failures, and addressing privacy protection policies.

2. Would crowdsourced delivery be a viable solution for the healthcare industry? Why or why not?

Guidance: Students should consider the privacy and safety concerns that are more difficult to address with crowdsourced delivery firms.  For Continue reading

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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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