For a number of years, drones have been a hot topic and industry experts have been looking at how this futuristic technology can be harnessed for logistics providers. Advancements in drone capabilities are improving daily and, looking ahead, it is expected that drones could be used to speed up transportation, reduce costs and create new efficiencies for data gathering. Let’s delve into 4 surprising uses for these flying machines, to get a glimpse into the future operation of the supply chain.
1. Transport Drones
Large players such as DHL and Amazon have announced successful trials of drone parcel deliveries directly to customers. Because drones have the ability to pinpoint a customer’s exact location via cellular networks, parcels can be delivered into their hands, wherever they are. While it is not expected that UVA deliveries will replace road transportation, this technology could be useful to beat traffic or to deliver to remote areas. Transport drones could be sent to truck delivery locations to automatically load and unload goods wherever it’s needed. UAVs are also ideal for spare part deliveries where time is of the essence with machine downtime directly affecting production.
2. Inventory Tracking
Drones have been incorporated into yard and warehouse management systems with UAVs being used to perform asset tracking, location monitoring and cycle counting tasks. Drones can automate stock tracking and easily locate and transport inventory from anywhere in the warehouse. These machines could be used to inspect and review cargo at shipping yards and automatically update the data into a transport management system (LINK TO https://dovetail.co.za/services/tms-management-system/).
3. Internal Transport
Productivity could be improved by deploying drones to move stock on the warehouse floor with greater speed and precision. Loading and sorting of heavy items via drones has the potential to minimize human injury, making for a safer operation. In the same way, drones could benefit the freight industry with drones being used to safely load and unload shipment cargo.
4. Security Drones
Because drones can go anywhere, they are likely to prove as a superior option to stationary video cameras for the surveillance of precious goods. Keeping a constant eye on operations can also aid employers when reviewing accidents and injuries.
There are still hurdles to overcome before these machines become commonplace but one thing is for certain – these innovations will bring significant changes to way supply chain providers do business in the years to come.
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