How Drones and Electric Trucks Will Change the Package Delivery Business | Trucks.com

Written by Stephen Burns, founder and chief executive of Workhorse Group. This is one in a series of periodic guest columns by industry thought leaders.

Innovation is something that we tend to recognize only in hindsight, after – sometimes long after – it has occurred. But it’s hard not to acknowledge that we are living in a period of dramatic change for how packages get delivered. Just picture the fleets of delivery trucks driving around our neighborhoods throughout the Christmas season. How many of us have bought an item from an online retailer in the afternoon only to see it arrive at our doorstep the next day?

Thank the innovators in Silicon Valley and at Amazon.com as well as the rise of e-commerce for developing a better way for finding, purchasing and receiving goods from our homes.

The paradigm shift from trips by shoppers to brick-and-mortar stores to clicks on e-commerce websites caused a dramatic increase in the number of items that needed delivering to homes across America. To propel the revolution further, many web-only-based sellers, or e-tailers, began offering free delivery. While this expense is an initial loss, its recouped over the long term because the middleman – the retailer – is cut out.

Those who are familiar with the current architecture of last-mile parcel delivery readily see how far it has come since starting with just a horse and rider and then advancing to wagons and trucks. Delivery companies in America, for example, now make use of innovations such as tracking packages, telematics to measure efficiency and high-end training to create the world’s best professional drivers.

However – like in any industry – there is always room for improvement, and the delivery business is no exception. That is why we see a combination of drones and electric trucks as the next significant advancement in package delivery technologies.

Workhorse Group is developing this type of delivery by testing our Horsefly electric drone in concert with our electric step vans, which are built by putting delivery-truck bodies from mainstream companies like FedEx, UPS or Alpha Baking onto a chassis powered by lithium-ion batteries from Panasonic. Rather than having our drones make individual trips from a warehouse of packages, we’ve simply put each drone on top of a delivery truck.

While doing this is a unique approach right now, we anticipate that the drone-and-truck system will catch on slowly before becoming part of the mainstream model for package delivery.

Basing drones on the top of delivery trucks is a practical model because it eliminates a host of issues that arise when flying drones directly from warehouses. Drones, for example, have a carrying capacity of about 10 pounds, which is sufficient for handling most packages, but certainly not all of them.

Also, by putting the drone on top of the truck, the delivery driver can use the drone strategically for last-mile deliveries to isolated locations when driving the whole way would be inefficient. Today’s drivers do a fantastic job of handling all deliveries that come their way, but making things just a little bit more efficient for them would be beneficial for everyone.

A drone-and-truck system is extremely efficient. A driver making deliveries to homes in a rural landscape will venture off the main roads several times to deliver small parcels to secluded homes. These side trips not only take up time, but they also cost fuel and maintenance fees by putting wear-and-tear on the truck.

UPS estimates that by reducing just one mile per driver, per day, over one year can save up to $50 million. Using drones to fly the small parcels that are going to isolated locations frees up the driver to handle larger packages and focus on homes in areas with higher concentrations of deliveries.

Our system addresses another shortcoming for warehouse-based drones by working within current Federal Aviation Administration regulations, which require drones to be within the pilot’s “line of sight” while flying. Placing drones on top of electric trucks makes it feasible for a delivery business to use our innovative technology and comply with FAA regulations.

Some might question the safety of having drones flying to and fro, often across residential areas. But drones are particularly safe because of how extensively they have been tested and refined over the years. While the idea of using them on top of delivery trucks is new, drones are already employed in many diverse areas, including aiding U.S. armed forces in counter-terrorism operations and entertaining Drone Racing League fans on ESPN.

It is also possible that lingering anxieties exist about drones because they are not as widely seen in the U.S. compared with Europe, which has more innovation-friendly rules for flying unmanned aircraft. That’s why we are seeing some companies test drones there.

Before delivery drones become a common site in U.S. neighborhoods, there is plenty of work to be done.

First, regulators have to determine whether “line of sight” will stay the law of the land. When the FAA handed down this regulation in early 2015, Popular Science called it “an insurmountable obstacle for drone delivery companies.” Nevertheless, it’s an important reassurance to have in place while people get familiar with the sight and concept of delivery drones.

Second, delivery companies have so far demonstrated an admirably enterprising spirit with their willingness to utilize drones – as well as electric step trucks – but that pursuit of innovation mustn’t cease. New technologies can revolutionize the package delivery process by making it faster, lowering costs and reducing environmental consequences.

The final responsibility for making delivery drones mainstream in America rests on our shoulders. As innovators, we have devised solutions – and will continue to come up with more – that improve package delivery and commercial transportation in general. Great inventions are only part of what innovation requires. The other side of the equation is putting our new technologies into the hands of end-users. One way is by partnering with other pioneering companies.

Just this past February, Workhorse Group and UPS teamed up to successfully test the drone-and-truck system in Florida. Was this moment of innovation the harbinger for the future of package delivery? Will drones become mainstream for America’s delivery companies in 2018, 2020 or 2025? We’re hopeful it’s sooner rather than later, but like the horse, wagon and delivery truck before it, we fulfilled the first challenge by developing the next delivery technology. All that’s left is to disseminate it.


Editor’s Note: Stephen Burns is founder and chief executive of Workhorse Group, a manufacturer of battery-electric delivery vehicles and fully integrated truck-launched unmanned aerial systems.

https://www.trucks.com/2017/03/29/drones-electric-trucks-package-delivery-business/

On – 29 Mar, 2017 By

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How In-Home Package Delivery Could Save E-Commerce

Would you allow UPS to drop off a package inside your home when you’re not there?

That question is at the heart of a three-month pilot program that smart lock maker August tried out last winter with 76 of its users in an attempt to see if the company could help jumpstart the e-commerce industry.

Sitting in a conference room in August’s San Francisco headquarters last month, CEO and founder Jason Johnson explained that lofty ambition: It turns out, he said, that one of the biggest barriers to people shopping online is that they worry about what happens if their package arrives when they’re not home. It could get stolen or rained on, they fear, or be sent back to the shipper if there are too many unanswered reminders. Maybe they’ll have to drive to a store to sign for it.

“That cognitive load causes people to think twice before ordering online,” Johnson argued. “People have to go through machinations to facilitate [their package delivery]. These issues are the number one thing restricting e-commerce shopping.”

But what if consumers didn’t worry about the fate of their precious package? That would make buying online as easy as going to the store, Johnson said. That’s why numerous retailers and delivery service providers are thinking about ways to solve the problem.

And that’s what led to the August pilot program.

The company emailed a bunch of its customers and asked if they would participate in a test. They already know the benefits of their smart lock–which can auto-unlock when they approach, and which lets them give one-time, specific-time, or anytime access to anyone they like. But would they be willing to let delivery companies come inside to drop off those packages when they’re not at home if they had a camera and could watch the whole process, either live or later on?

Apprehension

A lot of people would be resistant to trying such a thing. There’s all kinds of potential problems. Theft. Pets escaping. Damage. Heck, what if the delivery guy saw a picture of your wife or daughter and decided to stalk her?

“It’s appropriate to use an analogy like Uber,” Johnson said, “where if I told you eight years ago that you’d have some 19-year-old in a Corolla pick you up, with no training, no skills, etc., and drive you to the airport. You’d say ‘No, thank you.’ I think there’s plenty of people who would say no way.”

Delivery companies and retailers would likely have their qualms as well, especially around their liability for any of those issues listed above, for example.

But August still thought it was worth finding out if in-home delivery was possible. So it gave 76 of their lock owners a Nestcam and a keypad that lets someone punch in a code that opens the lock and asked them to start allowing such deliveries. All August wanted in return was to get the videos of the deliveries and some feedback.

Simple Guidelines

The guidelines were simple: During the three months of the pilot, participants were asked to place between 5 and 10 orders from the vendors of their choice, each time giving the delivery provider instructions for dropping off the package inside–in other words, give them a code for the August keypad, anything they needed to know about pets, and that was it. And then point the camera at their entryway. 

Over the course of the experiment, participants got a total of 250 deliveries.

One of the keys to the trial was that August didn’t ask delivery companies to train anyone on how to handle in-home situations. It was important that those making the deliveries had to figure out what to do on their own–such as reading the instructions the customers had left for them.

Turns out, that wasn’t such a big ask. Many delivery companies have been dropping packages off this way–albeit without being enabled with technology like August’s–for years. Many locks have analog pin codes, and delivery companies often have access to the codes, or are even given keys to people’s homes, Johnson said.

August’s users were super happy with the results of the pilot, Johnson said. “The overwhelming response was ‘This is great,’” he said. “People were a little nervous, but overwhelmingly, they said, ‘This is how I want everything delivered to my house.”

Before the trial, an August survey found that participants had an extremely negative view of the idea of “unsecured” deliveries, a -42 Net Promoter Score, to be exact. Afterward, that score improved to +16. Further, 90% of the participants said they would continue to accept in-house deliveries from merchants–if it was available.

Kristin McGee, a teacher who lives in rural, coastal California, is on board.

Although she was initially adamant that she’d never let a delivery person in her empty house–“I was like, ‘Not happening,’” she said. “I don’t want to let some stranger into my house when I’m not there.”–she’s now a convert.

“I feel like I am one of those millennials who’s finding ways to get out of all her chores,” she said, sheepishly, adding that she now orders groceries to be delivered when she’s not home from two to three times a week. And the combination of the camera and the keypad is what won her over.

“My primary initial fear was that there would be someone in the home when I got home,” she said. “But with video, it kind of eliminated that fear. I would know that someone was gone before I even got home….Then I ended up loving it. It was super safe. I felt it was a secure system.”

What About The Vendors?

Getting customers on board is obviously a big step forward. But what about delivery companies and other vendors?

At the same time that August was running its pilot program with customers, it also had a separate trial going on with Sears Home Services, one of the largest appliance dealers and home service providers in the country. The idea was the same: Make it possible for Sears technicians to be able to easily get inside customers’ homes to make deliveries, service appliances, or even respond to emergency plumbing problems, all when no one is around.

Access to people’s homes is vital for the company’s business said Ryan Ciovacco, president of connected living for Sears Holdings. “We need to have someone there. More often than not, that’s causing someone to take a day off from work, or plan their [weekend] around it. We wanted to test how receptive people would be to allowing a technician in their home” when they’re not there.

Sears selected 20 homes and ran the experiment for two to three weeks. “It was a really successful pilot for us,” he said. “Every customer who participated said that they would pick Sears Home Services over a competitor because of this flexibility, the benefit of being able to give keyless entry to the home.”

Ciovacco said that customers are always going to have some concerns about something like deliveries when no one’s home, but added that he thinks those concerns can be allayed when the vendor is a trusted company or brand. Plus, he said, “it’s a tradeoff. They think the value outweighs that very, very rare chance that something bad could happen.”

For Sears, expanding from the pilot program and making such service calls and deliveries available nationwide isn’t something that can happen overnight. It would have to integrate access to August’s locks directly into its own apps and devices. “But once we figure that out,” Ciovacco said, “we’ll probably do something” larger.

Although August isn’t revealing who else it’s talking to besides Sears, Johnson said the company is now in active discussions with numerous retailers and delivery providers about how they could provide home delivery services when no one’s around. “It’s a question of working with those providers to make this something that’s commercialized, with training,” Johnson said. “We’ve already completed trials with some, and some are moving toward commercialization plans.

The trick will be to get people to the point where they take such things for granted, much as we all do now with things like taking rides with Uber or Lyft, or staying in people’s homes via Airbnb.

That day is coming. “I think so,” said Ciovacco. “There are always going to be some sorts of issue, and that’s going to happen across the board with every new service and technology, and I think we just have to all work together to remove as many of those [issues] as we can.”

McGee, who used to live in a city and regularly grappled with packages being stolen from outside her house, agreed.

“For big city life, I think it’s a must,” McGee said. “I think it changes everything for deliveries.”

https://www.fastcompany.com/40401973/how-in-home-package-delivery-could-save-e-commerce

On – 21 Apr, 2017 By Daniel Terdiman

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Source: https://alacritydelivery.com/home-package-delivery-save-e-commerce/

PRESS RELEASE

 

Local Delivery Companies Create New Jobs with Amazon

Miami—Alacrity Delivery, a local parcel delivery service, is helping to create new jobs thanks to seeking a partnership with Amazon and other national warehouses. Alacrity offers a variety of delivery options that caters to the needs of many businesses throughout the Miami-Dade, Broward, and West Palm Beach Counties. Customers have their choice between the Miami-based courier service, the hot shot delivery, or their e-commerce delivery. Open seven days a week, the company strives to delight their customers with their readiness to help in any situation, whether it’s a small package or large cargo. They ensure service is affordable, fast, and personalized no matter which of their solutions is chosen.

The Miami courier service allows a courier to pick up packages that are time-sensitive and deliver them safely. This set-up helps customers keep their deadlines even in emergencies. While they offer simple one-time deliveries, their hot shot delivery service allows clients to receive scheduled pick-ups for delivery that same day. The service can be used for deliveries within the company, bank deposits, outgoing shipments and much more.

Their services expand beyond just delivering packages. The company’s work in e-commerce assists retailers in reducing the price on shipping. They can cut costs by providing integration that is real-time to their clients’ internal customer service platforms, ERP that provides back-end trace and track functionality, and order entry software. These provisions ensure a smooth transfer of delivery and manifest information, such as XML and EDI.

All of Alacrity Delivery’s solutions are geared to help local businesses with reliable efficiency that they might find lacking in other companies. They strive to differentiate themselves by being dependable and flexible with their availability. Their attempts to be professional while personal seem to be paying off as they continue to grow in the South Florida area.

The company continues to reach new heights in its services as they consider expanding their services to drone delivery. Their willingness to constantly evolve to help businesses in more efficient ways has done great things for the Miami area they serve. With Alacrity Delivery actively seeking a partnership with Amazon and other national warehouses, they are hoping to create new jobs for locals and bolster their business. Those interested in learning more about Alacrity Delivery are encouraged to visit the company’s website at Alacrity Delivery.

Contact Name: Jacinta Walker

Alacrity Delivery

Miami, Florida 33144

USA

3053636380

https://alacritydelivery.com

contact@alacritydelivery.com

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Source: https://alacritydelivery.com/press-release/

How to Choose The Best Hot Shot Delivery Service

Hot shot delivery companies offer very specialized delivery services, services that are imperative to people or companies who need quick deliveries regardless of delivery size. Hot shot delivery drivers don’t generally drive full size trucks; they drive semis, flat beds, they haul trailers, they drive any ample means necessary to get the deliveries they haul where they need to be within the same day on time.

There are express trucking companies, but they are not exactly the same as hot shot delivery services. Hot shot delivery services deliver smaller loads than normal in an express fashion, usually same day or within hours. These deliveries are more expensive than regular deliveries or even express deliveries, but you pay for the speed. Drivers haul less but get paid more for the premium based on the time of the deliveries that they make.

Here are several things to consider when choosing a hot shot delivery company to suit your needs:

  • Dedicated hot shot drivers: Not all companies that offer hot shot delivery service have dedicated hots hot delivery drivers, but this can be exceptionally important if you need your light haul delivered by a specific time. Hot short drivers understand the importance of meeting a deadline, no matter how difficult, so your package gets where it needs to be intact, on time.·
  • Make sure they are properly insured: As this is a rush job and the hauler will be delivering a light cargo, it is imperative the insurance is available, enough insurance, in case something does go wrong. The last thing you want is a destroyed package delivered quickly without full and fair value as recompense.
  • Make sure there are no weight and size limitations. A true hot shot delivery service will deliver any size package where it needs to be, when it needs to be delivered. That is why you pay a high premium for the hotshot service. If they start tacking in extra terms and fees, it’s not worth it.
  • Make sure the company has a full staff of contracted hot shot drivers: Hot shot deliveries are tough on truck delivery drivers, as there is often no stopping between deliveries, long days and long distances to be covered. The last thing you want is an overworked hot shot delivery driver after 4 or 5 non-stop delivery days being responsible for your package. Make sure the truckers are dedicated to hot shot delivery, but get ample down time.
  • If you are industry specific, find an industry specific delivery line or service: There are plenty of medical hot shot delivery services, agricultural hot shot delivery services, commercial hot shot delivery services, and even livestock hot shot delivery services. Your cargo is precious, and may require special attention. Plants need water, drugs and blood samples need certain temperatures and atmospheres, so choose accordingly.

If you are looking for a dependable and speedy hot shot delivery service then contact Alacrity Hot Shot Delivery. Alacrity also offers courier services, express delivery, pick up and drop off, as well as, notary services.

Contact Info:

Alacrity Delivery: https://alacritydelivery.com

8355 W Flagler St
Miami, FL 33144

305-363-6380

 

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Source: https://alacritydelivery.com/choose-best-hot-shot-delivery-service/

Why Your E-commerce Business Needs a Miami Scheduled Delivery Service

Ecommerce can be an extremely rewarding endeavor for modern day business people, be it a small ecommerce business, a growing ecommerce business or an established ecommerce retailer or wholesaler. People in today’s world do over half of their shopping online, especially during holidays like Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Halloween.

People love the convenience of wanting something and then being able to order it right from the convenience of their own home. The problem is, in many cases, their order isn’t shipped or doesn’t arrive for weeks. This is frustrating and irritating for customers, and usually means they will not give a business a second chance. This is a death knell for many e-commerce businesses, which hardly get off the ground and then go belly up because they can’t deliver on their promises.

The fact is, if you have an e-commerce business, prompt delivery is an important facet of your service. People want something and they don’t want to wait forever for it, which is one reason they order the item from their own home, right when they think of it. Don’t let poor shipping practices put your ecommerce business out of business before it even really gets started. Set up a local scheduled delivery service, and you won’t have to worry about shipping issues or time consuming trips to the post office ever again. Think of the benefits that a regular shipping service can provide.

  • Regular pick-ups of your deliveries, scheduled as often as you need based on the amount of ecommerce you transact.
  • Routine shipping times. You can tell people with confidence that their order will be delivered by such and such a date, because you know when it will be picked up and when it will be in route.
  • Your business can offer guaranteed shipping dates.
  • You can save time and money with no more painstaking trips to the post office.
  • You can even let people know that if they want their order delivered by such and such a date and time, they must order it by a certain time as you have scheduled deliveries. This can even help influence the purchase decision by the customer so they go ahead and buy from your ecommerce store.

Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida https://alacritydelivery.com will schedule routine deliveries for your e-commerce business based on your needs. If you need to send deliveries once a week, twice a week or daily, Alacrity Delivery can take care of all of your delivery needs in and around the Miami, Florida region

Alacrity Delivery in Miami is there; ready to schedule deliveries when you need them so they can get your orders where they need to be!

Source: https://alacritydelivery.com/why-your-e-commerce-business-needs-miami-scheduled-delivery-service/

How On-Demand Delivery Helps Local Businesses Deliver a Luxury Experience

Like it or not technology has forever changed the face and personality of mankind, and especially of Americans. We are an instant gratification society, no doubt about it. We want what we want and we want it now. In fact in many cases we demand it now. On-Demand delivery is a symptom of the times, but it is a wonderful development, and one that can help many local businesses provides luxurious experiences for customers who will then be extremely likely to come back for more.

Think about it, an upwardly mobile young man is busy fulfilling his promising career, working 75 hour weeks to provide for and build his home and his family. After a long day or week at work, he comes home to find that this is an anniversary for him and his wife, they shared their first kiss and date on this day and he had forgotten all about it. What was going to be a wonderful night, years ago, would have been ruined because someone was working TOO HARD.

But that is not the case in today’s world, not with On-Demand delivery.

In minutes online the man finds a local necklace at a nearby shop, caviar and even flowers from a local ecommerce business, all that will be delivered via drone service or an On-Demand delivery service within the hour. The night is saved, and the couple gets to enjoy a luxurious anniversary without leaving the house. Do you think that guy will ever forget those local businesses? No chance.

On-Demand delivery services can provide 5 star service for local clients who will never forget what your company offers. Take for example an executive who comes home after a long week of work, too tired to do anything, even though she must get ready to attend an awards ceremony with her family. She is worn out and needs to rejuvenate. She orders relaxing bath beads and some aroma therapy goods that are there in minutes, and in no time she is relaxed and ready to go.

With a good On-Demand delivery service the possibilities are endless. Local businesses can do more than just get a quick bit of business and quickly fulfill orders. They can deliver products and services that pamper their clients when they need them the most, providing luxury service like a personal concierge. Clients will never forget your company. Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida provides excellent On-Demand and drone delivery services in Miami so your customers can get the luxury experience that they deserve. Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida is ready to help you set your business apart.

Source: https://alacritydelivery.com/how-on-demand-delivery-helps-local-businesses-deliver-a-luxury-experience/

Will Drone Delivery Be a Reality in Florida?

Amazon isn’t the only Company that understands the importance of immediacy, and they don’t have a strangle hold on innovation and quick delivery of goods. While Amazon is developing a huge drone army to deliver goods for select customers in select areas in the future, here in Miami and the surrounding areas, the future is now. Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida already offers drone delivery to customers; they are the fastest delivery service in the entire Deep South.

That’s right technology is always evolving, some new technology has many benefits and some new technology and developing technology has benefits that are unrealized or untapped. For the large part drone technology has not realized its true potential. It has become a relatively cheap and interesting toy for tech geeks and kids who live in the suburbs.

But there is more to drones than meets the eye. The military uses drones as weaponry, to spy with and for other purposes. Emergency services use them as scouts and to find or isolate problems like people lost in the mountains. But what about everyday use, certainly they can do more good than be a plaything for weekend warriors?

Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida is not waiting to see what private industry does with drone technology. They will be using drones to deliver packages and goods soon. Drones are perfect for delivery services, and you can get no faster delivery. They don’t have to fight traffic, they don’t even have to travel roads or long routes, they simply get a filled order, take to the sky and in a matter of minutes the goods you ordered are at your door.

That’s right, minutes, or at the most hours, depending on where you are located. Forget delivery in 7 to 10 business days or even overnight delivery. Get the goods you want without leaving your home or business as quickly as the order can be filled. Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida is filling the Miami horizon with busy drones, bringing deliveries faster than anywhere in the nation.

If you need a delivery service in Miami or the surrounding region, Alacrity Delivery in Miami, Florida is ready to help. You will find no better service anywhere in the United States. They are quicker than any other delivery service, cost effective and extremely efficient. Contact Alacrity Delivery Service in or around the Miami, Florida region today for all of your delivery needs. The future of the delivery service industry is alive and well, here and now at Alacrity Delivery.

Alacrity Delivery

8355 W Flagler St. #305

Miami, Florida 33144

https://alacritydelivery.com

Source: https://alacritydelivery.com/drone-delivery-miami-florida/