Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Will Covid-19 accelerate the automation of parcel delivery?

As the Coronavirus pandemic has forced more of us into our homes for much longer, our habits for just about every life task have changed. Essential groceries, projects around the house and more – deliveries to our door have especially been on the rise.

According to the British Retail Consortium, online grocery shopping has increased by 28% during the pandemic, while Amazon’s global sales spiked by a similar percentage in Q1 this year.

As we become more and more familiar and comfortable with buying products without the need to travel to a physical store, it is bound to cause a knock-on effect for the industry as a whole.

Here we will examine whether the Coronavirus pandemic could in fact speed up some of the automation and autonomation in the delivery sector.

What services already exist?

Given its standing as an online retail titan, Amazon has predictably led the way in automating many of its services.

Amazon’s warehouses have been bolstered by machines for some time, but the company has also begun trialling the use of Artificial Intelligence in its business dealings, as well as delivery by drone.

As the technology involved continues to be developed, its instantaneous nature can be matched in many respects by services like Parcel2Go offering vendors the opportunity to offer same-day delivery on certain products.

This could be potentially crucial for services that are playing a crucial role in the healthcare and other industries in this period of time when resources are stretched to their limit.

What impact will Covid-19 have?

As the world has tried to contain the Coronavirus outbreak, it has pushed the delivery service into a period of extreme flexibility.

While many couriers have become familiar with delivering at a distance, services such as location drop-offs may also become the norm if people are required to limit their contact with other people for an extended period of time.

However, that could still expose people to the rick of infection, so having the package dropped to the door by a sterile machine becomes highly sought after.

The lockdown has thrown up different challenges to businesses, but these are typically moments when innovation can shine through.

A robotics company delivering food in Milton Keynes may be a novelty right now, but could offer a credible solution to a wide range of issues that society faces in this difficult time, as well as other scenarios.

The future of the delivery industry

It seems clear that delivery couriers will remain in high demand for some time as the world gets used to a different way of living post-Coronavirus.

Royal Mail’s commitment to investing heavily in its operations during the pandemic shows that feet on the pavement remains one of the most effective and efficient ways to get items to our doors.

However, as the need for even quicker, and safer, deliveries continues to rise amid the ongoing uncertainty that surrounds our everyday lives, it seems almost inevitable that machines will start to play an increased role in our lives, potentially right at our doorstep.

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