Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Future of Deliveries

Andrew Hilliard
29 October 2015
The Future of Deliveries
            This fall, Amazon decided to test out a few new ideas when it comes to delivering their products to customers. Their latest idea was to enlist trucks or cars that conduct paper routes to deliver Amazon’s packages along with their usual paper. To conduct this experiment, Amazon teamed up with Tribune Publishing, a company that publishes both the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times, to deliver Amazon products along with theirs. This all comes from Amazon’s goal of being able to have the quickest delivery in the market. Although this information came from unnamed sources, close to the operation, the idea of using the newspaper market to better the delivery services of Amazon opens many new doors for many new organizations and industries.
            Amazon has always been an operational excellence type of company, in the fact that they are catering their products to fit best into their customer’s schedule. With this, they are continuously trying to think of new ideas in which they can move their products faster and more efficiently. Greg Bensinger, the author of this article, notes that, “Amazon has in recent years tapped a variety of sources to get packages to customers quicker and less expensively.” (Bensinger). Their whole concept is that if there is room in the car, let’s pack it in with as much product as possible. Hopefully, doing this would help their shipping costs, “which rose 28% to $4.6 billion in this year’s first half from the same period a year earlier.” (Bensinger).
            A great way to look at this is by taking a value chain and seeing how Amazon can use its new technology and resources to move products faster, and for at a cheaper rate. However, not much will change except for the outbound logistics. Instead of having to ship it to a shipping company, they can have, say, a Newspaper truck stop by and pick up packages for houses on their routes. With this, they are cutting out the intermediaries and are directly handing off packages to the driver. This continues the trend of operating as a bottom line company, focusing on optimizing manufacturing processes, decreasing transportation costs, and reducing the cost of human capital. Although, what does this say about their company as a whole?
            Bensinger makes a final note in his article writing, “some customers have balked at the idea of non-professionals making deliveries to their doorsteps.” (Bensinger). I have to agree with this final idea. Yes, this will reduce costs and maybe it will enhance the speed of package deliveries, however at what cost to the consumer. I believe it would be more prudent to put money into the advancement of their technology focused towards shipping and delivering. CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, made a note in August to CNN saying that Amazon drones will become, “as common as seeing a mail truck.” (Bezos, CNN). Why not put more money into advancing the technology there, rather then placing your customers packages with inexperienced deliverymen. Ultimately I see the reasoning behind testing the theory, however in the end, I would rather see more tests for drones, then with newspaper delivery trucks.

Bensinger, Greg. "Amazon Tested Package Delivery by Newspaper Trucks." Digits RSS. Wall Street Journal, 21 Oct. 2015. Web. 28 Oct. 2015.

Wattles, Jackie. "Jeff Bezos: Amazon Drones Will Be 'as Common as Seeing a Mail           Truck'" CNNMoney. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 29 Oct. 2015.

1 comment:

  1. If Amazon was planning to put their packages on the standard newspaper trucks and such, then I feel that this would pose a problem for both Amazon and these local companies. What would happen if there are not any warehouses near the delivery destination? Then either the newspaper truck would have to make a farther drive to the warehouse, thus charging Amazon more money for the extra drive, or Amazon would just have to deliver a package with its standard shipping methods, which both of these would in fact not decrease Amazon’s shipping expense. I do believe however, that this might be an effective delivery method if the packages are going to places near an Amazon warehouse. Whether or not this would work, would completely depend on where the warehouses are in relation to the population as a whole in that area. Also, as you mentioned at the end, the Amazon drones, now referred to as Amazon’s “Prime Air”, is just awaiting approval from the U.S. government to begin operations. These drones can carry objects up to ten pounds, as of now, which includes around 80% of Amazon’s warehouse items, and deliver them directly to your doorstep. I believe that “Prime Air” is the future of delivery.


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