Will delivery drones ever take off?

Abetta Couriers UK Ltd - 3 Dec 2014

At Abetta Couriers we think our customers will always opt for the personal service so we are not unduly worried about drones taking over our industry. That said, it’s always interesting to keep up with the latest innovations and we have been following with interest the announcement that drones are being used to deliver parcels commercially.

Amazon was the first to announce its airborne intentions closely followed by Google. However, it was DHL that achieved the accolade of being the first company to make the first ever commercial delivery via a drone. The deliveries are being made to a small German island called Juist. The drone lands at a designated area and a courier then makes the final delivery to the customer. Amazon believes it will be able to make door to door deliveries and the Google prototype apparently doesn’t land at all but hovers and lowers the item on a tether.

Whilst it may be the stuff of sci-fi, the chances of drone deliveries taking off (excuse the pun) in the UK in the near future is likely to be prevented by more mundane concerns. Currently the Civil Aviation Authority dictates that unmanned flying objects cannot go within 50m of a building or a person and must always be within sight of an operator. Not great when you are trying to make deliveries in busy urban areas!

We are also not sure what the etiquette would be if the recipient was not in; would the drone return its parcel to the depot or would it simply leave it on the doorstep? At the moment there seem to be more questions than answers so for now anyway, we’ll be sticking with our friendly, experienced, human delivery colleagues!

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