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© Daimler
© Daimler

Speed, flexibility and efficiency are key factors for logistics. And where else could these qualities be better achieved than in the air. That is why drones are becoming ever more important for innovative delivery concepts. Large logistics companies such as Deutsche Post or online traders such as Amazon have long been testing the new opportunities offered by drones for their business models. Mercedes-Benz Vans, the American drone systems developer Matternet and the Swiss online trader Siroop have become the first in the world to create a network consisting of drones and vans in a pilot project in Zurich.

 

© Daimler
© Daimler

Delivery works as follows. Customers order selected products from Siroop weighing max. two kilos such as coffee or electrical goods — and receive them on the same day. As soon as the order is received, the trader loads the drones in his own warehouse. These then fly to one of four pre-defined locations in the town of Zurich and land on the specially designed roof of the van. There the parcel delivery company takes over the product and delivers it to the end user while the drone flies back to the trader.

Nothing changes for the customer

© Daimler
© Daimler

The interesting thing about it is that the drones are integrated into the logistics chain in such a way that nothing changes for the customer. Their parcel is delivered by the driver as usual. The aim of the project is to improve the efficiency and service level of on-demand deliveries and to create added value for traders and customers without the need for additional infrastructure. Moreover, evaluations will deliver further empirical values with regard to reactions to and acceptance of drone-supported e-commerce solutions among the public. The next step is for the drones no longer to supply the vans at pre-defined stops but at any point along their regular routes.