Displaying items by tag: delivery

Seattle-based e-commerce giant Amazon says it will invest nearly $1.5 billion to build its first air freight hub in the United States, which it hopes will strengthen its distribution muscle and also create more US jobs. Amazon has been eager to decrease its reliance upon shipping companies such as UPS and FedEx.

The air freight hub for Amazon’s growing Prime Air cargo fleet will reportedly be built at an airport in Kentucky, adding more than 2,000 workers to the approximately 10,000 employees currently working at fulfillment centers in the state.

The Kentucky location was chosen because of its central location which is suitable for moving goods, according to Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations, Dave Clark. Amazon hasn’t specified the exact amount of the air freight investment, but the local economic development organization placed the figure at $1.49 billion.

The company entered into agreements last year with two carriers for dedicated cargo planes to move goods around quickly in support of fast, free deliveries to customers who are members of a Prime subscription services. Sixteen aircraft are currently in service and more are expected to join soon. The Kentucky hub will be a beneficial location for Amazon stock to be unloaded and sorted.

Amazon has shown growing ambitions in cargo transport, driven by desire to better control its supply chain and costs. The company has invested in trailers for trucking goods between US warehouses. More than a year ago, it registered a subsidiary with the US Federal Maritime Commission as an ocean freight forwarder to contract shipments of goods by sea from China to US ports.

Published in Finance

Google’s aspirations to extend the reach of its innovative drone delivery service has encountered a number of issues and plans to begin a wider launch of the product that have been put on hold. Google’s parent company Alphabet, a leading software company, has revealed its ambitious plan for a marketplace that could order anything from a coffee to toilet paper and have it within minutes.

The drone-delivery service was given the green light from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to begin testing the autonomous aerial vehicles in the United States. However, it has now been revealed from a former employee of Alphabet that the company has suffered a number of issues with the technology itself.

In September, the company successfully delivered its first burrito from Chipotle, to a student in Virginia Tech. In addition to that, Alphabet entered into partnerships with a number of companies such as Starbucks, Whole Foods Market and Domino’s Pizza to carry out a series of tests and trials as part of its Wing Marketplace strategy. However, it emerged that Starbucks exited the negotiations after disagreeing with Alphabet over access to customer data.

Last month, Domino’s Pizza made its first delivery by drone in New Zealand and it plans to expand the service to a bigger area in the forthcoming months. Domino’s boss, Don Meij says the aerial technique could catch on as it beats traffic and cuts waiting time.

“DRU Drone by Flirtey offers the promise of safer, faster deliveries to an expanded delivery area, meaning more customers can expect to receive a freshly-made order within our ultimate target of 10 minutes. They can avoid traffic congestion and traffic lights, and safely reduce the delivery time and distance by travelling directly to customers’ homes. This is the future. Our customers are excited about the possibility of drone deliveries and we are thrilled to be working with local families as we test and expand this technology.”

An article which circulated in the Wall Street Journal reported that Alphabet’s ‘X’ division could experience more turbulence in the coming months following the admission made by a former employee of the firm. The anonymous source made the claim that it was Alphabet’s goal to complete 1,000 flights without incident, but it never made it past 300.

Some of the reasons cited as to what the problems were ranged from repeated power failures, multiple crashes, wandering off course, or attempting to land in trees. Alphabet’s X division is a moon-shot project, so technical issues are expected throughout the process. With the former employee summing it up by saying: “Alphabet is a software company, not an airplane company.”

Published in Gadget

U.S. based food joint Domino’s Pizza which operates around the world, is planning to launch the world’s first commercial drone delivery service after conducting a trial run in New Zealand. The pizza-maker announced that it plans to launch a regular drone delivery service by the end of this year, after conducting a trial in Auckland on Thursday, August 25.

The first commercial trial in the world took place in the United States last month on July 23 when convenience store 7-Eleven trialed a drone delivery of coffee, doughnuts and a chicken sandwich. But Domino’s Pizza is planning to move forward and actually implement its drone services for commercial use very soon.

Tech giants like Amazon and Google are also looking to launch drone delivery services, and aviation authorities in the U.S., the U.K., Australia and New Zealand have been relaxing rules for this purpose. Domino’s is also looking to trial its drone delivery service in Australia, Belgium, France, Japan, Germany and the Netherlands.

In the United States, drones will be permitted for commercial deliveries from August 29, but not across state borders or above members of the public. Moreover, in Australia, drone deliveries will be legal next month, provided the drones stay at least 100ft (30 meters) away from houses.

“We’ve always said that it doesn’t make sense to have a 2-tonne machine delivering a 2kg order,” said Don Mij, chief executive of Domino’s Pizza Enterprises. The drone used by Domino’s for the test was from a U.S. company called Flirtey. The company also provided the drone for the 7-Eleven trial service.

New Zealand was in fact one of the very first countries to allow commercial drone delivery services, so it’s fitting that the country should take the title as the first country to launch a commercial drone service. Simon Bridges, New Zealand’s transport minister, spoke at the Domino’s test flight in Auckland, saying: “Our enabling laws and regulation means we have the ideal environment.”

There are doubts however, that Domino’s could be held back from its dreams of commercial drone delivery because of a rule requiring drones be kept in sight at all times, according to a report by The Guardian. The issue was brought up by Philip Solaris, director of drone company X-craft Enterprises, who said: “I can’t truly see how commercially viable that idea is, because you would have to literally have somebody walking along to keep it in the line of sight, watching it at all times.” He also mentioned that Domino’s drones would have to avoid “random hazards” like power lines and moving vehicles.

Published in Gadget