Business Maverick

Business Maverick

Drones Seen Capturing 30% of Express Delivery Market by 2040

An e JD.com Inc. drone during a package delivery demonstration at a launch pad in Xi'an, China. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Drones could account for 30% of same-day package deliveries by 2040 as unmanned technology and network scale dramatically bring down costs, according to L.E.K. Consulting.

The exact market share will depend on how transport operators configure their networks and the comparable cost of transporting goods through road-based methods, L.E.K. said in a report Monday. Drones aren’t likely to replace traditional trucking but will add to existing logistics systems to avoid congestion.

While using drones to carry people and freight are being considered, it’s the transport of cargo by remote pilots or autonomous technology that has attracted the attention of the world’s biggest companies. Amazon.com Inc. and Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. have both talked up the prospect of deploying drones for deliveries on a large scale, while Alphabet Inc.’s Google this month sought approval to use them to research firefighting.

Drones have the advantage of being able to take off and land vertically, requiring less space than planes or helicopters, and the industry could be worth several billion dollars in a country like Australia, L.E.K. said. But a number of hurdles remain, including building sufficient scale that it becomes more cost effective than a taxi or van, as well as community acceptance of the aircraft flying above cities and homes.

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Hans van de Riet says:

    Lovely idea, but here in SA and many other countries, mind you, I shudder to think what will happen when it is discovered how vulnerable these drones are in the air! Nothing more said!!

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

X

This article is free to read.

Sign up for free or sign in to continue reading.

Unlike our competitors, we don’t force you to pay to read the news but we do need your email address to make your experience better.


Nearly there! Create a password to finish signing up with us:

Please enter your password or get a sign in link if you’ve forgotten

Open Sesame! Thanks for signing up.

We would like our readers to start paying for Daily Maverick...

…but we are not going to force you to. Over 10 million users come to us each month for the news. We have not put it behind a paywall because the truth should not be a luxury.

Instead we ask our readers who can afford to contribute, even a small amount each month, to do so.

If you appreciate it and want to see us keep going then please consider contributing whatever you can.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

Become a Maverick Insider

This could have been a paywall

On another site this would have been a paywall. Maverick Insider keeps our content free for all.

Become an Insider
Elections24 Newsletter Banner

On May 29 2024, South Africans will make their mark in another way.

Get your exclusive, in-depth Election 2024 newsletter curated by Ferial Haffajee delivered straight to your inbox.