Walmart’s blockchain vision
Earlier this week, Walmart submitted an application for a drone delivery system. The patent focuses on how packages will be received in secure locations, rather than delivering goods directly to a customer’s doorstep. It involves drones dropping packages into secure lockers that will communicate with the drone using geofencing and blockchain technology. Once a drone comes close to its designated delivery box, the box will automatically unlock and open robotically. The blockchain technology will be used to track location, authentication of the courier, temperature of the product and supply chain transition.
The use of this particular technology adds more security in regards to sensitive and fragile items such as food, flowers or medications. It shows how the technology can benefit the logistics industry through monitoring hard to measure features such as temperature and customer identification. However, due to the current U.S. government regulations, it will still be a while until Walmart’s idea for drones with blockchain technology can be implemented.
Read more information about Walmart’s patent here.
Sprig never sprung
The meal-delivery start-up Sprig had to close its business due to complexities regarding delivery. It faced difficulties based on scale and high costs. Discounts and well-known chefs were used to entice customers to improve sales, but the strategy proved unsuccessful. It is not the only meal-delivery start-up that has struggled to create a sustainable business plan this year.
The main problem faced was the idea of creating just-in-time products for consumers by taking on last mile delivery. The amount of supply chain costs to achieve this were too much for Sprig to handle, because of a lack of customers affecting scale of delivery. Supply chain processes have to be tailored to the company and have the ability to adjust to a lack of customers or sudden growth; meal-delivery start-ups are proving unable to deal with these drastic changes. This puts stress and pressure on suppliers, as well as the company itself, through storing and preparing the right amount of products for deliveries.
More information can be found here.
Is repurposing becoming a new trend?
This week, it has been reported that more shopping center and mall space could be repurposed for industrial distribution. Surplus parking facilities could also be utilized, creating small-scale last-mile delivery or pick-up facilities. E-commerce is continuing to take market share from brick-and-mortar retailers, spurring a rise in empty unused space. This can be seen with 8,600 retail locations estimated to be closed by the end of this year.
As inventory will be stored in former shopping malls, it will help retailers speed up delivery times. Retailers will become closer to their potential online customers as shopping malls are already located in dense residential communities, rather than warehouses located on the outskirts of cities. Many malls are already functioning as distribution centers, currently housing many Amazon Lockers. Investors are certain these empty spaces will serve as efficient last-mile delivery or customer pick-up facilities for online orders. This method will also aid in reducing rising shipping costs for home deliveries.
Find out more information here.
Have a great weekend!
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