The future of parcel shipping and delivery


Deyman Doolittle | ShipSigma Co-Founder and Chairman | LinkedIn

The future of parcel shipping is endless – the cliché of all clichés, but what does that actually mean?

It means technology. From pick-up locations to delivery vehicles, technological advancements could be at the forefront of shipping and delivery in the future. walmart announced an expansion of their same-day delivery service, which now serves more than 4 million customers. Who and what will be next?

Smart lockers

We can start with the most common occurrence: smart lockers. We are already seeing this in retail and apartment complexes, but we expect smart lockers for parcels to continue to grow. From a delivery point of view, it streamlines the delivery process for the courier, resulting in faster drop-off and less chance of incorrect addresses. For consumers, you’ll see automated notifications and alerts for every step of the process, contactless retrieval and 24/7 access.

AI-powered route development and supply chain automation

For the delivery companies that choose to keep drivers close by, emerging technology can provide better route development and more complete automation of the supply chain. Routes can be created using machine learning technology to find the most efficient path. By not doubling or repeating your steps, drivers and businesses can increase fuel efficiency and speed up delivery times.

Supply chains can also be streamlined in the process, allowing for faster execution. This will also increase access to white glove delivery services, with delivery companies able to provide assembly, installation and cleanup as an all-in-one service.

Delivery drones and robots

Larger companies have already started researching and testing delivery via dronewhile more local deliveries are looking for robots

We’re leading the way when it comes to drone delivery service, and Amazon is announcing this: Prime Air in 2016. While they haven’t launched the service yet, they are actively testing and flying their drones with the goal of delivering packages in 30 minutes or less. Now they operate 34 stores, in six states.

Drone sales are expected to triple by 2025 and are expected to be 90% cheaper than car-based services.

At the other end of the small, automated delivery spectrum is the robot. These six-wheel machines, which travel mostly on pavement or path, are becoming more and more standard. Companies like Starship launched a $10 monthly subscription app in 2018, primarily focused on “urgent deliveries.” These often include picking up a takeaway or a quick small errand to a store.

The drones contain sensors with machine learning cameras, object detection and alarms. They get smarter every day. They are even starting to be equipped with speakers and microphones to create an effective communication line. While this reduces road use and energy consumption, the biggest pitfall of these robots is that they rely heavily on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Both drones and robots have been developed with the intention of increasing delivery speed, reducing road use, lowering the price and creating another option for contactless delivery.

Self-driving vehicles

We have the small autonomous vehicles covered above, now the self-driving cars.

Again, these are heavy in the to test process with companies such as: Amazon and Tesla. When they launched, we were able to skyrocket this market. This is another opportunity for contactless delivery with the added bonus of lower costs and lower fuel consumption.

The other advantage of autonomous vehicles of all sizes is that there are no labor laws. Self-driving delivery vehicles have no hourly limit per day and no breaks, making the delivery company much more efficient.


Packet volume reached 21.5 billion an increase of 6% in 2021. As parcel shipping continues to grow, parcel delivery will have to keep pace. Technological advances could lead the way in streamlining the industry for the next three to 10 years, until the next big thing arrives. In general, these and future developments will have to focus on more cost-effective, faster, more efficient and contactless. Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?


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