Mercedes-Benz announced that they are spending 562-million dollars on new technology aimed at competing in the heated fulfillment market. Among the various technologies with which they are aiming to do so is an electric truck that is equipped with automated drones to complete the last leg of a delivery. The trucks will be equipped with a host of hardware to help automatically sort and dispatch packages and parcel. Of course, the most interesting feature of these trucks is that they will act as a hub for drones that have a carrying capacity of 4lbs at a distance of 11km.
As of late, there have been many companies competing in the so-called “last mile” delivery business – an area in fulfillment that has seen a greater popularity since the rise of ecommerce. Historically, more shipments have been made in bulk, often between stores and warehouses. Yet, with the rise of the ecommerce, more deliveries are being made to more distinct locations, necessitating innovation in the efforts of keeping costs down. No longer are shipments being made between warehouses and stores, but between warehouses and individuals.
Not to mention, offering lower prices on shipping is big business. For instance, incentivizing purchases online with free shipping can have a huge impact on conversion rates. Some reports suggest that as much as 61% of users would not complete a purchase if not offered free shipping. This, of course, has led huge pressure on the market to respond with cost-effective shipping options.
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