Drones may soon alleviate holiday season shipping difficulties
Holiday shipping is currently a busy time for postal workers, but the future may take the burden off postal workers and place it on the backs of drones.
Nina Cicconetti, owner of PostNet in Wooster, states that while the holiday season’s impact on her work can vary, it is always significant.
“It is hard to determine the volume to expect in shipping from year to year. My business is usually doubled or tripled in the month of December,” Cicconetti said.
This increase is consistent with the website of the United States Postal Service, which states that the 2014 holiday season resulted in the delivery of 524 million packages during the month of December alone.
However, the near future may see Amazon Prime Air delivering some of these hundreds of millions of packages via an automated drone delivery system. These drones would carry packages to their recipients within time frames as low as 30 minutes, according to Amazon.
Amazon will not begin its drone program until it is considered absolutely safe under a variety of conditions.
“Safety is our top priority. Our vehicles will be built with multiple redundancies, as well as sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ technology. We will not launch Prime Air until we are able to demonstrate safe operations,” Amazon Prime Air’s frequently asked questions page states.
However, the limitations of the technology include a range as low as 10 miles, the current difficulties in coordinating airspace and a weight limit on packages that can be delivered using the service.
In the present, Cicconetti states delivery costs are being driven up by increased security, the advent of free shipping on certain items and day-specific deadlines.
According to Cicconetti, items bought online are not inspected by any individuals, but security is usually done via drug-sniffing dogs and scanners in distribution centers.