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Editorial: Why firsts are great news for the delivery industry


Lots of firsts in the newsletter this week and given that innovation in the delivery market is always exciting and means the sector is thriving and moving forward it’s great to see.
Amazon, as ever, has been busy. The online giant is once again reported to be moving into the world of the physical store with plans to open convenience stores, as well as operating drive-in locations for the purchase of perishable and non-perishable food items. The battle for the grocery market furthers its AmazonFresh ambitions and is yet another blow for retailers who thought that their physical locality at least offered them some protection from the power of the online giant.

Another threat comes from the fact that the Amazon Dash button has now arrived in the UK, as we originally reported a few weeks ago. Paul Galpin, managing director of P2P Mailing looks, in his guest comment piece, at the impact this might have on the sector and the threat it poses to all.

Meanwhile in humble Cambridge, UK, it was a group of schoolchildren who were given the exclusive chance to tour Amazon’s development facilities after the company invited pupils from a local school in to their centre in the city.

The children were reportedly shown some of the drone prototypes currently under development for the company’s Prime Air service with which it hopes, once regulatory and safety challenges are overcome, to be able to deliver parcels within a 15-mile radius in under 30 minutes.

Home delivery may be some way off still currently but the news that, in association with UPS, Rwanda has launched the world’s first national drone delivery service shows just how drones can change lives. The country is using drones to deliver blood supplies to 21 transfusing facilities in the western half of the country. It’s a service that is to be expanded further to include medicines and vaccines as well as blood.

Back home comes news that beauty brand L’Occitane has become the latest retailer to join the CollectPlus network, allowing its customers to pick up items from the network. It also allows the retailer to offer free returns for the first time. The next day click and collect service is free for those spending £35 or more. A standard delivery service is also offered.

Wickes meanwhile has claimed its own delivery first – becoming the first retailer in the DIY sector in the UK to launch one-hour delivery slots. The retailer will enable its customers to pick their precise delivery slot for a range of more than 7,000 products. Wickes has partnered with On the Dot, part of CitySprint, for the move. At £9.95 it does cost but given the sector – and often the weight of such goods – it’s likely to be a price that customers are willing to pay since there’s nothing worse than waiting around for a delivery in the midst of a DIY job.

Whilst a lot of things may come at a cost what isn’t so acceptable is the amount of time that workers are taking off with job-related injuries according to a new survey. The results, from a survey commissioned by Panasonic Business, suggest that delivery and logistics workers are suffering from pain and strains caused by poor versions of the devices they need to do their job.

Of course, with its own mobile scanner to sell it could be easy to dismiss the results but the survey does make a good point. It’s easy to look over small things such as the time it takes to scan such packages, the volume of packages being scanned etc – but with ever more pressure put on the delivery chain it’s important that every step is considered, no matter how little it may seem.

If you haven’t subscribed to eDelivery yet, why not do so now? You’ll get a weekly newsletter summarising the main stories we’ve covered, and we’ll keep you informed of other big announcements. You’ll find details on subscribing here.

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Image credits: Fotolia

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