Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s that book I ordered from Amazon this morning

“The Prime Air team is already flight testing our 5th and 6th generation aerial vehicles, and we are in the design phase on generations 7 and 8”. –Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon.

While the e-commerce market continues to grow year on year and customers become increasingly demanding regarding delivery (both speed and convenience ‘Last Mile Innovation?’) Amazon finds itself leading the charge at the forefront of development and invention.

For those who doubted the seriousness of Amazon’s commitment to drone delivery and thought it nothing more than attention grabbing headline fodder, a recent statement from CEO Jeff Bezos would seem to put those doubts to bed.

It seems increasingly that what would appear to be fanciful endeavours are becoming a reality more frequently than most of us would have anticipated. (Driverless cars? I’m looking at you Google!) While some markets are still trying to get their heads around the entire concept of e-commerce, companies such as Amazon and Google are already working on new developments which would seem entirely out of the realms of possibility.

Early commentary on the story of Amazon drones cited the reluctance of aviation authorities to allow such a development for purely commercial reasons. However, a recent court ruling nixed those doubts. Now the FAA no longer has the authority to regulate small unmanned drones it’s not only Amazon looking to move in to this exciting marketplace.

It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of drone delivery and the excitement of the image but the reality is drone delivery is a long way away for the vast majority of Amazon customers. You’d have to be a Prime member for a start!

With other developments at Amazon such as a phone (with heavy emphasis on making m-commerce much easier according to recent speculation) and the recent marketing push on streaming video, it’s easy to get pulled away from the fact that the delivery of physical items to consumers remains Amazon’s main focus. For this reason, constant development of core logistic systems will be key to securing the future of the online colossus.

The key to success for Amazon will remain getting products to people more efficiently, quicker and with as few complications as possible. The previous Amazon announcement regarding Big Data analytics and the theory of Amazon knowing what you want and dispatching an order before you even realise yourself that you want it is one such way Amazon are looking to cut down waiting times.

Drone delivery, contactless payment, driverless cars, Oculus Rift. With all these developments it’s starting to feel a little like a 1960’s James Bond version of the future.

For further free analysis and news about the logistics industry, sign up to the Transport Intelligence Logistics Briefing service here. Subscribers will receive weekly coverage of developments in the global logistics industry as well as news from the Americas and Asia Pacific.

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