Amazon wants you to pick up your own deliveries

wholefoodsTimothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

16 June 2017 | | Slate

The global logistics system is really fantastic at moving immense amounts of goods over long distances to and from distribution points around the world: We can load up a ship with a huge number of containers, transfer them efficiently to trucks and railroads, and store their contents at high-tech distribution centers. But it’s that last mile—bridging that final small distance from distribution hubs to individual customers—that’s a challenge. Especially to those in the business of delivering fresh goods, which can’t simply be left to rot on customers’ doorsteps while they’re at work.

Given the way most Americans live—in single-family homes, often with significant amounts of space between them—it takes a lot of resources, labor, and customer time to complete the final mile of a delivery marathon. Distributions gets progressively more challenging, and less efficient, the closer you get to the customer and the more individualized the service is. It’s hard to get economies of scale. In my small cul-de-sac in suburban Connecticut, I can watch a series of delivery trucks (from the Postal Service, UPS, Federal Express) roll through over the course of the day, often delivering only a single package to a single home. And as they go about their rounds, delivery people have to grapple with traffic, accidents, the need to fuel up, and roadwork. (Of course, drones could solve some of this problem, which is why e-commerce companies, including Amazon, are experimenting with airborne delivery.)


Read More

Join the Hawkins Bay Revolution. Before it is banned. Or tossed in the bonfire. On sale now at Amazon and iTunes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s