Supply chain news wrap: Amazon’s drones, Walmart’s AI power and more

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By FarEye | October 13, 2022

Hello there! Here's your dose of all the top news doing the rounds in the world of supply chain and logistics this week.

Amazon’s Drones Ready to Take Off

Amazon will launch drone deliveries in Lockeford, California this year. Prime Air delivery packages will land in backyards as soon as the service receives a go-ahead from the Federal Aviation Administration. The company announced that “thousands” of items will be available for drone deliveries.

Amazon's drone delivery project is finally taking wings after facing several obstacles, including five crashes in four months of trials at its testing site in Pendleton, Oregon. Amazon also claims to have built a sense-and-avoid system that will enable its drone to travel long distances safely without supervision.

With consumers demanding faster deliveries without wanting to pay extra, retailers are looking at new technologies to make quick deliveries. Drones can make faster air deliveries and also help companies reduce their carbon footprint. Gartner predicts that in 2026, more than one million drones will be carrying out retail deliveries.

Inside Walmart’s AI

VentureBeat's recently published report on Walmart sheds light on how artificial intelligence (AI) is so deeply embedded within its supply chain management systems. Walmart employs hundreds of data scientists who work on supply chain forecasting, optimization, and labor/demand planning.

The retail giant has also announced the opening of four next-generation fulfillment centers in the next three years. These fulfillment centers will have machine learning-powered robotics to accelerate fulfillment. Walmart claims that using technology it will be able to make next-day or two-day deliveries to over 95% of the U.S.

As same-day and next-day deliveries take center stage, retailers are embracing modern route optimization tools to ensure faster deliveries. With route optimization, retailers can reduce delivery turnaround time and become more cost-efficient.

The U.K. Government Launches New Campaign to Strengthen Supply Chains

The UK government launched a new campaign to attract fresh talent into the logistics sector. The Generation Logistics campaign will motivate people to join the logistics industry. An online hub of resources, learning materials, and job openings will be made available to the public soon. According to research, the logistics sector in the UK is projected to have a labor shortage of 400,000 workers by 2026.

The government is also set to invest £7 million in strengthening the supply chain and making it more sustainable. Part of the plan includes using technology for digital transformation and decarbonization of the logistics sector. The government is planning to test low-carbon fuels and hydrogen cranes to reduce carbon emissions.

Technology is pivotal in digitizing and building towards a green and sustainable logistics future. The power of AI, machine learning, cloud computing, and big data analytics will transform companies’ supply chain and logistics, making them more resilient, sustainable, and cost-efficient.

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