Receiving products from e-commerce sites via a small drone that drops the package on the doorstep could reduce the time and overall footprint of home delivery. Retailers are experimenting with delivery drones to minimize energy consumption and release of green gases. Drones consume very less energy compared to a delivery truck, but the additional warehouse energy and longer distances required to travel by the drone for delivery will significantly increase the life-cycle impacts. In a few cases, the impact of drone delivery is lower than ground-based delivery.
JD.com, China’s leading online retailer recently announced the completion of the first government-approved drone flight of Indonesia; the development will help in the progress of drone delivery in the Southeast Asia region. The successful pilot opens the avenue for forthcoming commercial drone use in Indonesia and the Southeast Asia region, in case of further regulatory approvals. The news was announced in the Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The representatives from Indonesia’s Ministry of Civil Aviation, Transportation, and Air Navigation were present for the flight. The test flights were conducted on January 8, 2019, in West Java, Indonesia. The drone took flight from Jagabita Village, ParungPanjang to MIS NurulFalahLeles Elementary School to deliver books and backpacks to students. The items delivered by JD.com via drone were just a fraction of a larger donation of supplies. JD.com and its JV partner, e-commerce company JD.ID were pioneers in introducing high-quality e-commerce to Indonesia. The e-commerce operations of JD.ID span across ten warehouses in seven islands, which covers 483 cities and 6,500 counties.
To enable citizens to enjoy more efficient and reliable services, drones can be used for e-commerce deliveries and other logistics-related services—the primary aim of JD.ID is to deliver 85 percent of the orders on the same or within the next day. The company is also committed to using logistics support and other resources for philanthropic activities like earthquake disaster relief. JD.com is a partner of WEF’s center for industrial revolution 4.0; it is also the strategic partner of WEF. The C4IR is a global center for multi-stakeholder cooperation to establish a policy framework and advance collaborations that will propel the benefits of science and technology.