Last Mile Delivery Vehicles of the Future

Urban logistics is not just to find the best route, but the best vehicle. Around the world there are exceptional cases where,  if they don’t find a suitable vehicle to optimize urban deliveries, they create one from scratch, with state-of-the-art technologies to address congestion, product condition and fuel optimization. It’s a fleet operator’s dream!

1. The first (heavy) electric delivery truck

Last mile delivery solutions

Source: TedCrunch

The Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck prototype, with a total admissible weight capacity of 26 tons was presented in Stuttgart in July 2016. Even tough small size electric delivery vehicles have begun their streamline use, TechCrunch calls this “the first clean energy big rig of its kind”.

As it doesn’t work with a conventional combustion engine, it will reduce its noise considerably. The vehicle could be on the road by 2020, but it will be mostly used in urban environments, as its max range is 200 kilometers.

2. Last mile delivery drones

last mile delivery drones

Source: Discover Magazine

No, drones will not take over delivery trucks. Rather, they can make their job easier in last mile deliveries and packages in multiple destinations.

The HorseFly is an octocopter drone developed by Workhorse Group, based in Ohio. According to Discover Magazine:

“Once it gets a delivery mission, the drone can take off through the truck’s roof with a 10-pound package and automatically fly to its destination using GPS. A remote human pilot located in the equivalent of a command center will manually guide the drone down the last 100 feet to the ground to avoid trees or similar obstacles. “

According to Steve Burns, CEO of the Workhorse Group, “a major delivery company is within line of sight of almost every business or house in America sometime during the day.”

3. Maintaining the hot chain: the “perfect” pizza delivery vehicleroute optimization softwareSource: Gizmag

We’re used to vehicles adapted for refrigerated goods, to maintain their cold chain. Domino’s made a bold move to keep up with the hot conditions of products. They repurposed a Chevrolet Spark vehicle into what they call the “first-of-its-kind, purpose-built pizza-delivery vehicle” under the name Domino’s Delivery Expert (DXP). The car has a built-in oven to keep their deliveries “crust piping hot”.

Not only that, an OnStar navigation system is fitted to give drivers turn-by-turn directions, a design to stabilize pizzas and secure drinks and sauces.

4. Pool deliveries

fleet tracking and monitoring

Source: Innerstaden Göteborg

The Swedish city of Gothenburg created the Stadsleveransen (City Delivery), to pool its urban deliveries for 500 shops and business, to reduce shopping center traffic and free nested streets.

The Guardian reports that the system includes small electric cars and a six-wheeled cargo bike, the Velove Armadillo, measures 14ft [4.2 meters] long but only 34 inches [86cm] wide and is crafted from red-coated aluminum with a pedal-assisted electric drive and a trailer that is low enough for other cyclists to look over.”

“Private transport companies leave their packages at a freight consolidation terminal from where Stadsleveransen’s fleet of two electric cars and two cargo bikes carry the goods the final couple of kilometers.”, The Guardian reports.

5. Testing the “New Delivery Vehicle Experience”

Challenges of urban logistics

Source: Business Insider

Perhaps it will not see the road, but it’s a very good test. Business Insider reports that Walmart has launched the Walmart Advanced Vehicle Experience or WAVE. It is a lightweight hybrid turbine drivetrain, with advanced aerodynamics.

Its design could reduce drag and increase fuel economy, and its microturbines could combine natural gas and other fuels to produce virtually no emissions. A futuristic cockpit, on the other hand, would have fully customizable digital displays and even a fold out bed, with a sliding driver’s door. The cargo, on the other hand,  would be transported in a carbon fiber panel trailer, lighter than a conventional unit.

The future unveils amazing new inventions to improve the supply chain industry. It takes a little imagination, but plenty of hard work.

What features would you like your ideal delivery fleet to have?

Francisca is the Business Development Director of Drivin, a SaaS transportation management solution that generates an optimized delivery plan, improves customer service, and reduces transportation costs by up to 30% from day one.