Autonomous Drone Networks are a Faster Route to Sustainable Supply Chains

Original Article, E. Fu, World Economic Forum, November 2, 2021

The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and worsening climate change have strained supply chains past their breaking point, and the challenge of resiliency and access to life-critical goods is more important than ever. Supply chains all over the world are failing under the weight of increasing demand, limiting access to goods and services. And as customers increasingly expect on-demand, next-day or same-day delivery, our existing ground vehicle-based logistics network is growing increasingly inefficient and unsustainable. Investment in new forms of resilient and sustainable infrastructure is critical to the long-term success of global logistics.

Today, we can invest in sustainable, long-term infrastructure that requires no additional roads, embraces green spaces and brings massive reductions in carbon emissions. These benefits aren’t hypothetical or futuristic: Drone logistics companies are already moving goods around the world, providing on-demand, just-in-time access, while imposing a fraction of the carbon footprint of a ground-based network.

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