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UPS: Logistics industry is ripe for disruption


By Emmie V. Abadilla

United Parcel Service (UPS) is recognizing the potential impact of the latest technologies as the logistics sector continually evolves at a global scale. These innovations include blockchain, artificial intelligence, and drone delivery.



Chris Buono, Managing Director of UPS Philippines revealed this after his talk on Logistics and Disruptive Technology during the inaugural Innovation Series of the US-ASEAN Business Council and the Makati Business Club at the Manila House, BGC, Taguig, the other night.

Already, UPS, has partnered with another American firm, San Francisco-based drone delivery startup, Zipline, for healthcare logistics, giving access to life-saving blood supplies and medicines in Africa.

A couple of years ago, they have started deliveries in remote hospitals and clinics in Rwanda and early this year, they kicked off the world’s largest delivery drone service in Tanzania, Rwanda’s much larger neighbor, targeting 2,000 deliveries of medical supplies per day.

Eventually, deliveries of supplies such as blood products, medicines, and snake anti-venom will be made to over 1,000 hospitals and clinics serving 10 million people.

“Drone technology help UPS fulfill their vision of the delivery vehicle of the future — one that uses advanced propulsion, maintenance forecasting systems, and high-tech materials,” Buono explained.

“This disruptive technology can help UPS deliver millions of packages in a more sustainable manner, overcoming the obstacles of distance and geography. Drones can be used for sorting objects in high areas in these facilities and UPS has been exploring drone deliveries in rural areas, where drones can be launched from the roof of a UPS truck.”

“This would reduce the distance between the delivery stops and driver makes making them more efficient by reducing miles and vehicle emissions. The biggest opportunity for drones is delivery fulfillment in remote and vulnerable communities, where drones can revolutionize the way medicine, blood, and other critical supplies are delivered.”

“Drones can address the final hurdle of logistics in the 21st century — geography. Drones can help isolated and remote communities sidestep the lack of infrastructure to access supplies, trade goods, and be truly integrated into the global supply chain.”

UPS has always adopted disruptive technology, such as drone tech, in its 111 year-history, starting from conveyor belts in 1924 and electronic tracking of packages in 1992 to investing in 3D printing in 2015.

At its core, UPS is an engineering business handling more than 19 million packages, across nearly 100,000 vehicles, in more than 220 countries and territories every single day.

UPS believes that disruptive technologies, from smarter transportation to artificial intelligence and blockchain should be seen as tools to make people work more efficiently and safely as well as create a better experiences for customers.

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