Amazon is field testing a new delivery robot called Scout, which the company describes as a "fully-electric delivery system" designed to safely get packages to customers using autonomous delivery devices.
Six robots are initially being tested in a Snohomish County neighbourhood in the U.S. state of Washington, where they'll be delivering packages Monday through Friday during daylight hours. The devices will autonomously follow their delivery route but are initially being accompanied by an Amazon employee.
Customers in Snohomish County order just as they normally would and their Amazon packages will be delivered either by one of Amazon's partner carriers or by Amazon Scout.
The robots, which are the size of a small cooler box, were created at Amazon's research and development lab in Seattle. They're designed to roll along sidewalks at a walking pace and safely navigate around pets, pedestrians and anything else in their path.
September saw the respective international conferences of two major supply chain management industry bodies – that of the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA, in Taipei) and that of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT, in Dubai). At both gatherings there was substantial African representation and, at the CILT Convention, Africans were in a clear majority. What does this imply for African businesses?