Technology

An empirical analysis of drone ecosystems in 4PL logistics

drone ecosystems in 4PL logistics

This PhD project will analyse potential use cases of aerial drone operations at the warehouse/ delivery interface. Using real world data, it will produce several use cases that demonstrate the potential for integrated drone operations in the 4PL freight context.

The project’s findings are intended to provide evidence for regulatory frameworks around low-altitude air traffic management (once the drone leaves the warehouse or private / ‘advise and fly’ zones) that not only support industry but enable innovation and hence technological advancement to better the Australian logistics/freight industry.

Participants

Project background

This PhD project will analyse potential use cases of aerial drone operations at the warehouse/ delivery interface. As drones are currently used in warehouse operations, this research aims to test the next step which would be to get those drones operating outside warehouses.

Optimal warehouse design and locations (joint warehouse location and last-mile route optimisation) are part of the research scope, as are empirical test on what functional operations are best suited for the drone operations.

The project’s main focus is on cost optimisation of integrated drone operations at the warehouse/delivery interface. Once drones leave the warehouse environment, they will need some sort of low altitude air traffic management system (LAAM) and technologies such as IoT and artificial intelligence to ensure orderly, safe, and efficient operations.

While drone users value and are willing to pay for LAAM services (Merkert et al., 2021), it is not clear who will bear the cost in the 4PL context. The study context is hence touching on smart freight strategy, cost management, and regulatory aspects.

See the full list of iMOVE projects here

Project objectives

Show that integration of drone operations at the warehouse/ delivery interface has the potential to significantly reduce cost and hence improve the efficiency, competitiveness, and resilience of supply chains in Australia.

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