Amazon, logistics and the ‘last mile’ problem

Sir, Delivery by drone may be “a safe and sensible way to keep the drone industry aloft” (John Thornhill, December 20) but is it sensible for the logistics industry?

The “last mile” problem is exacerbated by the customer paying for the last mile but having no say in who provides the service. People choose to shop at Amazon based on factors such as price, and put up with the service provided by whomever Amazon chooses to deliver the goods, because the prices Amazon offers make it bearable. So if Amazon wants to deliver by drone (or donkey for that matter) people will continue to pay because they want goods at a certain price. But if Amazon wants to improve delivery for its customers then it should create a free market for delivery by simply allowing customers to choose which company delivers their goods. Doing so would expose delivery companies to market forces, encouraging them to find cost-effective and customer-friendly solutions to the “last mile” problem. Not as cool as flying robots though.

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