Recently, the Value Chain Innovation Initiative at the Stanford Graduate School of Business hosted a one-day symposium titled “The Future of Last Mile Delivery.” As one would expect in the heart of Silicon Valley, panelists discussed futuristic drones, autonomous vehicles, robots and other cutting-edge technologies. Almost as intriguing, e-commerce incumbents like UPS and Walmart shared how they are deploying technology and strategy in the last mile.
For a guy like me, who used to own and manage an old-school, white-glove delivery company-box trucks, 9 locations around the country, burly guys carrying 500 pound treadmills up flights of stairs – this was fascinating stuff. Five themes emerged.
- Amazon is on Everyone's Mind
- Retail Locations are Becoming Fulfillment Centers
- There Will Be No Singular "Last Mile" Revolution
- Asset-Based Networks Serve Baseline Demand Remarkably Well
- Technology and Capital Will Replace Humans