Today’s Pickup: A drone capable of carrying 1 ton packages?

Delivery drone

Good morning.

For those who are not yet convinced that drones may play an important role in last-mile delivery, a Chinese e-commerce company is proving them wrong. JD.com is already delivering small packages with drones to remote villages, the Wall Street Journal reports. That service began in 2016.

Now comes word that the company is developing drones capable of carrying payloads of one ton or even more. The company hopes to deploy the drones in Shaanxi.

“JD’s chairman Richard Liu sees drones as a way to reach millions of potential customers outside China’s major cities, an enormous market where it competes fiercely with Alibaba,” writes the Journal. “In one Chinese province, Mr. Liu said he plans to build 150 drone delivery sites within the next three years.”

Did you know?

The commercial drone market was estimated to be $552 million in 2014. Grand View Research has estimated it will reach $1.9 billion in 2022.

Quotable:

“The regulations are going to create a bigger driver shortage than we would normally see at this point in time in the economic cycle.”

- Eric Starks, CEO of FTR, in a recent Fleet Owner webinar on ELDs.

In other news:

Is regulatory relief on the horizon?

 A Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration advisory board is scheduled to meet next month, and among the topics it will discuss is providing regulatory relief to the industry. (Overdrive)

YRC official: Lead with technology

YRC Worldwide’s chief customer officer told an audience at ALK’s technology conference that trucking companies need to start thinking more like technology companies. (Fleet Owner)

Court rules XPO misclassified drivers

A federal court has issued a $958,660 judgement against XPO Cartage in favor of five drivers who claim they were misclassified as independent contractors. (Heavy Duty Trucking)

More freight moving across Canadian border

The value of freight moving across the U.S.-Canada border rose 10.4% to $51.2 billion in March of this year over March 2016. Trucks carried 58.7% of the freight value. (Today’s Trucking)

GM faces diesel emissions lawsuit

General Motors has become the latest automaker to be sued for its diesel engines. A Seattle law firm has filed a class action suit against GM, claiming that it manipulated certification testing on its diesel pickups. (New York Times)

A drone capable of carrying one ton packages? Certainly possible, but I do hope the delivery system is accurate. It’s one thing to drop a 5 pound package on a roof by mistake, but a 2,000 pound package? Thanks, but perhaps delivery by truck is still the way to go.

Hammer down everyone!