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

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. 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.


“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)

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.