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    E Comm Express to use Drones for Parcel Deliveries

    E Comm Express, a logistics solution provider for the Indian retail and e-commerce industry, has announced a strategic partnership with drone-delivery technology firm Skye Air, to use drones for their parcel deliveries, according to a report by Zee Business. The company will utilize Skye Air’s tech stack and infrastructure such as Skye Pod and Skye UTM.

    E Comm claims that its use of drones would reduce the delivery time for customers and is starting its drone services in Gurugram, with plans to expand to other Indian cities later. Currently, E Comm has a presence in all the Indian states and in 2,700 towns spread across 27,000 PIN Codes.

    Why This Matters

    E Comm has claimed that its use of drones would help reduce the environmental impact of last-mile deliveries caused by traffic congestion and emissions, as well as reduce the waiting time for customers. The e-commerce industry has intensified the flow of goods and increased the number of deliveries, which can have negative consequences such as traffic congestion and environmental damage from vehicular emissions. However, the environmental benefits of drone deliveries depend on factors like current traffic volumes and the extent of drone deployment.

    Additionally, there are challenges associated with the use of drones, which include the necessity of adhering to regulations regarding navigable air space, weight and altitude. Currently, the use of drones for civilian purposes in India is governed by the Drone Rules 2021, which specify the speed, altitude, weight and safety regulations for the drones, and also require them to be registered on the Digital Sky Platform. These Rules permit drones to be used for e-commerce deliveries, provided that they comply with the regulations. This could also limit the reach of E Comm to deliver parcels on time to its customers, as the Drone Rules 2021 have designated several areas, such as those near airports and state secretariat offices, as No Fly Zones, potentially limiting the capability of E-commerce platforms to provide services to many of their customers.

    The use of drones in the E-commerce sector could also lead to privacy concerns for individuals, as a result of safety regulations that mandate drones to share their locations with third-party observers, who may then be able to link customers with their orders, as per a US study conducted in December 2023. This could lead to issues such as targeted advertising and third parties having access to a customer’s health information specifically in the case of medicine deliveries. Even when drones are used for the delivery of essential services, they could lead to individuals’ privacy being violated, as seen in India, when a proposal to use drones during natural disasters by the Ministry of Telecommunications was criticized by MPs for invading privacy. E Comm has not yet clarified its stance on how the privacy of customers would be maintained.

    In light of this, it is necessary to weigh the benefits and risks of drone delivery systems, especially in an Indian context.

    Also Read:

    The post E Comm Express to use Drones for Parcel Deliveries appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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