What’s next for FedEx? Maybe delivery bots!
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What’s next for FedEx? Maybe delivery bots!

Not that long ago, the idea that global shipping and delivery specialists FedEx were looking to develop specialised robots to deliver parcels would have sounded like something out of a science fiction film. In today’s world, it seems somehow easier to take. According to a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), that might be the case. The filing was for “FedEx SameDay Bot,” and identified said bot as “robots for documents and package delivery” that would be used mainly for “shipping and delivery services, namely, pick-up, transportation and delivery of documents and packages.”

FedEx’s share price has increased by more-than 2% over the past 30 days

graph 2611 fedex

Source: Yahoo Finance

The interesting thing is that FedEx already has a SameDay program that gets customers their goods within hours. The downside is that this service is administered by squishy humans – not the pristine perfection that is modern robotics. Asked what they felt the “bot” would add to the SameDay program, FedEx replied with a somewhat disappointing: “Per company policy, we do not comment on specifics of projects in the developmental phase.”

Like many big players in the logistics world (as well as big players in other worlds) FedEx already makes liberal use of robotics in some of its facilities. It’s also investing in a variety of further robotic ideas, like driverless tugger technologies and robotic trailer unloading systems. But robots that deliver parcels to the door is a step further still. However, in a near-future where cars drive themselves, your toaster is connected to the internet, and meat is “grown” in labs, maybe a robot dropping off your birthday cards won’t be the weirdest thing in the world.

Dominion holds FedEx in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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