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Drones Have Place in Supply Chain

Feb. 26, 2015
Despite recent federal regualation there are drone use cases that the supply chain can take advantage of immediately.

As drones are flying around in the retail space regulators are devising rules of operation.

Last week the FAA published rules which  require drones to weigh less than 55 pounds. They cannot fly faster than 100 mph. They can only fly in good weather and not close to airports. They also must be within visible site of the operator.

Will these regulations restrict the the use of drones in the supply chain?

“Drones seem to offer an affordable and flexible solution - but not if the FAA rules are in place,” says Guy Courtin of Constellation Research in an article on ZDNet.

He does however outline some drone use cases that the supply chain can take advantage of immediately. One is asset monitoring. 

This is already taking place in agriculture, oil & gas, and mining to name a few. Drones provide the flexibility for activities such as survey work, monitoring of assets, determining crop growth, etc. In countries such as Australia, mining companies are already leaning heavily on the pilot-less aircrafts to assist with activity on the ground. By some estimates the usage can save close to 90% of the $2000 an hour cost for a helicopter.

For more uses see "Drones still useful in supply chains despite FAA regulations".

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