Amazon's Distribution Drone: Was it a joke?

December 11, 2013 by NetPlus Alliance

By now you have all seen the distribution news that Amazon unveiled a plan on the December 2nd 60 Minutes show to use “Octocopter” mini-drones to make small package deliveries. When I saw the story I thought it was some sort of joke – what it really was, was a stroke of PR genius. A week after the story I googled, “Amazon drones” and there were 151 million results. On the op-ed page of The Buffalo News Sunday edition on December 8th, all six editorial cartoons were about the drone copters. That’s one way to take Obamacare off the editorial pages and kickoff your holiday sales season!

Not that they needed more publicity, but it sure didn’t hurt to have everyone worldwide talking about Amazon three weeks before Christmas.

I think back to how important the company owned delivery truck was to our family business, Ward Brothers Mill Supply Company. We have pictures of my three great uncles in the 1940’s and 1950’s standing in front of the new stake body truck that they had just purchased. I wonder what they would think about “drone” deliveries. One thing they would probably say is, “that thing will never carry a 21’ length of 4” steel pipe.” Our stake body truck did a great job of that.

But, I will never say it can’t happen. After all, in 1970 I started working in my uncle’s office that featured typewriters, a lot of carbon paper, and a plug-corded switchboard – no copy machine, fax machine or computers. Now I carry an iPhone with full access to everything, anywhere and anytime.

So….my grandchildren just may see those delivery drones.

By Dan Judge, Chairman

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