New tech­nolo­gies may have cost and effi­cien­cy advan­tages, but Aus­tralians are yet to be con­vinced and would rather have their let­ters and parcels, for exam­ple, be deliv­ered by per­son, rather than high tech alter­na­tives like deliv­ery drones, reports

A sur­vey of 709 Aus­tralians by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Syd­ney Depart­ment of Trans­port and Logis­tics, asked par­tic­i­pants for their pre­ferred par­cel deliv­ery from three options under a range of dif­fer­ent sce­nar­ios like cost and time.

: Tra­di­tion­al deliv­ery by a ‘postie’.

: Drone trans­porta­tion.

: Leav­ing items in a par­cel lock­er.

Pro­fes­sor Rico Merk­ert

Pro­fes­sor Rico Merk­ert, the Survey’s lead­ing author, said the results show Aus­tralians still pre­fer the tra­di­tion­al postie. Although adds, the deliv­ery pref­er­ences can change depend­ing on fac­tors like speed, cost, safe­ty and infra­struc­ture.

The results are pub­lished in the ‘Inter­na­tion­al Jour­nal of Phys­i­cal Dis­tri­b­u­tion and Logis­tics Man­age­ment’.

Par­tic­i­pants were asked to respond to a set of sce­nar­ios, buy­ing a range of goods online from books, elec­tron­ics, house­hold and cloth­ing to jew­ellery and sport­ing items. They were then invit­ed to choose their pre­ferred deliv­ery mode.

Merk­ert explained, “The par­cel val­ue is a sig­nif­i­cant fac­tor in people’s choice of deliv­ery. The high­er the val­ue, the more peo­ple were inter­est­ed in issues like secu­ri­ty and safe­ty. This is inter­est­ing as a lot of peo­ple in the e‑Commerce space order a cross-sec­tion of prod­ucts from books priced less than AU$15 to tablets and iPhones worth AU$1,500 or more.”

Under­stand­ably, for the high­er val­ue items, the human postie had a com­pet­i­tive advan­tage, enabling peo­ple to sign for the par­cel. It seems peo­ple are more trust­wor­thy than deliv­ery drones.

Infra­struc­ture is anoth­er key fac­tor in people’s deci­sions. If the pub­lic are not at home, with no safe place for an unat­tend­ed deliv­ery, they are more like­ly to choose the option of a par­cel lock­er. Yet, as the cost of drone deliv­ery falls, mod­el­ling based from the sur­vey results sug­gests this form could become the pre­ferred option, stat­ing that drones and par­cel lock­ers are “poten­tial game chang­ers” for last-mile deliv­ery.

Merk­ert con­clud­ed, “While today’s drone deliv­ery oper­a­tions are main­ly tar­get­ing niche mar­kets, the tech­nol­o­gy holds sig­nif­i­cant promise as a means of low cost and fast par­cel trans­porta­tion that could ulti­mate­ly reach a deliv­ery mar­ket share of up to 80 per­cent.”

(News Source:

(Top image cred­it: PantherMedia/mipa)