It is the last step in the supply chain but likely the most important: last-mile delivery. Delivery from the transport hub to the shipment’s final destination has become one of the major focus points for logistics companies as more and more people head online to buy their goods. In fact, e-commerce is expected to hit $1.35 billion in sales by 2018, an increase of 28.8 percent from 2013. Quick delivery direct to door is no longer something that is “nice to have”, it is a customer expectation from the online shopping. But meeting such expectations has become an expensive operation with last-mile delivery comprising more than 50 percent of total shipping costs. People want their goods and they want them now.

Thankfully, there are many logistics companies worldwide who are working to streamline this process using the latest tech and methodology. Forget about the postman coming to your door, these last-mile delivery startups are rethinking the last step in the supply chain to include drones, electric vehicles, robots, driverless cars and more. Smart solutions are the way forward.

It was only a matter of time: delivery robots. One of the last-mile delivery startups, launched by Skype co-founders in London and headquartered in San Francisco, is one of the better-known delivery robot companies out there hoping to revolutionize last-mile deliveries. The company has custom-built their own delivery robots, and while they might look more like ice-coolers than human-like androids, are changing the way goods come to your door.

The concept is simple: customers order through an app before the little robot makes its way through urban streets. Customers can then live track the six-wheeled droids, with their range of two miles and ability to deliver within 30 minutes, as they make their way for drop-off.

This solution has a potential to introduce a great last-mile delivery option for small areas, removing some of the traffic from the roads at the same time. The startup has already partnered with such companies as Swiss Post, Domino’s and Postmates and claims to have driven 100,000+ km on public sidewalks.

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