My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Aeropost to spend JA$150 million introducing Delivery Lockers - Drones are the Missing Variable in the Delivery Equation with advantages superior to Lockers

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Aeropost to spend JA$150 million introducing Delivery Lockers - Drones are the Missing Variable in the Delivery Equation with advantages superior to Lockers

“We could install as many as 50 machines in Jamaica over the next three years, representing a US$1.5-million (J$159 million) investment in the country, as well as new jobs and improved trade conditions”

CEO of Aeropost, Jeff Duchesneau, in an interview with Wednesday Business Gleaner on Wednesday January 1st 2013

Happy New Year everyone!

I spent the New Year celebrating and nursing a sudden severe attack of asthma due to going uptown to fix a computer. Luckily I was able to get medication from the KPH (Kingston Public Hospital) for free that saw me fit to start writing again. Making it worse was that I’ve misplaced (or somebody stole!) my Samsung Expansion External Hard-Drive, which I’m not too worried about.

Not only did I recover all my data from the Cloud backup as I’d described in my blog article entitled “How to create and manage a 100GB Virtual Cloud Drive including Google Drive and Dropbox - My 100GB+ Cloud Drive Dream as the popularity of my blogs is Hunger Games Catching Fire”, but I’ve found cheaper 1 TB Hard-Drives online.

Fresh off the newsstands in the Technology world is that 24 Hour Deliver is now the new Bees knees in Jamaica if Florida Based Aeropost has their way as stated in “Aeropost To Invest Over J$150m In Jamaica”, Published Wednesday January 1, 2014, The Jamaica Gleaner.

This as Aeropost has decided to invest some JA$150 million in Jamaica to introduce Secured Locker Delivery Service, similar to what Amazon already has started in the US of A since 2011 as stated in “Amazon's New Secret Weapon: Delivery Lockers”, published Aug. 7, 2012 12:01 p.m. ET By GREG BENSINGER, Wall Street Journal.

Apparently someone at Aeropost must have read my article about me speculating that Mailpac possibly going Drones to ensure 24 hour delivery islandwide after Dealbug start to get hot as explained in my blog article entitled “Mailpac's Dealbug takes the guesswork out of Online Shopping - Same Day Drone door-to-Door Courier services to Jamaicans as Mailpac learns How to Train your Dragon 2”.

This as CEO of Aeropost, Jeff Duchesneau comments are made out of fear rather than brandishing relatively new technology, quote: “The automated parcel lockers are just one more example of Aeropost refusing to rest on its laurels. With them, customers will be able to pick up their packages 24 hours a day, seven days a week at the most convenient locations around Jamaica. The customers receive a four-digit PIN (personal identification number) (and another code) which allows them to pick up their packages at their designated locker”.

Possibly too, being as they’re the partner with Mailpac as it relates to the stateside deliveries behind Dealbug, they realized that this Drone Deliver Parcel fever might catch on in Jamaica, especially as Postal Services in Jamaica are next to non-existent in some parts.

Hence the planned roll-out of some fifty (50) Lockers over the next three (3) years, with the first set for deployment by the Third Quarter of 2014, which is awfully far away in the year. These lockers come with 24 hour surveillance Cameras and require a lot of back and forth trips by Mailpac’s Deliverymen, to quote CEO of Aeropost, Jeff Duchesneau: “Each unit can hold up to 50 packages and are designed to be filled two to three times a day by a Mailpac team member, depending on demand. There will be no extra charge for locker pick-up, and we expect to use this technology to increase even further our islandwide delivery system”.

Clearly this isn’t forward thinking; it’s more of a knee-jerk reaction to the possibility that a another competitor in Jamaica may suddenly decide to do Drones as Amazon is planning to do in the US of A as noted in my blog article entitledAmazon plans to launch Amazon PrimeAir, their 30 minute Drone Package Delivery Service for Amazon Prime users - Playing Catch-up as Mailpak launches DealBug in Jamaica”.

Aeropost’s Lockers from Group – Amazon’s 24 Hour Delivery Metal Boxes with Cameras

It’s clearly a clone of Amazon Locker System that they’ve been using successfully to combat package theft and ensure delivery reach the intend recipient. This as the Lockers are built secure with Networked connectivity that make access possible only via entering an assigned PIN (Personal Identification Number) when the customer opts to have his/her item(s) delivered to a Locker.
From January 1, 2014
Convenience is the name of the game, as many in Jamaica don’t have address that are deliverable e.g. war torn ghetto communities such as Tivoli Gardens or Rema and rural Country places such as Milk River, Clarendon or Kellits in the North of Clarendon. Thus like our New Kingston counterparts, we can specify a Locker for delivery and have our package of 10Kg or smaller securely delivered for pickup later at no extra cost to the Mailpac Courier Service Customer.

Aeropost’s Technology partner for the rollout of their Locker Service is Polish company Group which is helping to facilitate the roll-out of the Locker Service across the Caribbean specifically:

1.      Costa Rica
2.      El Salvador
3.      Guatemala
4.      Trinidad & Tobago
5.      Jamaica
6.      Barbados
7.      Panama
8.      Dominican Republic

Aeropost barking up the Wrong tree – Drone Deliveries are the future as Locker’s not necessary

The Jamaican rollout will take place over a period of three (3) years and may eventually mark the death of the Postal Package Delivery in Jamaica. Thus I won’t be surprised if Mailpac, who’ll no doubt use Aeropost’s services, may also combine this with Drone Package Delivery.


Albeit secure Lockers are a great concept, they don’t reduce the cost of Delivery as 24 Hour Surveillance and power consumption make them an added cost, not a cost reduction. Add to that the fact the Cameras’ aren’t really necessary, just strong build quality on the lockers as the PIN is protection enough.

Lockers are really more suited for situations where Package deliveries keep getting stolen or lost due to an inability for the recipient to receive the package if they live in an apartment or dwelling with no Post office Box or in areas where packages are stolen.
From January 1, 2014
Also many Wholesalers and Retailers in Jamaica may not like the idea of hosting a competitor so close to their business, even if their goods are imported as is currently the case with Amazon losing Radioshack and Staples as part of their Amazon Locker Network as noted in “RadioShack and Staples pull Amazon Lockers from stores after unfruitful trial”, published September 19, 2013 09:51 am By Chris Welch, The Verge.

Jamaica doesn’t have that problem; ours is a problem relating to the collapse of the Postal Service in some parts of the island resulting in the Jamaica Postal Service slowly losing its relevance as noted in “Postal services remain relevant despite computer 'invasion'”, published Sunday, December 08, 2013 BY DONNA HUSSEY-WHYTE Sunday Observer staff reporter, The Jamaica Observer.

In the New Kingston area and beyond, Delivery bikemen fill that gap for fast efficient delivery. But guaranteeing 24 hour delivery islandwide is next to impossible, especially if you have multiple deliveries in multiple parishes. Mailpac fleet of Pink Trucks would then have to make a judgement call as to which to deliver to first, in the process using up Gasoline in incurring Wear and Tear on Vehicles.

The case for Drones vs Lockers - Taking to the Air guarantees 30 minute deliveries islandwide

Drones would do a better job as they are autonomous fly on their own and require little in the way of supervision. They need less Fuel to fly greater Distance due to less traffic in the air. Best of all, they reduce, reducing the cost of ferrying small Packages in-between their Package Distribution Centers as that doesn't involved people.

Drones would potentially save millions off the cost of Ground Transportation in terms of Employee Wages and Fuel for UPS and FedEx as opined in my blog article entitled UPS and FedEx developing their Own Delivery Drones to compete with Amazon PrimeAir - Premium Rush Package Delivery Drones herald the coming of Google's Personal Androids that are Almost Human”.

In summary, Lockers would b great for City Dwellers in Jamaica and as a replacement for the Package Deliver provided by the Postal Service in rural Jamaica. But when it comes to delivering items within 30 minutes within a 10 km radius or even 24 hours delivery islandwide, it won’t reduce the cost of Delivery, despite being no cost to the consumer. Mailpac would have to pay for that cost as a client to Aeropost and it’s not sustainable in the long term.
From January 1, 2014
That’s only possible if you remove humans and gas-guzzling vehicles in gridlocked traffic – by taking to the Air, which also guarantees 30 minute deliveries, Amazon PrimeAir style as note in my blog article entitledAmazon plans to launch Amazon PrimeAir, their 30 minute Drone Package Delivery Service for Amazon Prime users - Playing Catch-up as Mailpak launches DealBug in Jamaica”.

Whatever happens, Drones, whether Aeropost or Mailpac likes it, are part of the Delivery Equation going forward, as the advantages and possible services are too exciting to ignore.

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