Ask anyone in global e-commerce about the future of shipping and delivery and they're likely to give you a one word answer: drones. In recent months we have seen Amazon testing its new army of remote delivery agents at research facilities across the UK and America, and now the idea of a drone delivering our e-commerce goods seems more of a reality than the pipe dream it did a few years ago. However, British freight and logistics shipping company Mole Solutions sees the future of e-commerce delivery going in a different direction. In contrast to the drone, which delivers packages by flying through the air to its destination, Mole Solutions' 'Mole' delivers direct mail to buildings by travelling underground like a subway train; powered by electricity, it moves through specially designed pipes to fulfil orders.
Currently the Mole is being designed for larger freight delivery networks, and is being touted as the best new way to transport essentials like water, oil, and food around the world. However, many e-commerce experts are predicting that the Mole could one day be used as part of a worldwide, underground, e-commerce delivery network. The head of the research team at Mole Solutions, Dr Roger Miles, said that the Mole could solve one of the major transport issues of our time: congestion. He said that the Mole could "deliver goods to buildings and take away waste", whilst at the same time "taking a significant volume of traffic off the roads, not just in the UK but in countries like China and India. The bounds of this are limitless."
We will have to wait and see how the Mole develops over the next few years, and whether it will have the impact that its designers and researchers believe it can. What it does show us is that companies are searching for new global e-commerce delivery and shipping methods, so we could see a lot more technologies like this appearing in the near future.
You can see a video of a prototype of the Mole in action at the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NNUFuHlpc8
You can also visit the Mole Solutions website here: www.molesolutions.co.uk