The Milk Delivery System is Being Brought Back


They way we consume goods has completely changed in the past few decades. I’ve written a couple of blog posts about delivery systems and how our mailing means have grown exponentially. You can order something online with one click, and have it on your door step the next day.

The simplicity of everything has become dangerous quite honestly. I don’t think about ordering things online as much as I do in person. I’ve gotten particularly good at making sure I walk around a store at least once with a potential item to make sure I reaaaaaaally need it. Nine times out of ten, within a half-loop of a store, I put that item back. I mean in grocery stores, the layouts of the aisles are purposefully designed to make you spend more money (it’s actually really interesting if you want to read more). I’ve been able to get better with that too, now that I know. Especially feeding one person; I can’t buy that 24 pack of chicken at Costco because dear goodness, I’d never be able to get through that before it goes bad.

But with online shopping, I find I’m all too eager to get that new thing. I’ve paid for subscription boxes before, because I find if I set aside $10 per month for that sample-filled box, I don’t go out of my way to browse for the full size products that will eat at my funds. Now, I’ve stopped doing the subscriptions, despite how much I’ve loved them (it’s a nice surprise every other month since I tend to forget about their arrival).

So where does that bring me to the Milkman theory? I’ve seen several companies recently edit the subscription phenomena that seems to be plaguing all of us. Myro is a great example. They specialize in natural deodorant: delivered to your door, Milkman style. Your first time order you get a case with refillable contents. Every time you start to run out of your deodorant, order a refill (you can even make it automatic if you know your sweating patterns), and boom, it’s at your door.

We’ve seen subscriptions like this before. I have friends who swear by Dollar Shave Club. They’re whole premise is just like the company’s above. Buy a razor the first time, get sent razor heads whenever you need them.

Now, you may ask, “Sydney, how is this anything like the home milk delivery system that you mentioned previously?” Let me tell you! Back in the god-forsaken olden days (hi mom and dad), there used to be a thing called a Milkman. He’d deliver milk to your front door, packaged up in glass bottles. Once you used the milk, you’d put those glass bottles back on the porch. The good wholesome (no pun intended) Milkman would then pick up those bottles, and start the process all over again. Today, we have fancy packaging and apps that do the hard logistic parts for us, but the fundamentals are the same.

Like a few recent posts, this system revolves around the mission to cut packaging waste as much as possible. Every single item we buy is in one-use packaging. It’s not a revolutionary model by any means, but in a day and age where companies want consumers to buy, buy, buy all the time, it’s nice to know they have values that reflect the new (or would it be old?) way of doing business.

Delivery Robots could be the cutest new tech idea of 2019

Image result for amazon robot delivery

I love Amazon. I’ve used Prime for almost 6 years now, and even after my half-price student discount ends in the near future, I will continue to use it. A teacher of mine who is an avid book worm (he owns thousands of books, and I mean, thousands) told our class he saved almost $5,000 in the first year since getting his Prime account.

The mailing system in our country (and the world for that matter) still amazes me to this day. Yes, certain packages can take weeks to be delivered, and we’ve all had something disappear in the mail at one point or another. But 9 times out of 10, it’s within a few days (in the case of Prime, only 2!) that something – even from across the country – gets to your door.

When you think about how the first few years of the postal service were serviced with horse and buggy, it’s mind-boggling to think of the millions of letters, parcels, packages, and more that are all delivered each day. And not to mention the data the average consumer can get their hands on nowadays. With the Delta app, I get a notification when my suitcase is loaded onto the plane. I know that’s a little different than your average delivery, but with a simple tracking number, I can see one of my packages being delivered tomorrow only has 12 stops until it gets to my apartment building. How is that not crazy incredible?!

I hear people complain about having a shipping confirmation tell them it’ll take 3 days for their order to get to them. 3 DAYS?? C’mon that’s nothing. I understand there are things you can’t wait for, or maybe even need ASAP, but 3 days. The amount of infrastructure, organization of people and places, etc. to get you that fidget spinner you have. to. have. right. this. minute. Give me a break.

So, after this brief gush about one of the modern marvels of the world, let’s insert the latest of the greatest technology (that’s not the saying, but oh well). Amazon is now testing delivery bots. Now, they are completely adorable. And quite honestly I’d love to get a delivery from one of these lil guys; but they do look pretty…dopy. Here’s a short video:

Amazon just started testing these buggers about a month ago. But, Door Dash – a food delivery service from restaurant to home – has been doing research and development of this since early 2017. I honestly haven’t heard much about it, even though this Buzzfeed video had more than 8.7 million views. Guess I’m out of the loop. This short video actually shows the articulation of the three wheels (it’s actually pretty wild!) over curbs, and the camera and sensor systems in place.

Now, my main critique of such a service was actually the possibility of theft. Not necessarily the food (although that would be terribly unfortunate for any hungry person waiting anxiously) but rather the bot itself. One of the Door Dash techs said that they are coming up with ways to deter the thefts however. So the video above kind of debunks my short-lived theory.

I will say, stealing and damaging property were some of the things I thought would ultimately destroy the city scooter phenomenon (back in Portland last year, and now Detroit). But all of the scooter companies seem to be doing great, with most, if not all, of their assets still up and running to this day.

I have to say, I’m kind of excited to see what happens with this. The next revolution of delivery is heating up people! If only Paul Revere could see us now.