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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Will future warehouses be underwater or in the air? Wal-Mart and Amazon have filed Patents.

8/23/2017
Brian Sharpe

What will happen to the industrial market in the coming future.  It is looking like it may go the way of the Jetsons.  (ABC just ordered a live-action reboot of the Jetsons)  While Amazon has previously filed patents for aerial warehouses as well as undersea warehouse, Wal-Mart has just filed for aerial warehousing as well.

The most recent patent application from Wal-Mart will have them flying blimps between 500 &  1,000 feet above and operated autonomously or by a human.  There would be multiple launching bays and drones would fly in, pick up products and fly out.  They deliver products directly to shoppers.

Last year Amazon filed for a similar patent where they would fly at 45,000 feet a airborne fulfillment center or AFC.  Recently they filed a patent for underwater warehousing.  The package gets dropped from the air, parachutes down to the water, and then sinks to the desired level based on density.  When the item is to be delivered, a coded acoustic tone activates a balloon which floats the item to the surface.  Then a drone of employee can retrieve the item.

While it remains to be seen if this science fiction becomes reality you have to admit these companies are thinking outside the box.  As Mark Twain once said "Buy land, they're not making it any more."  Well, the earth is 71% at various depth and airspace...that could be limitless.  In the future, Amazon my launch their Blue Origins rocket into space, store items there to be delivered to their floating AFC's or land in an Ocean warehouse.

These could be game changers for industrial properties, logistic companies, and more.  Who needs to store items in a retail location when you can place your order in the store and before you arrive home the item is dropped from space, picked up from the ocean by drone and left on your doorstep.

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