While the new economy relies more heavily on logistics, traditional methods with vans and drivers are inefficient in rural areas. Low volumes and scattered delivery points make the process slow and energy-intensive, which turns out to be expensive as labour and fuel account for 85% of total costs. In many places, delivery is simply not available while in others the last mile is outsourced to local providers, which results in delivery surcharges (e.g. £45M in 2021 in Scotland, 1M people concerned i.e. 1/5 of the population).
In addition, despite £50M spent by the UK government every year, one-third of post offices open for less than 5.5 hours/week, with some providing services only for one hour/week. The situation slows down the local economy and under-serves rural market segments.
IONA is a new kind of local logistics provider that mainly benefits rural areas, connecting unreached communities or those experiencing delivery surcharges due to the energy intensity of delivering there. We connect them to the nearest logistics route with a seamless point-to-point and home-delivery system.
We are swapping inefficient delivery vans for highly efficient autonomous drones, levelling up the playing field between local players while cutting costs and CO2 emissions for everybody. In addition, our IONA Hubs reduce car-dependency and improve service availability, providing convenient logistics point for the communities.
In September 2022, Richard Lochhead MSP, officialised its support of an IONA delivery trial in in his constituency. He has been fighting unfair delivery charges for many years, like in 2018 at the UK Parliament (right).
“The plans put forward by Iona are ambitious and could revolutionize the way deliveries are carried out in rural areas by showcasing a new tech solution to this problem, so I’m keen to work with Iona and other stakeholders to look at a trial of this system here in Moray.”
Richard Lochhead, Moray MSP.