Walmart, Zipline team up to bring first-of-its kind drone delivery service to the US
Walmart announced today that they are teaming up with drone logistics company Zipline to launch a first-of-its-kind delivery operation in the United States of America. The new service was announced by Tom Ward, senior vice president, Customer Product, who said that Walmart will make on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness products with the potential to expand to general merchandise. This collaboration comes at the heels of the partnership Walmart announced last week with Flytrex to test drone deliveries for groceries.
The trial deliveries will take place near Walmart’s headquarters in Northwest Arkansas using Zipline’s proprietary technology.
Talking about the collaboration, Tom Ward said, "Zipline will operate from a Walmart store and can service a 50-mile radius, which is about the size of the state of Connecticut. And, not only does their launch and release system allow for quick on-demand delivery in under an hour, but it also eliminates carbon emissions, which lines up perfectly with our sustainability goals. The operation will likely begin early next year, and, if successful, we’ll look to expand."
Zipline, which operates the world’s largest drone delivery network, began operating in late 2016 in Rwanda primarily focusing on the on-demand delivery of medical supplies. "To date, they’ve safely delivered more than 200,000 critical medical products to thousands of health facilities serving more than 20 million people across multiple countries. This uniquely positions them for national-scale operations across the United States," he added.