Did you know that drone deliveries are expected to rise from 35,000 to 110,000 between 2022-2024? Well, receiving packages from the sky is no more a science fiction movie scene. Domino’s made this movie scene a reality with its first drone delivery pizza in November 2016.
Since then, drone delivery has been constantly rising among industries, especially the retail industry. Well, which are the companies leading this technological advancement?
Amazon, the largest e-commerce company, has come up with its own drone delivery program, popularly known as Prime Air. Its latest design was launched at the re: MARS Conference of 2019. Under the program, packages weighing up to 5 pounds will be delivered within 30 minutes.
The patent for the Prime Air delivery program was granted in 2017, with its approval from the FAA in 2020. Surprisingly enough, the program has successfully completed 100 deliveries in two small U.S. markets.
This Israeli drone delivery startup was started in 2013. With the help of automated aviation-grade certified drones, which are capable of delivering packages weighing 6.6 pounds within a radius of 6.2 miles, the startup has proven to be a holy grail for the retail and food delivery industry.
Some news reports also mention Walmart’s partnerships with Flytrex’s drone to launch their drone delivery program in North Carolina. Moreover, the company has also launched its own food and grocery ordering app known as the Flytrex app.
3. DHL Parcelcopter
DHL Parcelcopter, a pioneering drone delivery service by German company DHL, showcased the potential of unmanned aerial vehicles to reach remote locations. Utilizing autonomous quadcopters, the service successfully delivered small packages to places like Juist Island, Germany.
Equipped with lightweight, weatherproof, and waterproof air-transport containers, the drones prioritized the safety of goods during transit. Although DHL had been actively developing and refining the Parcelcopter project since 2013, the company decided to discontinue its drone delivery efforts in 2021, citing the need to allocate resources to other areas.
Nonetheless, DHL’s initiative left a lasting impact on the industry, highlighting the importance of efficient, secure, and resilient drone-based logistics solutions.
Zipline, a renowned drone delivery company, has made significant strides in revolutionizing the delivery industry. With distribution centers spanning multiple countries, Zipline’s delivery drones have successfully completed over 600,000 commercial deliveries, covering an impressive distance of 40 million autonomous miles.
Initially launched for its critical medical supply deliveries, Zipline has expanded its commercial partnerships. Thus collaborating with retail giants like Walmart. The company’s drones boast cutting-edge technology, including redundant systems and autonomous issue detection, ensuring safe and efficient deliveries.
Their latest drone model, the P2, with an eight-pound payload and a 10-mile service radius, enhances accuracy by employing a new droid for precise targeting. Zipline aims to make drone delivery a cost-competitive and efficient option across various sectors, reshaping the future of commerce.
An Alphabet subsidiary, Wing, is the first company to be Air Carrier Certified by the FAA. Their drone delivery system would include a small drone that is attached to a tether that is capable of delivering packages weighing no more than 3.3 pounds.
The drone operates at 20 feet above ground level and automatically takes a slow descent on reaching the destination. The customer doesn’t have any active involvement in the process.
Launched in 2012, it has successfully completed 100,000 flights. Currently, Wing operates in Logan City, Canberra, Christiansburg, and Virginia.
6. UPS Flight Forward
One of the key players in the technology, UPS Flight Forward, is the first one to be certified by the U.S. government for drone delivery service. In 2019, it launched and received the “Innovator of the Year” reward in the same year.
Amongst the company’s remarkable initiatives is its first-ever U.S. drone COVID-19 vaccine delivery to Atrium Health in North Carolina in August 2021. Not just this, the company even partnered with CVS in 2020 to provide faster and more efficient medicine essential deliveries to a Florida retirement community.
The founders of this German drone delivery startup established the company in 2017 and offered its services to logistics companies, hospitals, and other such humanitarian arenas. The Wingcopter 198 is the latest drone from the company. It is capable of carrying three packages. Each package should weigh no more than 5 kg.
The best part about the company’s drones is that they come with automated sensors using which they can easily identify obstacles in their path. The company partnered with Continental Drones, wherein they extended their services to 49 countries in Sub-Sahara Africa.
Moreover, Siemens Healthineers in Africa has partnered with it. Thus making it the first integrated drone delivery solution for medical supplies.
In this fast-paced world, innovation takes center stage. It’s no surprise that drones have become the next frontier in delivery services. These are the top companies leading the drone delivery technology. However, more companies, especially in the retail and health industry, are gradually adapting the technology.