- Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) is teaming up with Zipline to launch a first-of-its-kind drone delivery operation in the U.S.
Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) had recently announced it is exploring how drones can deliver items in a way that is convenient, safe, and fast. And in its latest initiative, Walmart is teaming up with Zipline to launch a first-of-its-kind drone delivery operation in the U.S. This new service will make on-demand deliveries of select health and wellness products with the potential to expand to general merchandise The trial deliveries will take place near Walmart’s headquarters in Northwest Arkansas using Zipline’s proprietary technology.
Zipline is going to operate from a Walmart store and can service a 50-mile radius — which is about the size of the state of Connecticut. Zipline’s launch and release system allows for quick on-demand delivery in under an hour. And it also eliminates carbon emissions — which lines up perfectly with Walmart’s sustainability goals. The operation will likely start early next year will expand based on how successful it is.
“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,” said Tom Ward, Senior Vice President of Customer Product at Walmart.
When items are ordered online or through the Walmart app, it can be placed in Zipline delivery boxes. And from there, the orders fly to preprogrammed routes to customer doors. Then the drone will fly back to its base.