Walmart in DroneUP scale up
Walmart and DroneUp are scaling up package delivery operations in the US.
It seems the US retail giant has been very happy with package delivery trials it has been conducting with compatriot drone services provider DroneUp; hence the retailer will be expanding its DroneUp delivery network to 34 sites by the end of this year.
“Today we’re announcing we’ll be expanding our DroneUp delivery network to 34 sites by the end the year, providing the potential to reach 4 million U.S. households across six states – Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Texas, Utah and Virginia,” Walmart said in a statement.
“This provides us the ability to deliver over one million packages by drone in a year.
“Between the hours of 8:00AM and 8:00PM, customers will be able to order from tens of thousands of eligible items, such as Tylenol, diapers and hot dog buns, for delivery by air in as little as 30 minutes. For a delivery fee of $3.99, customers can order items totalling up to 10 pounds, so simply put, if it fits safely it flies.
“After completing hundreds of deliveries within a matter of months across our existing DroneUp hubs, we’ve seen first-hand how drones can offer customers a practical solution for getting certain items, fast. More importantly, we’ve seen a positive response from our customers that have used the service.
“In fact, while we initially thought customers would use the service for emergency items, we’re finding they use it for its sheer convenience, like a quick fix for a weeknight meal. Case in point: The top-selling item at one of our current hubs is Hamburger Helper.”
The drones will supplement Walmart’s delivery goals like Express delivery, where customers can have items delivered to their doorsteps in as little as two hours, to InHome, where they can get those orders placed right into their homes.
“Participating stores will house a DroneUp delivery hub inclusive of a team of certified pilots, operating within FAA guidelines, that safely manage flight operations for deliveries. Once a customer places an order, the item is fulfilled from the store, packaged, loaded into the drone and delivered right to their yard using a cable that gently lowers the package.
“The customer has always been at the center of our focus at Walmart, and we look for partners that are as laser-focused on customer experience as we are. DroneUp has been a reliable partner as we’ve tested this solution and their capabilities will enable our business to scale with speed while maintaining a high caliber of safety and quality.”
Besides engaging the drone in a partnership for package delivery, Walmart says it will also be canvassing local businesses and municipalities to support DroneUp’s other services, which include insurance, emergency response and real estate.
“Not only will the added revenue help offset the cost of delivery, but it also serves the entire drone industry by gathering more flight data as we work together to expand drone operations in a safe and regulated way.”