Walmart is all set to start delivering your orders by air. America’s largest retailer will deliver thousands of items via drone to customers living in Farmington, Arkansas. The items that the retail giant will deliver include health related products like thermometers along with cough medicine and other things. However, the delivery by air will be provided to only those customers who are living within a 1.15 mile radius from its base located outside a store in Farmington. The drone facility will be available for 12 hours throughout the week. The service will be operational from 8 in the morning to 8 in the evening. With this facility, eligible customers of Walmart will be able to get deliveries in as little as 30 minutes. For this, Walmart has partnered with DroneUp for this. Commenting on the development, Tom Ward, senior vice president of last mile at Walmart US said that the company had envisioned starting the drone delivery services at the earliest.
“While investing in the DroneUp earlier this year, the company envisioned a delivery operation that will become operational quickly and can be replicated across multiple stores.”Opening our first hub and launching the drone services within months of our initial concept showcases how efficiently DroneUp can execute drone delivery operations. The facility will be available in Farmington for now. The company is looking forward to expanding the services in additional locations at the earliest.” Meanwhile, DroneUp has said that it can safely deliver items including those that are fragile.
In order to get their order delivered by drone, customers will have to get their eligibility verified by entering their addresses. Eligible customers can then pick and choose from thousands of items available for delivery. The orders will be packed and the box will be secured by operators using a patented delivery release mechanism. The order will then be placed at the customer’s home using drones that will be monitored by flight engineers. Commenting on the tie-up with Walmart, DroneUp chief executive officer said that it is a big leap forward in the direction of accepting the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for providing last-mile consumer delivery services.
“The coming together of Walmart and DroneUp will ensure that consumers will get their products delivered directly from the store at their doorsteps via drones. This partnership will make an unrivalled system of pick, pack, and delivery. No other retailer would be able to match our efficiency. We are very proud of our team that is capable of helping the retail giant is launching a new era of commercial drone operations.” These things sound exciting but there are certain limitations that will be there. For example, there will be a limit to the weight of the product. These drones will be delivering products weighing less than four pounds. Also, those expecting delivery via drones will have to pay USD 10 as a delivery fee.
There are two other locations that will soon start delivery via drones. These are Rogers and Bentonville in Arkansas. According to Walmart, drone delivery is the way to go as most of its 4,700 stores are within the area of 10 miles of 90 per cent of the United States. The company said that using drones for the delivery is very feasible because of their flexibility, speed, and low cost. “One of the important aspects is that it will require fewer fossil fuel-powered vehicles for short delivery trips. Also, DroneUp has been working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to make sure that drones are operated in the safest environment.
DroneUp already has more than 190 active waivers and authorizations with the FAA.” Walmart has been eyeing to start deliveries via drone for some time now. Earlier in September this year, it had partnered with Zipline Inc, which has been at the forefront in delivering emergency health products. As part of the partnership, the people of Arkansas received the first medical and health items. The drone delivery business is set to boom in the coming years. This is because several other big companies are already working on this.
Jeffrey is acting editor in chief of AmazingNews24 with over seven years of experience in the field of online news under his belt. Jeffrey has worked with multiple media houses and is currently leading a team of journalists, sub-editors and writers through his entrepreneurial endeavours.