Following through on a partnership that was announced this past October, Alphabet drone subsidiary Wing and national retailer Walgreens are launching a drone delivery service in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, marking Wing’s first commercially available U.S. drone delivery service.
The new offering, which will become available to tens of thousands of residents of the suburbs of Frisco and Little Elm beginning Monday, has been a long time coming for Wing. The company has been testing its services in the U.S. in Virginia since last April and in Texas since October, but the young drone delivery provider’s greatest success so far has been abroad.
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Wing’s most mature market is in the town of Logan, Australia, a suburb of Brisbane, where the company has completed over 50,000 deliveries. A Wing spokesperson told Modern Shipper that it recently completed more than 1,000 deliveries in a single day in Logan — that’s a delivery about every 25 seconds.
The success of the Logan drone delivery service mirrors Wing’s ascension in the drone delivery space — after completing its first 100,000 deliveries over the course of two and a half years, the company crossed the 200,000-delivery threshold in just six months, reaching the milestone last month.
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Now Wing will bring its drone delivery expertise back home to the U.S., where customers in two suburbs of Dallas-Fort Worth will be able to deliver a variety of products through Walgreens and a few newly announced partners. That includes ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries, pet medications from Easyvet and first aid kits from Texas Health.
Typically, drone delivery services have been limited to smaller towns or rural areas, like Fayetteville, North Carolina, which has become a hotbed for drone delivery pilots in recent years. But Wing and Walgreens are introducing the technology in more densely populated areas by staging the drones in parking lots, in vacant spaces next to stores, and even on roofs.
Wing describes the Dallas-Fort Worth pilot as “America’s most scalable drone delivery operation to date,” utilizing Walgreens workers to process orders and load packages onto the drones while Wing oversees the deliveries from a remote location. Because the solution makes use of existing infrastructure and capital, it projects as a service that will be easy to deploy in new markets.
However, Wing isn’t alone in the Lone Star State — rival drone delivery provider Flytrex also announced a pilot service in nearby Granbury, just a few miles outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. That service will reach between 2,000 and 3,000 families with deliveries in three minutes or less, Flytrex CEO Yariv Bash told Modern Shipper last week.
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