Drone deliveries are getting more and more popular in the market now. Walmart is one of the businesses venturing into this new delivery service, and it has just announced this week that it has plans to expand it to cater to 4 million households.
Walmart’s expansion plan for its drone delivery service is ambitious. After its success in one town in Arkansas, it is now eyeing to cover Arizona, Florida, Texas, Utah, and Virginia by opening 34 delivery sites across the said locations by the end of the year. This explains the big numbers it is aiming for. Many would doubt this target, but Walmart seems pretty confident about it.
In a press release, the company says that it has managed to make “hundreds of deliveries within a matter of months” using the drones, so it believes that the expansion can turn these numbers into a million deliveries within a year.
Walmart initially wanted to use the delivery service for “emergency items,” but customers simply shrugged off the idea. As long as the products weigh less than 10 pounds, Walmart will deliver them between 8 AM and 8 PM through the drones operated by Walmart’s partner company DroneUp.
The delivery costs $3.99, and customers in the areas covered will do the transaction with drone-enabled Walmart locations. The workers at the retail store will prepare the orders and hook the box of delivery to the drones. The DroneUp drone operators will then fly the order to its respective location and land the box by lowering the hook while the drone remains in the air.
In order to achieve the target delivery numbers of Walmart within a year, DroneUp announced its plan to hire more drone operators. Once it is ready for expansion, Walmart and DroneUp will join Alphabet’s Wing drone delivery service that now serves Texas.
These developments are far from Amazon’s current location with its drone service. Jeff Bezos introduced the idea of 30-minute drone deliveries to Amazon in 2013, but after a decade, it is still unavailable for the market to access. Unfortunately, reports say that the company is facing a wide variety of issues, from a high employee turnover rate to potential safety risks.