Today’s announcement of Walmart investing in DroneUp to continue their work toward scaling last-mile delivery is significant in many ways for our industry. First, it marks a shift away from drone delivery being framed specifically from the perspective of companies like Amazon and UPS to retailers who have a major physical presence across the United States. As Walmart pointed out in their press release, this means that the infrastructure already exists to support last mile delivery.
“Walmart already has a significant part of the infrastructure in place – 4,700 stores stocked with more than 100,000 of the most-purchased items, located within 10 miles of 90% of the U.S. population. This makes us uniquely positioned to execute drone deliveries,” stated the press release.
As part of their business model, Walmart stores have been strategically placed to be easily accessible for most Americans to get to, making this an exciting step in last-mile drone delivery.
But all of this can only happen if there are pilots who are certified to conduct these deliveries. DroneUp, with their nationwide network of over 10,000 certified professional drone pilots, is already well situated to address the demand. This is not only good for DroneUp and Walmart, but it also means pilots across the U.S. may one day play an integral part in last mile drone deliveries at a scale we haven’t seen before.
Finally, as a leader in retail, Walmart is making a very bold statement about what they think the future will look like, which may eventually spur other competitors to get onboard.
“Conducting drone deliveries at scale is within reach,” Walmart said. “DroneUp’s expertise, combined with our retail footprint and proven history of logistics innovation, puts us right where we want to be for that day. Because when it comes to the future of drone delivery, we know the sky’s the limit.”
To learn more about how Walmart and DroneUp are impacting the future of drone deliveries join us at Commercial UAV Expo Americas in Las Vegas on September 7th to 9th, 2021 where the Senior Vice President of Last Mile Delivery at Walmart U.S., Tom Ward, and CEO of DroneUP, Tom Walker, will discuss drone delivery in detail with fellow panelists Lisa Ellman, Executive Director of CDA & Partner at Hogan Lovells US LLP, and Grant Guillot, Partner and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Team Leader at Adams and Reese LLP.