International hypermarket chain Walmart has brought in medical drone delivery specialist Zipline to begin a new service delivering health and wellness products to the US.
Zipline operates the world’s largest drone delivery network and was founded in 2016 in Rwanda.
In a post on Walmart’s corporate site today, senior vice president of customer product, Tom Ward, confirmed that the trial had the potential to expand into a more general product delivery service, through which customers could buy a range of items.
Zipline’s “really cool” technology will first be trialed for the delivery of health and wellness products near Walmart’s Arkansas headquarters, with no word on when the programme may expand to be nationwide.
Ward wrote: “Zipline will operate from a Walmart store and can service a 50-mile radius, which is about the size of the state of Connecticut.
“And, not only does their launch and release system allow for quick on-demand delivery in under an hour, but it also eliminates carbon emissions, which lines up perfectly with our sustainability goals.
“The operation will likely begin early next year, and, if successful, we’ll look to expand.”
News also broke today that Zipline has opened its latest distribution centre, this time in Ghana. It is the company’s largest facility to date.