Wing expands Oz activity, foresees huge drone delivery future

Wing drone delivery

Google drone delivery unit Wing has added another major Australian client to its list, and calls its continued own expansion a harbinger of wider UAV-driven growth predicted to benefit the country’s retail industry.

Wing announced the addition of the Roll’d Vietnamese food company to its stable of Australian businesses using its drone delivery service to get orders quickly to customers. It says it will be flying Roll’d Vietnamese crispy Bánh mì, rice paper rolls, Gỏi, Bao, dumplings, and other street food delicacies to households and workplaces in and around the Canberra metropolis and northern state of Queensland.

Roll’d Vietnamese – described as “Australia’s leading healthy quick service restaurant brand” ­– joins a growing list of retail businesses whose coffees, burgers, pizzas, office supplies, healthcare products, medication, pet treats, and various grocery items (including, of course, but not limited to toilet paper) are now using Wing to quickly spirit deliveries to waiting customers by drone. 

In addition to its Canberra and Queensland operations, the company is also doing booming business in the Victoria city of Logan, which it dubbed “drone delivery capital of the world” after its 50,000 orders helped propel Wing over the 100,000 mark last year. 

The popularity of that service was also what prompted Wing to choose Logan when it improvised from its standard operational model by setting up a UAV flight center on the roof of a local mall, flying products from participating shops in it to waiting customers faster.

That was all part of the spiking Australian drone delivery activity that Wing continues to build with new retail clients. That, in addition to continued lockdowns in the country provoked by the COVID-19 pandemic, helped fuel a 600% rise in its activity last year over 2020. 

Now the company is offering evidence that virtuous upward spiral of UAV activity will continue ascending for all business involved in coming years.

In doing so, Wing cites a study released this month by Singapore-based consultancy AlphaBeta that forecasts enormous gains by businesses using drone delivery of goods – including a $1.5 billion boost in sales by 2030. The spread of UAVs for that service, the report added, should eliminate 2.3 billion kilometers currently traveled by road vehicles for delivery runs, and thereby decrease annual carbon output by 551,000 to 606,000 tons each year. 

Expanded use of drones in Australia, the forecast added, should provide individual consumers access to four times as many retailers than they currently buy from. It also predicted buyers saving up to $240 million in delivery fees, thanks to the 80-90% reduction in those costs businesses currently incur.

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