Google’s corporate cousin Wing is again expanding its activity in Australia with enlarged drone delivery service in the Canberra area, including orders from its new supermarket client, Coles.
Australia has taken to drone deliveries in a big way since Wing launched service in 2019, permitting the company to rack up over 200,000 aerial orders to date. That figure marks a doubling of the 100,000 milestone it surpassed last September. Operations are expected to accelerate further with the addition of Coles to its customer base – the first supermarket in the country to take to the skies.
The match-up will make over 250 items Coles offers – including bread, fresh produce, snacks, convenience meals, healthcare items, kitchen essentials, and (inevitably, so it seems) toilet paper – available by air across Canberra in just minutes. Wing says there is no price minimum on orders, and drone delivery to buyers is free.
Coles’ chief executive of e-commerce, Ben Hassing, said its partnership with Wing will not only spirit goods to customers quickly, but also help the chain to meet its carbon reduction goals by lifting deliveries from ground trucks to battery-powered drones.
“We are passionate about finding innovative ways to help our customers to shop with us and we aim to deliver anytime, anywhere, anyhow shopping,” Hassing said. “By partnering with Wing, we’re able to offer our online customers another convenient option to purchase the Coles items they know and love, and get them delivered straight to their door.”
The addition of Coles to its roster coincides with Wing extending the range of its drone deliveries to the Canberra suburbs of Kaleen and Giralang, in addition to the five others it already serviced. The paired developments reflect the rapidly increasing activity Wing has enjoyed in Australia – including one recent day when the company made 1,000 drone deliveries, or one every 25 seconds. At least one factor driving demand was enduring social distancing measures respected even after Australia exited 2021 COVID-19 lockdowns.
“In the last year we’ve seen a significant increase in use of our on-demand drone delivery service, with many customers finding the service especially useful as they stayed home, and relied on our contactless delivery service to deliver the items they needed,” says Wing’s general manager in Australia, Simon Rossi. “Wing made more than 100,000 deliveries in Australia in 2021, and strong demand for drone delivery has continued in 2022. Wing has already made more than 30,000 deliveries in Australia this year.”
In addition to Coles, Wing has also added large fast-food clients to its drone delivery client list, including KFC and the Roll’d Vietnamese restaurant chain.