Though it took a bit of preparing to get aloft, Alphabet-owned Wing Aviation is set to launch its drone delivery service in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) area this week, a bit over five months after the company announced the expansion of its activities in the fast-growing region.
Wing announced the start of its DFW drone delivery service in an email CEO Adam Woodworth sent to potential customers. Wing initially unveiled the new operation on October 21, when it said its UAVs would begin shuttling orders to clients in partnership with local Walgreens stores. The company says DFW is the world’s largest metroplexes, and the first of those regions in the US to play home to on-demand drone deliveries.
Wing will be basing those operations in DFW suburbs City of Frisco – which census figures identified as the fastest growing city in America – as well as the Town of Little Elm. Together those two communities cover tens of thousands of potential home delivery clients.
As previously announced, designated Walgreen employees will process client orders and load those packages onto Wing delivery drones. Once the payload box holding goods is secured, company pilots will take over, flying the UAVs from remote locations to client addresses.
In the months it took to prepare the launch of those services, Wing used the time to further expanded the number of participating retailers.
“In addition to Walgreens, we’ll be delivering items with three new partners in Frisco and Little Elm,” Woodworth said in this morning’s email. “We’re going to be delivering ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries (yes – it will stay frozen on those hot Texas summer days!), prescription pet medications from easyvet, and first aid kits from Texas Health.
“This is an important milestone for Wing and drone delivery in the US,” Woodward continued. “It simply would not have been possible without the support of the public officials and the citizens of Frisco and Little Elm, and our merchant partners.”
Stationing delivery drones at partner facilities is a change in Wing’s initial operational model, which relied on retailers getting orders to regrouped logistics centers for flight to customers.
The company began innovating with that last September, when it switched its concept around by positioning a team of pilots and UAVs at a shopping center in the Australian city of Logan – bringing drone supply to a concentrated retail demand spot. It has continued developing that alternative mode since with DFW’s local drone locations and flight by remote pilots.
The launch of drone delivery services around DFW is a major milestone for Wing, marking its first big, bold operation outside of Australia. Up until now, Oz has been the company’s primary market and the strongest driver of its UAVs passing the 100,000 delivery mark last autumn. Then, just six months later, Wing said it had surpassed the 200,000 threshold, based on Aussie activity featuring over 1,000 deliveries in a single day (one every 25 seconds, the company boasts) – reflecting further growth in demand.
Wing would like to replicate that success beyond Australia, and it clearly believes the DFW area promises to make that happen. In fact, it’s so confident local consumers will fall for Wing drone delivery service in Aussie style that Woodward is being careful about not disappointing people eager to get their goods from the skies.
“I do want to set clear expectations: not everyone who lives within range of our drones will be able to order on Day 1,” he noted, instructing interested customers to keep abreast of activity at Wing’s specialize site for DFW. “We’re going to invite customers in groups to make sure everyone has a good first experience with drone delivery.”