Drone delivery company Wing is moving to bolster activity in what’s already its most vibrant Australian market by taking a new approach to flight and logistics center location, beginning with trial services in the Queensland city of Ipswich.
The addition of a third drone delivery network would be significant news for Wing on its own, but the initiation of the Ipswich trial service may well be a precursor to additional expansion around Australia to boot. The new location is founded on a partnership between the Google corporate cousin and Australian commercial property developer Mirvac to set up flight and logistics centers at under-used retail holdings.
The plan, in a nutshell, attributes unused space in malls or other commercial centers to operate on-demand drone deliveries in Ipswich – at once facilitating expansion of Wing’s reach to new customers, while also providing air transport capacities to retailers and restaurants occupying nearby stores. If that approach facilitates the company’s growth while undercutting the empty lots on Mirvac’s hands, today’s plan for Ipswich could be tomorrow’s strategy across Australia.
“To begin, we’re transforming the rooftop car park of Mirvac’s Orion Springfield Central in the City of Ipswich into a drone delivery hub from which we’ll run a pilot program next year,” says a Wing blog post announcing the development. “Over the next few years, Wing and Mirvac will work together to find other Mirvac-operated retail spaces from which similar hubs can be created.“
The innovation in Ipswich may also work to address the only real concern Wing has had in its booming drone delivery business in Australia: finding increasingly discreet ways to ready and operate flights within communities that, at times, have complained about the sudden appearance of the company’s overhead transportation of retail goods.
Those periodic qualms, however, haven’t seriously slowed Wing’s growth in the country.
Last year alone it made more than 100,000 deliveries to customers around Canberra and Logan – aka “drone delivery capital of the world.” In the first three quarters of this year alone, meanwhile, the company says is surpassed 120,000 deliveries in Australia.
While building on its momentum in its Australian drone delivery hothouse by initiating its Mirvac-facilitated expansion plans in Ipswich, the company is also making moves to expand operations elsewhere in the world.
Earlier this year it began awaited service in a suburb of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metropole, and last week said it would be easing into Ireland to make use of advantageous regulation for drone delivery operations there.