If you think that using drones to ship goods to customers’ homes could improve delivery times, you might be right. Several drone delivery projects exist, including Walmart’s drone partnerships. They can indeed speed up deliveries and reduce waiting times. However, there are a few important caveats to consider before you get excited about flying a drone in your home with your groceries and other items you need as quickly as possible. The first is availability. Walmart is already expanding its drone delivery service. But the coverage is still minimal, as only certain Arkansas customers can take advantage of it.
Walmart’s drone delivery is available in limited markets
Walmart launched its drone delivery service last month in partnership with Zipline. But shipping service is only available within a 50 mile radius of Pea Ridge, Arkansas. In addition, only a “group of handpicked recipients” could benefit from it.
Walmart is moving forward with the program, The edge Remarks, adding Farmington, Arkansas to the list. However, Walmart has partnered with a different drone delivery system for the new market, DroneUp. The same company will handle air shipping to other markets in the state. Rogers sand Bentonville customers will be able to order drone delivery from Walmart in the coming months.
DroneUp quadcopters will deliver within a mile radius of a Walmart store. Once at their destination, they will descend the packages via zip lines. The service is available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. To place delivery orders by drone, you will need to go to this link.
Special rules for the new shipping service
Walmart’s drone delivery service has other limitations to be aware of. You can’t use your drones to do all the Walmart purchases you need. Not all products in stock at the retailer will be available for drone deliveries. Weight considerations are in place, as drones can only ship up to four pounds of cargo. This means that you have to be careful how you mix and match the products you want to have delivered to your home by drone. In other words, you won’t be able to speed up your Walmart Black Friday deal deliveries using drones.
You can always divide your shopping list into multiple deliveries to meet the weight rule. But that’s when you’ll find out that each trip costs $ 10. This could be ideal for emergency purchases, like a pack of diapers or formula. But stacking those drone shipments will take a toll on your budget.
Finally, drone delivery could indeed be faster and more environmentally friendly than traditional means. But Walmart does not provide any guarantees. DroneUp says customers can receive their orders in 30 minutes, which can happen. But it doesn’t make any promises on delivery times.
While driving involves managing traffic, piloting a drone can also be tricky. Factors such as weather and equipment can cause delays. Also, the more people order goods with drone shipping, the longer the wait times will be. That said, DroneUp says that each hub can launch multiple flights per hour, which means that many drones will be operational in these markets.
Since drones operate within this one mile radius, it may be more convenient to go to the nearest Walmart to collect the goods.