- Drone delivery firm Zipline has landed new customers in the retail, food and healthcare logistics sectors for its planned home delivery service, according to an emailed press release Wednesday.
- GNC, Pagliacci Pizza and Associated Couriers will be using Zipline's Platform 2 service, which uses a delivery drone and droid to transport goods. Specific launch dates weren't announced, but GNC will offer delivery via Zipline's Platform 1 this year before deploying the use of Platform 2 in 2024, according to Zipline.
- Executives for the new customers said using Zipline will allow them to reach end consumers faster. “This partnership with Zipline will enable GNC to quickly and efficiently deliver our incredible products to consumers to help them stick to wellness routines and Live Well," Alan Chester, GNC's chief supply chain officer, said in a statement.
What Zipline's new customers will use drone delivery for
|GNC||Salt Lake City metro||Delivering wellness products directly to homes|
|Pagliacci Pizza||Greater Seattle metro||Food delivery, particularly during lunch and dinner rushes|
|Associated Couriers||Long Island, New York||Delivery of specialty prescriptions and medications to long-term healthcare facilities|
Note: GNC will start deploying Zipline's Platform 1 service in Utah this year before it offers Platform 2 delivery in 2024.
Zipline is building upon its roster of customers that plan to use its Platform 2 technology, a critical development as drone operators seek to increase activity and improve unit economics for the emerging last-mile delivery method.
When Zipline announced the Platform 2 service in March, it said restaurant chain Sweetgreen, Michigan Medicine, MultiCare Health System, Intermountain Health and the government of Rwanda would be on board.
While the company's Platform 1 service needs about two parking spots' worth of space for deliveries, Platform 2 is more precise, making it more suited for home deliveries. In the Platform 2 delivery process, a drone reaches its destination and then hovers while an autonomous droid maneuvers down a tether, steers to its location and drops off the package.
Zipline is planning more than 10,000 test flights this year for Platform 2 and will deploy its first customer pilot after. Customers will be able to use the Platform 2 service as a hub and spoke model delivering within a 10-mile radius, or as a network in which drones can travel up to 24 miles each way from dock to dock, according to Zipline.
With a mix of customers committed to using its new service, Zipline is also making sure the delivery process fits their specific needs. It worked with Pagliacci Pizza to make a custom-designed pizza box allowing each droid to fit two 13-inch pizzas and side dishes for delivery throughout the Seattle area.
"We want to make sure that when people order from us, they get their food as quickly as possible and while it's still hot," said Matt Galvin, co-owner of Pagliacci, in a statement. "Zipline will allow us to deliver faster than ever before and will nicely complement our excellent driver team."