Zipline teams up with Walmart to tackle the last-mile delivery challenge
This year, retail e-commerce alone is expected to grow 13.7%, hitting a staggering $908.73 billion — and resulting in an explosion of deliveries. At this rate, experts project a 36% rise in delivery vehicles; and with only traditional vehicles — freight trucks, vans, cars — to manage the boom, we could see a more than 30% increase in both emissions and traffic congestion.
Exacerbating this challenge, companies are under pressure to deliver packages faster than ever — sometimes instantly. Traditional methods aren’t optimized for on-demand deliveries like this; it doesn’t make sense to send out a freight truck for a handful of one-pound packages.
It’s time to think strategically about how companies can serve their customers without further straining our existing systems.
Fortunately, we don’t have to stick to traditional methods. At Zipline, we’ve teamed up with Walmart to stand up our instant logistics infrastructure and begin changing the game for deliveries in the U.S.
Starting this week, select Walmart customers in the Pea Ridge, Arkansas area will be able to place orders online for a range of health and wellness products and have them delivered directly to their homes via Zipline’s autonomous aircraft.
It’s the first time we’ll be delivering directly to consumers’ homes. These direct deliveries unlock a number of benefits — for companies like Walmart, their customers and even people who never opt to use the service. Here’s how:
- For Retailers: Consumer expectations for deliveries are on the rise; people now expect their packages on the same day they order or, in some cases, nearly instantly. Automated, on-demand delivery provides a way for companies to augment their existing processes and meet rising customer expectations.
- For Customers: With Zipline, customers can receive Walmart products directly to their home, in a pre-selected window, the same day they order. This means customers never have to wonder when or if their package is coming, and they can get what they need directly to their home, without having to venture out.
- For the Community: E-commerce isn’t going anywhere — but if we reimagine the delivery process, we can create a better, greener and less annoying experience for communities. Electric, autonomous aircraft offer a safe, quiet and sustainable alternative to traditional delivery vehicles that doesn’t further clog our streets — enabling people to get the products they need without disrupting their neighborhoods.
With our instant logistics infrastructure, we know we can help make delivery ecosystems more effective, agile and sustainable, providing exceptional customer experiences without negatively impacting the community.
For more on our work with Walmart, click here.