Zipline Will Reach One Millionth Drone Delivery Milestone Today: Announces New Service Partners in the U.S.
Zipline Will Reach One Millionth Drone Delivery Milestone Today: Announces New Service Partners in the U.S.
July 1, 2024
By Miriam McNabb

Expansion Includes Partnerships with Panera Bread, Memorial Hermann Health System, and Jet’s Pizza

Update: the milestone was hit at 6:18 AM EST 19 April: see company blog post here.

According to a Zipline announcement, the company, known as the world’s largest autonomous delivery system, will today reach a historic milestone by completing its one millionth commercial drone delivery. This achievement marks Zipline as the first company globally to reach such a scale in drone delivery operations.

Zipline’s autonomous drones, which operate with zero emissions, have collectively flown over 70 million miles and delivered more than 10 million products across four continents. The company reported a significant increase in demand, leading to the recent expansion of its Platform 2 (P2) system in the U.S. This system will now deliver for new partners including Panera Bread, Memorial Hermann Health System, and Jet’s Pizza in various metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Houston, and Detroit.

The expansion comes on the heels of substantial growth in the last two years, where Zipline made 70% of its deliveries. These were facilitated by expanding services to new sectors such as retail with Walmart, agriculture, animal health in Africa, and food delivery in Japan. In the U.S., Zipline primarily delivers fresh produce, whereas internationally, the focus has been on child nutrition and vaccines.

Ryan Oksenhorn, Co-Founder and Head of Software at Zipline, commented on the scale of their operations, “Over the past decade, we’ve worked hard to build a system that scaled to 1 million paid customer deliveries. In the near future, I believe that 1 million deliveries will be unremarkable as we reach a million deliveries in a year, in a month, in a day. Ten years from now, I think clean, reliable autonomous delivery of goods and services will be available to everyone.”

Zipline’s growth in the U.S. is supported by recent regulatory approvals allowing its drones to operate beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS). The company anticipates that its P2 system will serve over 30 million people across 10 states in the coming years.

Among the new partnerships, the Flynn Group will utilize Zipline for deliveries from Panera Bread in Seattle. Greg Flynn, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Flynn Group, highlighted the benefits of drone deliveries, stating, “We’re excited to take the guest experience we provide at our Panera Bread restaurants to new heights, literally, thanks to our partnership with Zipline. Delivery delays, especially in metro areas like Seattle, are unpredictable; however, utilizing Zipline’s state-of-the-art drone technology, we’re addressing those challenges and significantly reducing the wait times from when orders are placed, to when guests can enjoy them.”

Similarly, Memorial Hermann Health System will leverage Zipline’s technology for the delivery of specialty prescriptions and medical devices directly to patients’ homes. “As a system, we are continuously seeking ways to improve the patient experience and bring greater health and value to the communities we serve,” said Alec King, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Memorial Hermann.

Jet’s Pizza will begin drone deliveries in Detroit, with John Jetts, CEO of Jet’s Pizza, emphasizing the quality and freshness of their product delivery. “Having the best pizza in the world doesn’t matter if it doesn’t arrive fresh from the oven. Zipline will let us expand our delivery area to bring great, hot food to even more of our loyal customers,” Jetts explained.

This expansion aligns with a growing demand for consistent, convenient delivery options in the U.S., a market that has seen meal deliveries grow by over 350% since 2019. Zipline’s impact extends beyond convenience; its 2023 Impact Report reveals significant contributions to lowering maternal mortality rates and providing faster access to vaccines globally.

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