15 Apr 2019
UPS and Matternet, a startup drone company, recently partnered to make the first continuing commercial drone delivery—a swap of medical supplies between North Carolina hospitals. The immediate plan is for UPS to make multiple, daily flights for the WakeMed Health & Hospitals network in Raleigh, NC, while harvesting the data and experience to offer similar services to other hospitals around the U.S in the future. These drone deliveries have already proven to take less time than the conventional method of transferring products via ground vehicles. What would normally take a driver about 30 minutes, depending on the traffic, would take drones just under 3.5 minutes. Currently, only 10 deliveries a day are scheduled, but if the service continues to be beneficial, the number will increase. Using drones is good for UPS’s bottom line, as there is a greater profit margin. As such, the company is looking to expand further into managing and delivering health care products. UPS has also worked with another drone maker, Zipline, which is making deliveries in remote areas of Rwanda.