By Samuel Doe
Drone Industry Insights (DII), a leading global source for data on commercial drones, has ranked Zipline, an instant delivery service, first among top 4 drone service providers in the world for best delivery service and undisputed leadership in the drone market.
Zipline, which is in the final stages of commencing operations in Kenya, was launched in 2014, and started out its operations in Rwanda and later in Ghana where it used its autonomous electric drones to deliver life-saving medical supplies, including blood and vaccines.
The Drone Service Providers Ranking, released in November, 2022 is an annual report by the Hamburg, Germany-based drone market intelligence tracking company that highlights how Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are scaling up drone operations and optimizing efficiency while adhering to local and international drone operating standards.
The report focused on the size, growth and public attention as reference to determine companies’ performance in the ranking. The ranking provides assessment of roughly 850 global companies whose core business is to offer drone services to third parties. This excludes companies who operate drones internally.
This is not the first time Zipline is gaining recognition as an important leader in the drone market industry. In 2021 the DII after analyzing the service performance of 750 companies, listed Zipline above google sister company Wing, and Matternet as best service provider in drone operations. The company has sustained the top spot on the DII index performance for four (4) consecutive times since 2019.
In assessing Zipline’s impact, the report notes that the growth of the company is highly predicated on the US$481M boost from investment partners which has manifested its strong portfolio in the drone service industry. This has not only expanded the service operations of the company but has also increased the number of skilled expertise hired to translate the company’s vision of upscaling logistics delivery.
Zipline has sustained leadership growth in the drone market after it began operations in the U.S. Despite strong and steady growth by other major players, the company remains a Global leader in the drone service delivery space. In Africa where it has built the largest drone operating hub, countries like Rwanda, Ghana, Nigeria and soon to be operated hubs markets in Kenya and Cote D’ivoire have seen improvements in logistics transport and the possibility the technology holds for the future.
In February, Zipline signed an MoU with the County Government of Kisumu. The agreement gives way to the establishment and operation of a Zipline distribution hub in Kisumu County to act as the base of operations for the Zipline Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) and the Zipline services capable of serving health projects and facilities across the 16 Lake Region Economic Bloc (LREB) Counties.
So far, Zipline has flown more than 32 million miles and delivered nearly 4.4 million products including over 450,000 commercial deliveries surpassing fierce competitor Wing for the amount of drone deliveries made. Initially the company’s work was to deliver blood and essential medical supplies to rural parts of developing countries in Africa. However, the preference for accelerated commercial deliveries have prompted a new growth plan for the company that includes retail delivery.
Recent partnerships with ecommerce giants Walmart and Jumia for commercial product delivery establishes this new interest. This new growth strategy is projected to offer Zipline competitive growth in the market of operations and further etch its dominance in the industry.
Zipline is on a mission to offer everyone quick and convenient access to the vital supplies of medicines using drones used for delivery. The company believes drones are capable of fulfilling such needs of delivery and can bring about some great transformation in the form of logistics especially to communities hard-to-reach or with uneven landscape.