Drone delivery service Wing has proven to be pretty popular in the Queensland city of Logan. Wing made almost 4,500 deliveries in a single week earlier this year. But the Alphabet-owned company is just getting started, today announcing it was expanding the remit of its Wing fleet and building them a new home at a shopping centre in the state’s southeast.
Alphabet, also known as the parent company behind Google, launched Wing in just two Logan suburbs in 2019. That’s quickly ballooned in the past two years thanks to lockdowns and more people working from home. Wing has now delivered more than 50,000 orders via drone to the 19 suburbs in Logan it currently reaches. Wing has gone as far as calling Logan the drone delivery capital of the world.
But Wing is now taking this one step further, piloting a new delivery model: flying goods from shopping centre rooftops, directly to homes and businesses.
Wing has set up on the rooftop of Vicinity Centres’ Grand Plaza in Logan. Since mid-August, its fleet of drones have been practicing delivering goods on-demand from businesses within the shopping centre.
Previously, local businesses had to co-locate their goods at the Wing delivery facility.
With Loganites this year getting mostly coffees (over 10,000 cups), sushi (more than 2,700 rolls), bread (over 1,000 loaves) and hot roasted chickens (1,200 of them) delivered to their doorstop via drone, Wing is expanding into retail.
TerryWhite Chemmart will now be offering drone delivery of over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, personal care, general health and beauty products.
Since it kicked off the pilot, Wing has made over 2,500 contactless drone deliveries from the Grand Plaza shopping centre to customers in the Logan suburbs of Regents Park, Heritage Park, Park Ridge, Browns Plains, Marsden, Crestmead and Berrinba.
Wing will soon expand the service to more nearby suburbs and offer delivery from other businesses in the shopping centre.
In a statement, Vicinity chief innovation and information officer Justin Mills mentioned two-thirds of Australia’s population living within 30 minutes of the company’s 61 shopping centres, hinting at plans to expand the pilot to further locations.
Wing has grown massively since its launch in Australia but it’s still not available everywhere. In fact, Wing is only operating in three countries right now — Australia, Finland and the United States. And in Australia, only those living in Logan or Canberra can use the service. But not everyone is happy about. Mostly birds.
Reports of Wing’s delivery drones being mercilessly attacked by ravens caused the company to cease operations in parts of Canberra last month. It’s not known if Wing is working with birds in Logan to ensure both drones and ravens can live harmoniously. If they haven’t, we all know who will win that battle.