Wing is landing in Texas this week. The drone delivery company, which is a subsidiary of Alphabet (the company formerly known as Google), announced in October 2021 that it was heading to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. And now we have a clear date — and it’s this Thursday, April 7, 2022. Here’s what you need to know about the Texas Wing deliveries:
What will Wing be delivering in Texas?
Most of the Texas Wing deliveries are a partnership with Walgreens, where drones will deliver health and wellness products. Drones will flight directly from one of the parking lots of a Walgreens store. Walgreens employee will have heavy involvement in the operation too. Their team members will process their own orders and load packages onto drones themselves — not Wing employees.
That said, there will be Wing employees involved to an extent, though given the power of drones, they’ll be able to oversee the delivery from a remote location.
Besides the Walgreens deliveries, Wing also announced today that it has established additional partnerships to deliver ice cream from Blue Bell Creameries, prescription pet medications from easyvet, and first aid kits from Texas Health.
Who can get drone deliveries?
For now, drone deliveries will begin in the city of Frisco, Texas, which is a suburb of Dallas. Frisco has not just tens of thousands of suburban homes, but also many tech-forward companies including offices of tech-powered real estate company Redfin. Wing will also operate in the nearby Town of Little Elm.
That said, just because you live in Frisco or Little Elm doesn’t mean you can get a delivery on Thursday.
“I do want to set clear expectations: not everyone who lives within range of our drones will be able to order on Day 1,” Wing CTO Adam Woodworth said in a note released on Monday. “We’re going to invite customers in groups to make sure everyone has a good first experience with drone delivery.”
Woodworth said Wing will release specifics to residents about which neighborhoods will be invited to board first, and how to check your address for eligibility and ultimately place orders (if you live in the area, you can subscribe to alerts on Wing’s Texas site here).
What the Texas Wing deliveries mean for the company’s expansion
The news of Wing finally launching in Texas comes just about a week after competitor Flytrex said it would also begin drone deliveries in Texas. The Flytrex Texas drone delivery project is happening in Granbury (also a DFW suburb), where it’ll use drones to deliver menu items from Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy. Another smaller drone delivery player, Manna, also announced that it was planning to expand to the U.S., though did not specify exactly where.
Wing’s launch this week will make Dallas-Forth Worth the first metro area in the world with access to on-demand drone delivery. There are various drone delivery operations happening in the U.S., but none are truly on-demand and at larger scale (rather, they’re contained to small, curated test projects).
It also makes DFW the largest metro in the world to offer drone delivery. And according to Wing, “this will be America’s most scalable drone delivery operation to date.”
Wing has expanding extremely rapidly as of late. Just last month, Wing crossed the 200,000 commercial drone deliveries milestone. Note that figure doesn’t include test flights or test deliveries, so it’s safe to say Wing has executed far more than that in aggregate. At its peak, Wing has made as many as 1,000+ deliveries in a day, which is a delivery every 25 seconds. Most of those deliveries are being done in Australia, where Wing has a handful of operations running including flying merchandise and food from the rooftop of the Grand Plaza Mall in Logan, Australia.
Though, that figure is still relatively small compared to drone delivery giant Zipline, which primarily focuses on medical drone deliveries to developing countries. Ziple said that as of March 2022, it had surpassed one million COVID-19 vaccines delivered in Ghana via drone
Still at this rate, Wing’s growth is exponential. Wing said it took two-and-a-half years to make its first 100,000 deliveries. Meanwhile, it took just six months to break the next 100,000 milestone. And with the latest Texas Wing expansion, it’s safe to expect that the pace to get to the 300,000 milestone will be even faster.