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Image: Wing

On-demand delivery drone company Wing has partnered with Australian retail property group Vicinity Centres to run a pilot where drones are being used to pick up goods from retail shopping centre roofs before dropping them off to customers in southeast Queensland.

Wing is an Alphabet subsidiary that develops drone technology designed for deliveries.

According to Wing, it has been delivering goods on-demand using its drones from a range of participating businesses from the roof of Grand Plaza in Logan, Queensland since mid-August. Those participating businesses have included food and beverage retailers Sushi Hub, Boost Juice, and Chatime. Pharmacy TerryWhite Chemmart will also begin offering drone delivery services for its over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, personal care, general health, and beauty products. 

Wing’s drone service currently delivers to 19 suburbs in Logan. During the first six weeks of this new service, Wing boasts it has made more than 2,500 contactless drone deliveries

“We’re delighted to explore this new model of delivery with Vicinity Centres. For the first time, we are co-locating our drones with businesses at their premises, rather than local businesses having to co-locate their goods with us at our delivery facility,” Wing Australia Policy and Community Affairs head Jesse Suskin said. 

“With the increase in consumers’ desire for convenience and speed, on-demand drone delivery can help address the costly last-mile delivery challenge, reduce road congestion and emissions, and create new economic opportunities for businesses by utilising their existing retail space as logistics hubs and fulfillment centres.”

The introduction of the pilot follows the company announcing in August that it surpassed 100,000 customer deliveries in Logan. Those deliveries included 10,000 cups of coffee, 1,700 children’s snack packs, 1,200 roast chickens, 2,700 sushi rolls, and 1,000 loaves of bread, Wing said.

As part of the pilot, the Alphabet-owned company said it will be expanding the pilot to more customers and it will partner with additional businesses located at Grand Plaza.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Vicinity Centres to further develop new delivery models that can complement the retail businesses located at Grand Plaza, and if successful, potentially roll out similar models in other locations across Vicinity Centres’ retail property portfolio,” Suskin said.

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