Once considered science fiction, submit your favorite products with drones is no longer surprising. Shipping giants like Amazon, FedEx and DHL have already started to do so.
One of the most ambitious players in this field is Irish company Manna, which is currently launching a delivery launch project with drones in Balbriggan, north of Dublin.
Customers living in the delivery area can order items from participating vendors on the mobile app and the order will arrive within minutes.
Manna concentrates on food vendors because it is considered the most suitable for delivery by drones given its highest order volume and operating within tight time margins, said Manna’s CEO and Founder, Bobby Healy, one of Ireland’s most successful entrepreneurs.
“Shipping by drones obviously much faster and much safer than using the road. As we make hundreds of deliveries a day by air, we avoid all ground travel which is not only slow and expensive, but also unsafe,” he explains.
Manna said customer feedback was very positive. About 98 percent of customers involved in a previous pilot program at Oranmore, in Western Ireland, gave two thumbs up.
Mary Stapleton, Manna’s regular customer since starting at Balbriggan in early February. “The food came very quickly and was still warm. I think this is great for local businesses. You can not only order food and drinks. You can also order something from the pharmacy. You can order antigen tests, masks and more. This is true – absolutely fantastic,” he explained.
Balbriggan is a city of about 20,000 people, about 30 kilometers north of Dublin. Manna’s operational headquarters are above the city’s Millfield Shopping Center building, where a team of specialists operates the fleet drones equipped with various safety features. No camera installed on drones it and telemetry data is not stored to avoid customer privacy concerns.
Sean McCleary, owner of Blasta Street Kitchen, said the delivery service drones helping grow his business. “Working with the team at Manna has been a very exciting positive experience. Our customers are satisfied that they receive their food quickly and warmly. I think this is just the beginning of something big,” he comments.
Many observers say, shipping goods with drones very profitable. A recent Virginia Tech University study found that drone deliveries in a U.S. city on average save consumers up to 56 hours per year by reducing unnecessary travel.
The study also says drones will increase the transaction value of a restaurant’s sales by up to 284,000 dollars per year, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 113,900 tons per year, or the equivalent of reforesting up to 46,000 hectares. [ab/uh]