Google’s Wing drone delivery service has expanded its operations in South East Queensland less than a month after pausing consumer deliveries in Canberra.
Wing, which is owned by Google parent company Alphabet, is partnering with Logan’s Hyperdome shopping centre for a DoorDash drone delivery hub. The service will be available from Hyperdome to 17 nearby suburbs, nine of which are new.
“We’re grateful for the Logan City Council’s continued embrace of drone delivery, and support for innovation,” said Wing’s head of government relations, Jesse Suskin.
“We’re thrilled to expand on our offerings in Logan and to team up with QIC and DoorDash to support customer demands for quicker, more convenient, and environmentally conscious delivery options.”
Logan City Council has welcomed the move, with its chair of planning, economic development and environment, Jon Raven, saying the new site is a sign of increasing demand for fast, sustainable delivery methods.
“The Hyperdome shopping centre serves as a trade area to a population of over 220,000. This drone service will have a major impact on boosting the local economy, supporting local business growth, and increasing accessibility to local residents by extending the potential reach of the hundreds of stores located within the centre,” he said.
The Logan expansion comes after Wing put its Canberra consumer deliveries on hold at the end of August, due to shifting away from its warehouse-based model and having no shopping centre partners in the ACT as of yet.
“In Canberra, we had a warehouse in Mitchell where drones were taking off and landing and where our merchants co-located their products with us,” Suskin told the ABC.
“Now we just put the drones in major shopping centres – that way, more merchants can have access to drone delivery without that added step of going to a warehouse.
“We have pilots and geospatial experts that will still be working in Canberra. There still will be some drones in the air from time to time piloting new non-consumer delivery.”
According to Suskin, areas like Logan, as well as Gungahlin in the ACT, are better for drone delivery than large CBDs.
“The profile of where we like to go are densely populated residential areas where people aren’t within walking distance necessarily to their shops. That’s where we really add that level of convenience and speed,” he said.
“This is where people sometimes have to sit in their car for 15 or 20 minutes before they get to the centre to run in for that quick item. We also fly very fast – delivering things that are hot or cold we do well because we fly at 110 kilometres and don’t stop for red lights, so we can deliver very quickly and we don’t sit in traffic.
“So it’s a great way to augment last-mile delivery, and there’s a lot of last-mile delivery growth in sprawling suburb areas.”
The Australian Aviation print magazine featured an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Wing’s operation in 2021, which Premium Content subscribers can read here. We then took another look at its evolution into delivering from retail premises in our drone In Focus digital edition.