Alibaba has now overtaken Amazon in yet another aspect. This time with the implementation of drone delivery dream.
The Chinese e-commerce company which holds the World’s largest IPO, said on its blog that it has started testing 3-day drone delivery test to deliver a special type of tea purchased through its TaoBao division. The delivery drones are used to deliver shipments in Beijing and other cities. Around 450 customers are expected to be treated to drone delivery during the testing period of three days which ends on Friday.
The initial scope of this experiment is very much limited. The drones will only deliver ginger tea packages under Shou Quanzhai brand during the trial period carried through Shanghai-based YTO Express. The drones can each carry a maximum weight of 1 kg and fly only a maximum distance of 10 kilometers, report states. Ren, a YTO spokesperson said the express-delivery firm is just testing the service and has no immediate plan to expand the service.
Through the drones, Alibaba is trying to step up its investment into logistics to overcome China’s fragmented and underdeveloped parcel-delivery infrastructure. In 2013, the company said it would spearhead a 16.3 billion investment over the next five years to develop a logistics network capable of delivering packages to customers worldwide within 24 hours. As the parcels delivered are expected to increase from 25 million in a day to 200 million in a decade in China, drones would be a reliable and quicker delivery system to meet the demands, says Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba.
Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has long wanted to experiment with similar drone deliveries in USA but the company has been limited to private testing due to FAA restrictions on commercial drones.
Alibaba’s delivery drones at work, find in the video below: