13 Drone Delivery Companies to Know

Drone delivery companies transport everything from fast food and medical supplies to passengers.

Written by Dawn Kawamoto
13 Drone Delivery Companies to Know
Image: Shutterstock
UPDATED BY
Matthew Urwin | Apr 24, 2024

Forget jumping into your car or hopping onto an airplane to get what you need or where you want to go. Drone delivery companies could soon replace those transportation options by bringing you everything from fast food to medical supplies.

Drones, which can rise up and lower like helicopters yet fly like an airplane, come in various sizes depending on their cargo. Some are roughly the size of an oversize dinner plate and carry cargo weighing less than five pounds, while others can deliver people in a vehicle the size of a small four-person passenger plane. 

Drone Delivery Companies

  • Wing
  • Flytrex
  • Matternet
  • Zipline
  • Amazon Prime Air
  • Elroy Air
  • Manna
  • UPS Flight Forward
  • DroneUp
  • Joby Aviation
  • Wisk Aero
  • Wingcopter
  • Zing

The attraction of drone delivery companies includes their ability to get food, goods, medicine and people to places that lack space for runways or that are too remote to make driving worthwhile. As a result, the global drone delivery market has gained traction and is on track to surpass $33 million by 2033. 

Here are drone delivery companies to keep an eye on as the industry takes off. 

 

13 Drone Delivery Companies to Know

Joby Aviation, an eVOTL air-taxi company, first received permission from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to operate on-demand service in 2022 before getting another green light in 2024 to perform vehicle repairs and maintenance. Its vehicles, which can hold a pilot and four passengers and sport a range of up to 150 miles, will start commercial flights once its aircraft becomes fully certified.

 

Wisk Aero released its sixth generation of its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) drone, which it hopes to gain certification from the FAA and eventually have it serve 20 of the busiest metropolitan cities across the globe over the next 10 years, reports Vertical Mag. The cargo capacity will be four people. For now, Wisk aims to achieve its first flight with the Generation 6 model by the end of 2024 and secure full certification by 2030.

 

Zipline has delivered vaccines, blood, prescriptions and medical supplies to medical facilities and patients’ homes in the United States, Japan, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria. Its Platform 1 drones can fly a range of 120 miles roundtrip, and its Platform 2 drones can carry up to eight pounds. The company reached its one-millionth delivery in April of 2024, which comes on the heels of Zipline’s expansion to include partners like Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, Jet’s Pizza in Detroit and Panera Bread in Seattle.

 

UPS Flight Forward received certification to run a drone service in 2021 and purchased the eVTOL company BETA Technologies to accelerate its mission. The UPS subsidiary has since been granted permission by the FAA to make small drone deliveries beyond the visual line of sight, bringing it one step closer to realizing an established drone operation.

 

Matternet delivers medical supplies, vaccines, blood and lab samples in Abu Dhabi, Switzerland, Asia, the European Union and North Carolina. Its M2 drones can handle 4.4 pounds of cargo and have a range of 12.4 miles. The company’s drones are set to be flown beyond the visual line of sight, thanks to the company’s partnership with UPS Flight Forward. In addition, Matternet’s partner Ameriflight was approved by the FAA to begin making commercial deliveries with M2 drones.

 

Wing became the first drone operator to launch a commercial delivery service in a major U.S. metropolitan area when it kicked off deliveries in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in April of 2022. The company’s drones can carry 2.5 pounds over a six-mile range, transporting ice cream, coffee, pastries, take-out food, groceries and pharmaceutical goods. Wing has introduced larger drones for heavier deliveries as its partner Walmart looks to further expand its drone delivery services in the DFW region.

 

Fast food and groceries make their way to customers in North Carolina and Texas on Flytrex drones. These drones have a cargo capacity of 6.6 pounds and a five-mile range. In the fall of 2022, the FAA approved increasing Flytrex’s delivery radius to two nautical miles from one according to a FreightWaves post, and it gave Flytrex’s partner Causey Aviation Unmanned permission to fly drones beyond the visual line of sight in 2023.

 

Manna is an Ireland-based drone company that transports food, coffee, medical supplies and other items to customers. After receiving orders through a mobile app, Manna personnel package and load goods onto drones. These drones then travel between 165 to 215 feet above the ground before descending to gently lower each order to a customer’s address. In 2023, Manna celebrated its U.S. expansion by delivering candy to trick-or-treaters in Dallas-Fort Worth. 

 

Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia, DroneUp is able to conduct drone deliveries across the country with a network of over 22,000 drone pilots and its Mission Match platform that coordinates efforts. The company works with healthcare organizations, retailers and food companies, with its fastest retail delivery clocking in at 17 minutes. To make its deliveries even more seamless, DroneUp is developing a system of temperature-regulated storage lockers where drones can pick up and drop off goods.

 

Zing Drone Delivery delivers food to clients in Florida, with each drone boasting a 10-pound cargo capacity. In January of 2022, the company announced a partnership with Skyway Technologies to provide autonomous deliveries to businesses and homes in the U.S. In addition, the company has designed affordable remote ID technology for drones in the wake of stiffer drone remote ID laws.

 

Amazon Prime Air drones deliver eligible merchandise purchased on Amazon, including medications ordered through Amazon Pharmacy. While Amazon Prime Air has been serving customers in Lockeford, California, and College Station, Texas, it’s now closing its California location and pivoting to the Phoenix area. In the meantime, Prime Air customers in College Station and future locations can look forward to receiving deliveries from the new MK30 drones, which can complete five-pound deliveries within an hour.

 

Wingcopter drops off packages, tools and spare parts to customers in Malawi, Ireland, Italy, Canada, Vanuatu, Scotland, Germany and Norway. Other items Wingcopter delivers include food, groceries, medical supplies and vaccines. The company’s Wingcopter 198 is built to handle challenging weather conditions, and it could become a common sight in Japan as Wingcopter works toward certification in the country.

 

Elroy Air’s Chaparral drone, which it bills itself as a first-of-its-kind, autonomous, hybrid eVTOL aircraft, will deliver consumer goods, medical supplies, machine parts and disaster relief items while boasting a cargo capacity of 300 pounds and a range of 300 miles. The company has teamed up with partners like FedEx and British aviation company Bristow Group in the past. And in 2023, Elroy Air created a Chaparral C1 model that became the first turbogenerator-hybrid eVTOL to take flight.

Frequently Asked Questions

Drone delivery companies transport items using flying autonomous drones, either existing as independent operations or partnering with retailers, grocery stores and other businesses. After receiving customer orders online or through a mobile app, teams package and load items onto drones that navigate to a customer’s house or another drop-off location. 

Zipline is the largest drone delivery company, working with restaurants, grocery stores, healthcare facilities and other clients.

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