Jumia, Zipline partner to pioneer retail drone deliveries in Africa
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Pan-African eCommerce platform Jumia and delivery service firm Zipline have collaborated to deploy automated and on-demand drone deliveries in Africa. The service is set to power the continued growth of the eCommerce business in Africa by allowing for drone-based retail order deliveries direct to the customers’ homes across Africa.

The pilot program and testing were launched a few months ago in Ghana. 

The collaboration will integrate Zipline’s automated, on-demand delivery system with Jumia’s existing distribution network to enable customers to receive instant, on-demand delivery of products exactly when they want them and from the comfort of their homes.        

“Using the latest instant logistics technology will allow Jumia to offer our consumers on-demand delivery of the products they need – instantly. Whether they’re ordering electronics, fashion, health, and beauty, or other categories, Zipline’s instant logistics system will provide fast and convenient access,” said Apoorva Kumar, EVP Jumia, Group COO. 

“This will support Jumia’s commitment to sustainability and innovation and provide much-needed access to rural and remote areas where conventional delivery services have challenges.”

Drone deliveries in Africa

Jumia, Zipline partner to pioneer retail drone deliveries in Africa

An initial pilot was carried out across multiple use cases with varying product assortment, logging up to 2,500km in testing.

Deliveries to outlying Jumia hubs as far as 85km from the take-off location at the Zipline operational hub in Omenako (Ghana) were completed in less than one hour with real-time visibility of the drone for all stakeholders in the delivery cycle.

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Eventual plans call for expansion to Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria and ultimately to other countries in the future. 

“Zipline is pleased to partner with Jumia to use instant logistics to improve the lives of customers across Africa. This collaboration will increase access to goods for customers and help small and medium sized businesses grow,” says Daniel Marfo, SVP – Zipline Africa. 

Zipline’s safe and efficient instant logistics system will make shopping on Jumia more convenient, sustainable, and accessible for its customers.”

Jumia’s logistics network includes 30+ warehouses and 3,000+ drop-off stations and pick-up stations located across Jumia’s 11-country market.

In 2020, Jumia announced that its logistics service would now be available to third parties seeking to leverage the network, technology, and expertise for last-mile deliveries across its 11 countries in Africa. 

Jumia, Zipline partner to pioneer retail drone deliveries in Africa

On the other hand, Zipline’s instant logistics system comprises a world-class autonomy platform, a fleet of light, electric aircraft, and fleet management systems.

These will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98 percent compared to delivery by car.

This system is designed to enable all consumers, from the most urban to the most remote, to access the products they need in 45-minutes or less while reducing the carbon emissions of last-mile delivery up to 98 percent compared to traditional cars. 

Jumia’s partnership with Zipline is part of its commitment to providing affordable and eco-friendly delivery of online orders for consumers.

Jumia has developed a vast array of partnerships to broaden its offering. In addition to Zipline, Jumia works with Solar Taxi in Ghana and eBee in Kenya to achieve a fully green footprint using clean and sustainable renewable energy.

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About the author

Vani has a keen interest in investments, entrepreneurship, and small businesses.

Vani Ongaya

Vani has a keen interest in investments, entrepreneurship, and small businesses.