Jumia deploys use of drones in Ghana to stream logistic operations, cut emissions

GHANA – Jumia, the leading e-commerce platform in Africa, has partnered with Zipline, the world’s largest instant delivery service, to deploy on-demand drone-delivery for e-commerce in Ghana, with plans to expand the service to Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire in the near future.

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 the products they want, when they want them and where they would like them to be delivered.

The announcement follows an initial pilot 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 1h with real-time visibility of the drone for all stakeholders in the delivery cycle.

“Using the latest instant logistics technology will allow Jumia to offer our consumers on-demand delivery of the products they need – instantly.

“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,” said Apoorva Kumar, EVP Jumia, Group COO.

The drones deployed in Ghana have a maximum payload of 11.8 liters or 6.6 lbs (3 kgs), meaning that only a few select products will be delivered through the service.

“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.

“Zipline’s safe and efficient instant logistics system will make shopping on Jumia even more convenient, sustainable and accessible for its customers,” said Daniel Marfo, SVP – Zipline Africa

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

In addition to its partnership with Zipline, Jumia works with Solar Taxi in Ghana, Errand360 in Nigeria and eBee in Kenya to achieve a fully green footprint using clean and sustainable renewable energy.

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

In 2020, the ecommerce giant 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.

Zipline’s instant logistics system, on the other hand, is made up of a world-class autonomy platform, fleet of light, electric aircraft, and flight management systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98% 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% compared to traditional cars.

The startup launched in 2014, started out its operations in Rwanda and later in Ghana where it used its autonomous electric drones to deliver life-saving medical supplies including blood and vaccines.

It has since expanded its operations to other countries within Africa, and the U.S where it is a logistics provider for a number of companies including Novant Health and retail giant Walmart.

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