Delivery Drones Market
The global delivery drones market was valued at US$ 165.3 million in 2017 and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 38.5% during the forecast period (2019–2027), reaching US$ 3,802.5 million by 2027. A delivery drone is a type of unmanned aerial vehicle, which is used for distributing packages to customers in any locality. This drone is available in three different types, which include fixed-wing drones, rotor drones, and hybrid drones. These type of drones are mostly designed with 4 to 8 propellers along with rechargeable batteries and can fly at high speed while carrying a parcel.
Increasing demand for delivery drones in the healthcare sector
Rising demand for delivery drones across the globe is driving growth of the global delivery drones market. For instance, in April 2019, a U.S.-based UAV manufacturer and logistic services provider, Zipline, collaborated with Ghana's Ministry of Health to launch a delivery drone service for medical suppliers in Ghana. In 2017, Zipline received a contract from Tanzania’s government to launch permanent medical facilities in the country.
According to the statistics from the Global Opportunity Explorer, maternal mortality rates declined from 1,300 deaths per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 290 in 2015, owing to timely delivery of required blood to patients with the help of delivery drones in Rwanda. These factors are expected to drive growth of the market.
Technological advancements in delivery drone batteries
Proliferating demand for development of lithium-metal batteries is expected to drive growth of the delivery drones market over the forecast period. A lithium-metal battery helps the drone to cover longer distances in a single charge. Moreover, lithium-metal battery is half the size of a lithium-ion battery and it could hold as much charge as a bigger lithium-ion battery.
Technological advancements play a substantial role in the adoption of lithium-metal battery for delivery drones. For instance, in January 2018, SolidEnergy Systems raised US$ 50 million in investments to fund development of their battery technology from 2012.
As a result of limited production, lithium-metal batteries are of high cost. Companies such as SolidEnergy Systems, a manufacturer of lightest rechargeable cells, are planning to establish their manufacturing units in Asia Pacific, which is expected to reduce production cost of lithium-metal batteries in this region.
On the other side, lack of technical expertise about operating drones and low battery life of delivery drones are major factors that are expected to restrain growth of the delivery drones market.
Figure 1. Global Delivery Drones Market Value Share (%), by Application (2018)
Source: Coherent Market Insights Analysis, 2018
E-commerce segment holds dominant position in the global delivery drones market
On the basis of application, the global delivery drones market is segmented into e-commerce, quick-service restaurants (QSR), and healthcare. Among all the applications, e-commerce segment held dominant position in the market in 2018, owing to increasing efficiency and less cost of delivery.
Furthermore, the e-commerce industry is continuously developing, and brands and carriers are focusing on developing new ways to make online shopping easier for customers. For instance, in June 2017, China’s retailer, JD.com. Inc. developed a delivery drone that can deliver packages of 1,000 kg or one metric ton. The company’s drone can cover a maximum distance of up to 100 km before recharging.
However, poor infrastructure and fewer orders may affect e-commerce companies that are increasing their customer base in rural areas. Drones have created opportunity to make delivery operations more efficient, as these are fast and flexible, making them a game-changer in the e-commerce industry.
North America holds dominant position in the global delivery drones market
On the basis of geography, the global delivery drones market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Latin America, Middle East and Africa (LAMEA). Among all these regions, North America delivery drones market generated revenue of US$ 75.5 Mn by 2018 and is expected to reach US$ 1,074.7 Mn by 2027, witnessing a CAGR of 35.2% over the forecast period.
Several key players such as Amazon, UPS, Google, and DHL are offering drone delivery in inaccessible areas in North America region, which has led to an increasing demand for delivery drones.
According to the data from DroneLife in 2018, delivering packages by conventional methods such as trucks result in emission of around 915 grams of greenhouse gases (GHGs) per package. On the other hand, a drone can deliver a same package with just 420 grams of emission, which is expected to create significant demand for delivery drones in the North America region.
Furthermore, Asia Pacific delivery drones market holds second dominant position in the global delivery drones market, followed by North America due to increasing applications of delivery drones in various sectors such as healthcare. For instance, in September 2019, the Government of Maharashtra (India) partnered with Zipline, a drone delivery service company, to deliver emergency medicines across the state via autonomous delivery drone. Additionally, this initiative was supported through a grant from vaccine manufacturer SII (Serum Institute India).
Major players operating in the global delivery drones market include The Boeing Company, Airbus SE, JD.com, SKYCART INC, Drone America, Matternet Inc., and SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd.