UPS announces several new drone projects

By Damian Brett

Express firm UPS has announced several new projects to develop its drone delivery operation.

The company today announced new drone delivery service in support of the University of Utah Health hospital campuses, in partnership with drone manufacturer Matternet.  The University of Utah campus programme will involve drone deliveries of samples and other cargo and is similar to an operation recently introduced at WakeMed Hospital in North Carolina.

Also today, UPS Flight Forward announced an agreement with CVS Health to develop a variety of drone delivery use cases for business-to consumer applications. The program will include evaluation of delivery of prescriptions and retail products to the homes of CVS customers.

UPS is also partnering with wholesale pharmaceutical distributor AmerisourceBergen, a leading global healthcare solutions provider.

The collaboration will initially deploy the UPS Flight Forward drone airline to transport certain pharmaceuticals, supplies and records to qualifying medical campuses served by AmerisourceBergen across the US, with plans to then expand its use to other sites of care.

Additionally, UPS Flight Forward will soon develop drone delivery services in support of Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. The delivery applications will involve shipping healthcare shipments or other items on the company’s hospital campuses.

The express firm also today announced another new service targeting the pharma industry: UPS Premier.

The service will use sensor technology to ensure priority-handling services for time-and temperature-sensitive packages. The company said it is part of a move to retrofit key parts of the company’s network with smart, IoT systems to track healthcare packages.

Additionally, the company is connecting all of its global healthcare and life sciences business under a single, dedicated UPS Healthcare and Life Sciences (HCLS) unit.

The new unit includes operations and over 5,000 personnel from Marken, Polar Speed, and all 114 UPS healthcare facilities. The unit will have a dedicated and healthcare-trained salesforce and customer support teams for customers across the global network.

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