Amazon isn’t the only retailer that’s looking into drone delivery. Walmart appears to be working on a similar concept but its solution might be a bit different compared to Amazon’s. Walmart has filed for a US patent for a floating blimp warehouse which will make delivers via drones. The idea is to have a floating warehouse up in the sky from where Walmart can instantly ship products to customers using drones.
According to the patent filing, the blimp-style floating warehouse would fly at heights between 500 and 1,000 feet. It will have multiple launch bays for sending drone deliveries. The blimp itself will either fly autonomously or be remotely controlled by a human pilot.
This solution could help Walmart lower the cost of fulfilling online orders, cutting down on “last mile” costs to a customer’s house which is normally handled by a logistics company.
Having a floating warehouse in the sky will also help Walmart tackle the core challenge of traffic and driving distances in major cities thus drastically reducing delivery times for online orders.
It will also enable the company to serve a wider distribution area as traditional warehouses can only fill orders within a fixed driving distance. A floating warehouse can simply move over to one town and release a swarm of drones and fly on to the next town to make further deliveries.
Walmart has only applied for this patent now so it’s far from putting floating warehouses in the sky at this point in time. Who knows, it may do just that a few years down the line.