Jumia partners with Zipline on drone delivery

Leading e-commerce company in Africa, Jumia has teamed up with international rapid delivery company Zipline to provide on-demand drone delivery services to the continent’s expanding e-commerce competitors. This rollout follows a logistics service pilot phase that was completed in Ghana a few months ago.

In the pilot test, one-hour deliveries were made up to 85 kilometres from the take-off site, with real-time drone view for all involved parties. Jumia is once again asserting its dominance as the driving force behind a change in consumer behaviour, just as it is doing by bringing more shoppers online. Such advanced technology is largely untapped at scale in the African logistics industry.

“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, 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,” he added.

Despite how innovative the drone delivery solution is, not all of the 11 African nations in which Jumia currently has a presence will have immediate access to the service. The fact that Jumia is not launching this in Nigeria, its largest market and the third African nation Zipline has launched in, is of particular interest to experts and enthusiasts alike. Although Jumia’s official announcement makes no mention of the cause for this, it does promise that Nigeria and Côte d’Ivoire will eventually be added.

This is one of many moves Jumia has made in recent times. Another, for example, is the opening of a new warehousing and logistics facility by Jumia in Nairobi, which was announced last week. Perhaps the most notable thing about Jumia’s advancement is that its move from a competitive strategy to an ecosystem enablement strategy makes its win a win for all. Jumia already makes its enormous network and cutting-edge technology available to other logistics firms in the area and now its drone delivery services will follow suit.

Senior vice president of Zipline Africa, Daniel Marfo, expressed much joy on behalf of his firm about the partnership with Jumia, insisting that it will promote the expansion of SMEs in Africa.

“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,” he said.

The alliance between Jumia and Zipline means a step further in the ongoing push for an environmentally friendly logistics infrastructure in Africa. When compared to car deliveries, Zipline’s instant logistics technology reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 98%. This is consistent with Jumia’s dedication to environmentally friendly delivery services, which the online retailer has previously demonstrated by collaborating with Ghana’s Solar Taxi and Kenya’s eBee.

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