UPS on Tuesday announced that its drone delivery subsidiary, UPS Flight Forward, is partnering with CVS Pharmacy, AmeriSource Bergen, Kaiser Permanente and the University of Utah as it continues to develop commercial drone delivery use cases and scale its drone operations across the country.
With CVS, UPS said the companies will evaluate drone delivery use cases including the transport of prescriptions and retail products from CVS stores to customers' homes.
"UPS Flight Forward is rapidly building a robust customer base and a network of technology partners to galvanize our leadership in drone delivery," said Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer. "We will create new logistics and delivery solutions no one has ever considered. Previous industry thinking had been limited to only ground transportation technology. Now we're thinking in three dimensions."
The partnership with AmeriSource Bergen revolves around using drones to deliver pharmaceuticals and supplies to medical campuses served by the drug wholesale company.
Meanwhile, UPS and Kaiser Permanente will work together on ways to transport healthcare supplies between buildings at Kaiser Permanente medical campuses. Similarly, the partnership with the University of Utah will focus on delivering medical supplies instruments, supplies and documents across the medical school campus.
On top of the new partnerships, UPS also announced that it will form a new UPS Healthcare and Life Sciences Division to study the market and find more industry in roads for Flight Forward.
Earlier this month UPS announced that Flight Forward achieved the highly restricted Part 135 air carrier certification, which allows for approved UPS drones to fly over people, at night and out of the operator's line of sight. The certification, the highest level of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval for a drone delivery operation, is a key step in the company's plan to integrate drone delivery into the broader UPS logistics network.