Did Flytrex Make the Most Consumer Drone Deliveries of 2022?
BY Zacc Dukowitz5 April 2023
Early this year, a report came out highlighting the fact that DroneUp made over 6,000 drone deliveries last year in partnership with Walmart.
But it looks like Flytrex has blown that number out of the water.
In a new report, the company shares that it made 21,350 drone deliveries in 2022—well over three times as many as DroneUp.
Here are some other key Flytrex stats from last year:
- Over 85,000 items delivered
- Over 4,000 users—a growth of 765% from the year before
Given these stats, a few things are clear.
First, most people are ordering more than one thing per drone delivery. In fact, about four things, given that Flytrex made 21,000 deliveries but delivered over 85,000 items.
And second, people are adopting drone delivery. Just because you make a service available doesn’t mean people will use it—and 765% growth indicates that people are definitely using it.
Here’s another data point reflecting just how much people are using Flytrex for drone delivery: on its busiest day last year, the company was getting one order every five minutes.
It’s also worth noting that Flytrex’s delivery services are free. Unlike Uber Eats or Postmates, when you order a delivery with Flytrex you don’t have to pay at all.
What Are People Ordering?
On the restaurant front, the types of food people get delivered represent an array of fast food options. Here are the top restaurant items ordered for delivery via Flytrex in 2022:
- Turkey sandwich
- Burrito bowl
- Italian sandwich
This pie chart shows the breakdown of restaurant orders by category last year:
And when it comes to groceries, the top items ordered for delivery via Flytrex in 2022 were:
- Sports drink
- Chocolate bars
This pie chart shows the breakdown of grocery orders by category last year:
How Long Does It Take to Get Your Order?
When it comes to timing, Flytrex is making deliveries incredibly fast. Last year, its average delivery time was just 3 minutes and 32 seconds.
DroneUp’s website says “We deliver in 30 minutes or less, with the fastest being 17 minutes from when the order is placed to delivery.”
However, there’s an important distinction to make here.
While Flytrex is only talking about the time it takes to get the items to you, DroneUp is talking about the entire process, from fulfilling the order (i.e., making the food and packaging it, or finding the item and loading it, depending on what you got) all the way through to dropping it off at your house.
Given that context, 17 minutes from placing the order to getting it—DroneUp’s claim—is actually quite fast.
That being said, Flytrex does have a data point about its fastest overall delivery. According to the report, it was able to get an order to a customer in a total of 12 minutes and 13 seconds from the order being made to arrival. Now that’s fast.
In addition to timing, Flytrex’s report has some fun stats from last year, including the most orders made by one person in a year and in a single day.
How Flytrex Makes Its Deliveries
So far in this article we’ve only mentioned DroneUp as another company that makes drone deliveries in the U.S.
But of course there are several others—Wing, UPS’ Flight Forward, Zipline, and Amazon Prime are all currently conducting drone deliveries as well.
However, there is a big difference between how those companies do their deliveries and how DroneUp and Flytrex do theirs.
The difference isn’t about the specifics of the delivery process—whether they use a tether, a drone mailbox, a network, or a tiny drone carried by a bigger drone.
The difference is that those four companies have Part 135 certificates, while DroneUp and Flytrex do not. And this means that Flytrex and DroneUp both have to operate within visual line of sight when making deliveries.
According to the FAA, the Part 135 certificate is “the only path for small drones to carry the property of another for compensation beyond visual line of sight.”
[Related read: What Is the Part 135 Certificate and How Are Companies Like Flytrex and DroneUp Scaling Drone Delivery without One?]
Yet both companies have managed to scale their operations incredibly quickly, and are on track to scale even more aggressively this year—DroneUp is now poised to deliver to over four million people, and we’re sure to see Flytrex’s delivery stats grow aggressively again this year.
When it was first rolled out, it looked like the Part 135 would be the king maker of drone delivery. Companies that had one would thrive, while those who didn’t would fail.
But the reality is much more complicated. Today, it looks like Flytrex—a company without a Part 135—may have made the most consumer deliveries of 2022 in the U.S.
DroneUp’s achievement of 6,000 deliveries is also impressive, especially given that those four Part 135 holders haven’t released their total stats, indicating that they’re probably not very high. (Amazon Prime Air didn’t even start making deliveries until this year.)
As drone delivery continues to accelerate and expand to new cities, it will be interesting to see if this trend continues, or if Part 135 companies start to catch up.