UPS (NYSE:UPS) and Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC) today announced an agreement to explore and test a variety of drone delivery use cases. The use cases would examine unmanned aerial vehicles within business-to-business operating models.
The initiative to explore drone deliveries will begin in 2020 and will focus on testing the transport of essential healthcare products by UPS to customers of Henry Schein, a provider of healthcare solutions to office-based dental and medical practitioners.
“It is exciting to see Henry Schein come aboard this groundbreaking program,” says Scott Price, UPS chief strategy and transformation officer. “Healthcare and life science logistics are strategic priorities for UPS, and the testing of this drone program is a testament to the value organizations are seeing in this dynamic technology.”
UPS Flight Forward and Henry Schein will explore methods under oversight of the Federal Aviation Administration to test final-mile delivery where traditional road transport may be less effective or timely. This may include health campuses, remote communities, or temporarily inaccessible areas due to natural disasters.
In September 2019, UPS Flight Forward, the company’s drone airline subsidiary, received the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Part 135 Standard certification with authorization for the use of unmanned aircraft systems to operate a drone delivery program at WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh, N.C.
“Our customers rely on us to provide an exceptional experience with the ultimate goal of providing patients quality care,” said Gerry Benjamin, Henry Schein executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “As we scale our current capabilities, we are exploring new solutions to address the unique logistics challenges in healthcare. We are pleased to work with our long-time healthcare partners at UPS to advance the exciting capabilities that drones offer to shorten the time and distance between essential medical supplies and patient care.”