Drone Delivery Shuffle: Amazon Moves from California to Arizona

Amazon Ends Prime Air Drone Delivery in California, Expands to Arizona

is making significant changes to its Prime Air drone delivery program. The company announced it will be closing its drone delivery site in Lockeford, , while simultaneously launching a new location in Tolleson, . This move marks another chapter in Amazon's pioneering but challenging journey to make drone deliveries a reality.

Lockeford Operations Winding Down

Amazon's Prime Air drone delivery program in Lockeford, California, which opened for business in 2022, is now coming to an end. According to The Verge, the company did not provide a clear reason for the closure but stated that employees at the Lockeford location will be offered “opportunities at other sites.”

Arizona Expansion

As Lockeford operations wind down, Amazon is launching a new Prime Air location in Tolleson, Arizona. The new site is expected to provide “same-day” deliveries to residents in the West Valley Phoenix metro area, with operations set to begin later this year.

Amazon Prime Air Unveils Its Game-Changing MK30 Drone
Amazon Prime Air Unveils Its Game-Changing MK30 Drone

Ongoing Testing and Development

Amazon's latest drone model, the MK30, is currently undergoing testing. This new drone is designed to be lighter, fly through light rain, and replace the current models by the end of 2024. The company previously faced setbacks with other models that sometimes crashed and burned during testing.

Challenges and Competition

Despite its early start in the drone delivery space, Amazon has fallen behind its competitors over the years. In 2013, then-CEO Jeff Bezos predicted drone deliveries would be available within four to five years. However, by mid-2023, the company had only made around 100 deliveries, far short of its goal of 10,000 by the end of that year. In contrast, rival delivery company Zipline reported completing 1,000,000 drone deliveries as of April 19th, 2024.

Amazon's decision to close its Lockeford drone delivery site while expanding to Arizona demonstrates the company's ongoing efforts to refine and improve its Prime Air program. Despite facing challenges and falling behind competitors, Amazon remains committed to making drone deliveries a reality. As the company continues to test and develop new drone models, it aims to overcome obstacles and eventually fulfill its vision of fast, efficient, and widespread drone delivery services.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of DroneXL.co, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and EVXL.co, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ dronexl.co or @hayekesteloo.

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