by drone

Lifesaving Deliveries

Frontier Delivery by Zipline

Zipline operates the world’s only drone delivery system at national scale to send urgent medicines like blood to patients, no matter where they live.

More than two billion people lack adequate access to essential medical products, such as blood and vaccines, due to challenging terrain and gaps in infrastructure.

Zipline improves access to these supplies by flying over impassable mountains and washed-out roads, delivering directly to remote clinics. We centralize supply and provide on-demand deliveries, completely reducing waste and stock-outs.

Zipline provides a seamless delivery system at an affordable price, obsessing over every detail, so you can focus on patient health.

I used to see the drones fly and think ‘they must be mad’, until the same drone brought me blood and saved my life.

Alice Mutimutuje, Mother, Rwanda

How Zipline Works
Zipline provides a seamless delivery service, rain or shine. We manage all aspects of the service, obsessing over every detail, so you can focus on patient health.
Order by Text Message
Health workers at remote clinics and hospitals text orders to Zipline for the medical products they need, on demand.
Packed in Minutes
Zipline safely stores medical products at its Distribution Center, enabling immediate access to even the most sensitive or scarce items. These items are packaged here and prepare for flight, maintaining cold-chain and product integrity.
Within minutes, health workers receive confirmation that their order has launched. Racing along at 110 km/h, products arrive faster than any other mode of transport, no pilot required.
Direct Delivery
Fifteen minutes later, the medical products are delivered gently by parachute, landing in a designated area the size of a few parking spaces. Hospital staff are notified via text message.

Zipline’s drones return home, only landing at Zipline’s distribution center for a a quick pit stop before taking off again.

Distribution Centers
Our service has been refined from years of testing and thousands of deliveries. Zipline excels under the challenges of inclement weather, demand spikes, and lifesaving urgency.
500 Deliveries per day capacity
All-weather performance rain or shine
30 Minutes or less average fulfillment time
24/7 day and night operating hours
75 Kilometers delivery service radius

1.5 Kilograms capacity per flight

If I had not gotten the blood, I would have lost my life.
François Mukeshimana

Muhanga District, Rwanda

Rwanda saw an opportunity to use Zipline to deliver blood products to 21 transfusing facilities. Together, Zipline and the Rwanda government launched the world’s first drone delivery system operating at national scale in October 2016.
Hospitals used to take multiple hours to pick up blood at a regional center.Now blood is delivered directly to the facility in less than 30 minutes.

Ultimately, Rwanda’s vision is to put all 12 million citizens within 30 minutes of any essential medical products.

Every second you gain in saving life is critical. The fact that Zipline was a solution… we didn’t hesitate.
Dr. Diane Gashumba

Minister of Health, Rwanda

Since launched in October 2016, thousands of units of blood have been delivered and every delivery has a story. 
We’re just getting started. 

We have a vision to build an instant delivery system for the planet, and together we can make that a reality.

Launching in Cambodia in 2018

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How far can Zipline fly?A Zipline Distribution Center can reliably deliver to any site within 75 km (150 km round trip), flying over tall mountains, and even through high winds and downpours.
  • What infrastructure is needed at the delivery site?Nothing. Zipline does not land or recharge at delivery sites, so no infrastructure needs to be installed. To begin service to a new delivery site, Zipline performs a survey flight to map the area. Within two days, we’re ready to start delivering to an open clearing the size of two parking spaces. This can even be on the clinic’s roof!
  • Can Zipline airplanes be purchased?No. Zipline provides a fully-integrated delivery service. We operate our own equipment so you don’t have to worry about the ins-and-outs.
  • Is Zipline safe?Yes. Zipline has engineered the airplanes from the ground up with safety as the top priority. Redundant motors, batteries, GPS, and electronics are why Zipline’s airplanes are among the safest in the sky. Additionally, each Zipline airplane has a parachute landing system for an added layer of safety.
  • Why does a Zipline drone look more like an airplane than a quadcopter?Zipline has designed its service to meet the real-world needs of our customers. Our custom-designed fixed-wing airplane can fly farther, faster, and in more inclement weather conditions than a quadcopter can, enabling service to facilities 10 times as far, regardless of weather.
  • How are Zipline’s airplanes powered?Lithium-ion battery packs and twin electric motors enable a high level of reliability, low operating cost, and an environmentally-friendly solution.
  • Who flies Zipline’s airplanes?Our airplanes fly automatically on predetermined routes. A Zipline Operator monitors the airspace as our fleet of airplanes perform their missions.
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