The prospect of new industries is very exciting. In the late 90s, the rise of the internet caused a boom in the stock market. Then, in the mid-2000s investors saw the rise of Apple. The electric vehicle (EV) market started to pick up steam in the late 2010s, and investors caught early glimpses of Tesla and other EV manufacturers.
This decade, there are many exciting industries that show a lot of promise. From the rise of telehealth to digital payments and e-commerce, investors have a lot to look forward to in the coming years. However, there is one industry, that is still very much in its infancy, that investors should be keeping an eye on. This is the drone delivery industry.
This company leads the way in Canada
In the mid-2000s, drones were developed for military applications. However, the prospect of drones being used elsewhere has become very popular in recent years. A 2019 report estimated the global drone delivery market to be US$530 million at that time. The authors forecast a market size of US$6,051 million by 2026. This represents a compound annual growth rate of 42% over that period.
Drone Delivery Canada (TSXV:FLT) is the runaway leader in drone delivery services in Canada. The company has just begun to report sales, as investors have patiently awaited any developments on that front for the past few years. Drone Delivery Canada has announced many partnerships in the past, most notably with Air Canada.
In early November, the two companies announced that they had plans to take e-commerce to the next level. While no details were given, it certainly gives investors more hope in the futures of this company. Drone Delivery Canada claims one of the more impressive drones being used for commercial deliveries. Its largest vehicle, The Condor, can handle payloads of up to 400 pounds and travel nearly 200 km.
Of course, all of this is still very speculative, as the company will need to continue executing at a high level to retain the interest of investors. Drone Delivery Canada stock rose as much as 75% from its lowest point this year. However, the stock has since crashed and is still about 20% down from its price at the start of the year. Drone Delivery Canada continues to provide investors with a glimpse of what could be, but the company still leaves more to be desired.
Are there any competitors?
Two international companies lead the way with regards to drone delivery. The first company to begin commercial deliveries using drones was JD.com. The company is an e-commerce giant in China and boasts the world’s largest drone fleet. Although it is unlikely that we will see the company processing deliveries in Canada, its dedication to research and development should be commended.
Closer to home, Amazon is also working on its own drone delivery service. Amazon Prime Air is quickly picking up steam, as the company rushes to develop the program. The drone service was first unveiled this year, as the company announced FAA-approval in August. Currently, the company plans to use its fleet to deliver packages weighing up to five pounds. Amazon has also tentatively placed a maximum travel time of 30 minutes.
If successful, it will be sure to disrupt the delivery service industry as it opens new avenues within the e-commerce and food delivery markets. The company has yet to state when the program will commence; however, there is quite a bit of information on Amazon’s website regarding the progress and priorities in developing Prime Air. Other companies that look to make an impact in the drone delivery service include UPS and Alphabet.
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John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Fool contributor Jed Lloren owns shares of Apple and Tesla. David Gardner owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, and Tesla. Tom Gardner owns shares of Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), JD.com, and Tesla. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Amazon, Apple, JD.com, and Tesla and recommends the following options: short January 2022 $1940 calls on Amazon and long January 2022 $1920 calls on Amazon.