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The Future of Logistics on the Continent

Africa’s largest e-commerce company Jumia has started using Zipline’s drones for home deliveries, adding an aerial dimension to the online retailer’s increasingly efficient logistics system. The move stems from Jumia’s push to be the go-to platform for Africans ordering everyday items. “Whether they’re ordering electronics, fashion, health, and beauty, or other categories, Zipline’s instant logistics system will provide fast and convenient access,” Apoorva Kumar, Jumia’s chief operating officer, said in a statement. Both companies started a pilot of the drone delivery at the end of May. In the second quarter of this year, Jumia delivered 60% of physical goods within a day, up from 57% in the first quarter. The growth has been made possible by the company’s increasing fleet of delivery vehicles and warehouses. Last month, it launched 20-minute deliveries in Lagos, Nigeria to deliver groceries and food. The service will take off in Ghana, with Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria being the next stops. By going into business with Jumia, Zipline emphasizes its self-definition as primarily a logistics company, not a healthtech, positioning it as a potential keystone partner for online retailers looking to access parts of Africa with challenging roads.