Walmart is now delivering purchases to customers via drones at some stores.

You can count some consumers in Hillsborough County among the growing number who are finding they no longer have to contend with driving through heavy traffic to buy their goods or meals when a drone can fly over congested roads and quickly drop off a delivery.

Customers at some Walmart stores have the option of ordering online and having their purchase brought to them via a drone that’s operated by a company called DroneUp.

Five of DroneUp’s Walmart delivery hubs are in Hillsborough County, with four of them in or near the Osprey Observer’s publication area.

The Walmart DroneUp hubs deliver purchases from Walmart Supercenters located at 1208 E. Brandon Blvd., 10863 Bloomingdale Ave. and 2140 Bloomingdale Ave., as well as the one at 11720 E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Seffner and another in New Tampa. There are a total of nine Walmarts in Florida providing the drone delivery service, which begins with checking availability by entering an address online at According to the DroneUp website, deliveries are made within a 1-mile radius of a participating store.

A statement provided by a Walmart spokesperson provides details: “Drones can deliver more than 20,000 eligible Walmart items up to 10 pounds in 30 minutes or less. The delivery fee is $3.99. Once a customer’s items are packaged and loaded into the drone, the order is then delivered using a cable that gently lowers the package into the customer’s yard. Yes, even fragile items like eggs can be delivered.”

The benefits of drone delivery are considerable, according to a DroneUp spokesperson.

“DroneUp exists to serve everyone, from seniors living independently to busy families who rely on the convenience and cost savings drone delivery brings. As Walmart’s leading drone delivery service, being able to deliver necessary goods to customers in a timely and efficient manner has become increasingly important,” the DroneUp spokesperson said.

Walmart is not the only company exploring drone delivery service, and consumers can expect more choices in the future as the technology and procedures for aerial delivery are developed. Amazon is working on its Prime Air service, and logistics companies FedEx and UPS are also developing drone delivery capability.

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Brad Stager
Avian-named publications have figured prominently in Brad Stager's career. Besides writing for the Osprey Observer, he started out writing sports articles for the Seahawk, a weekly newspaper serving the military community aboard Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan. That position followed a career documenting life in the Fleet, from the Straits of Magellan to the North Arabian Sea, as a Navy Photographer's Mate. Since settling in the Tampa Bay area, Brad has produced a variety of written, visual and aural content for clients ranging from corporate broadcasters to small businesses.