UPS, Google expand use of drones

February 4, 2020

UPS is the world’s largest package delivery company, but it also sees itself as a technology company, adapting traditional methods of moving goods with new ways of doing things.

As a technology company it is now competing with Google’s parent Alphabet in the development of unmanned drones.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) has been testing unmanned drones for several years. Its first efforts were delivering time and temperature sensitive drugs in remote parts of Ghana and Rwanda where patchy road and air links make delivery is slow and difficult. Last year, it used drones to deliver blood and tissue samples between hospitals in Raleigh, North Carolina. In the fall, it received wider approval from the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) for a ‘drone airline’ to use unmanned planes to more widely deliver goods.

The certification lets the company fly as many drones as it wants, carry cargo that weighs more than 55 pounds and fly at night.

Not to be outdone, UPS rival FedEx  joined Alphabet (NDQ:GOOGL) spinoff Wing Aviation in a partnership with the Walgreens pharmacy chain. In October 2019, it made the first scheduled commercial residential delivery in the U.S. to a home in Christiansburg, Virginia.

Wing was spun out of Alphabet’s experimental X division in 2018 and is part of Alphabet’s “Other Bets” portfolio. It received FAA approval last year for the delivery of small packages following more than 70,000 test flights and 3,000 deliveries in Australia.

Soon after the Wing test, UPS unveiled a partnership with  CVS Health Corp.  A drone made two short flights to homes near a CVS store in Cary, North Carolina. The prescriptions were lowered via a cable while the drone hovered about 20 feet about each address.

UPS said one of the packages was delivered to a customer with limited mobility, which makes it difficult for them to make the trip to a nearby store. A UPS drone operator who was on hand to take over the flights if needed. 

UPS and Alphabet are examples of companies that adapt to new technology to streamline their own operations, or those of their customers. By improving productivity, they are improving profitability.

Both are  components of the Harvest Brand Leaders Plus Income ETF (TSX: HBF, HBF.U).

As of Dec. 31, 2019, the actively managed portfolio held 20 global companies who are the dividend elite, with an average dividend yield of 1.87% and a current distribution yield of 6.6%. The distributions are paid monthly. The ETF’s management fee is 0.75%.

Alphabet is also a top holding of the Harvest Tech Achievers Growth & Income ETF. As of Dec. 31, 2019, the ETF (TSX:HTA, HTA.U) held a portfolio of 20 global technology leaders. The portfolio has an average dividend yield was 1.18% with a current distribution yield of 6.15%.

For more on Harvest ETFs click here.

The views and/or opinions expressed in the article are of a general nature and are for informational purposes only. Article contents should not be considered as advice and/or a recommendation to purchase or sell the mentioned securities or used to engage in personal investment strategies. Investors should consult their investment advisor before making any investment decision.

You may also like…

Disclaimer

You will usually pay brokerage fees to your dealer if you purchase or sell units of the Fund(s) on the TSX. If the units are purchased or sold on the TSX, investors may pay more than the current net asset value when buying units of the Fund(s) and may receive less than the current net asset value when selling them. There are ongoing fees and expenses associated with owning units of an investment fund. Investment funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. An investment fund must prepare disclosure documents that contain key information about the fund. You can find more detailed information about the fund in these documents.

Certain statements in the Harvest Blog are forward looking Forward-looking statements (“FLS”) are statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or that include words such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” or  “estimate,” or other similar expressions. Statements that look forward in time or include anything other than historical information are subject to risks and uncertainties, and actual results, actions or events could differ materially from those set forth in the FLS.

FLS are not guarantees of future performance and are by their nature based on numerous assumptions, which include, amongst other things, that (i) the Fund can attract and maintain investors and have sufficient capital under management to effect their investment strategies, (ii) the investment strategies will produce the results intended by the portfolio managers, and (iii) the markets will react and perform in a manner consistent with the investment strategies. Although the FLS contained herein are based upon what the portfolio manager believe to be reasonable assumptions, the portfolio manager cannot assure that actual results will be consistent with these FLS.

Unless required by applicable law, Harvest Portfolios Group Inc. does not undertake, and specifically disclaim, any intention or obligation to update or revise any FLS, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay informed

Join Us & Stay Informed!

* indicates required

Your Preferences   (Please select all the ways you would like to hear from)


You are a *


Confirm *