Monday, May 4, 2020

Drone Maritime Delivery Service Picks Up Another Logistics Industry Supporter

Plans to Commercially Operate Heavy Item Resupply Service Shortly
Shipping News Feature

SINGAPORE – Having obtained the necessary permissions and completed preliminary trials late last year, F-Drones, a company aiming to complete the development of its 'HyperLaunch Heavy ' drone by next year, has received support from another major shipping and logistics group.

GAC’s local office is to partner with the start-up company to develop large-scale drones that can deliver up to 100 kilogrammes of supplies over 100 kilometres to vessels and offshore platforms. Testing is currently underway on F-drones’ 3rd prototype that is capable of handling items up to 5 kilogrammes over 50 kilometres.

GAC Singapore will be supporting F-drones in a test flight to deliver packages to vessels in the near future and the Dubai headquartered group joins other notable industry stakeholders and others such as Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS), the Schulte Group, Techstars, Port XL, Entrepreneur First and tanker group Hafnia. Lars Bergström, GAC Group Vice President, Asia Pacific & Indian Subcontinent, said:

“Joining forces with F-drones is part of GAC’s drive to embrace technology to develop new ways to meet the demands of the maritime industry we serve. When fully commercialised, drones can be an attractive alternative to launches and helicopters for delivering supplies to vessels, especially for on-demand deliveries.”

F-drones aims to reduce cost, time and manpower in sending supplies to vessels. Its drones are fully electric and are therefore environmentally friendly in reducing carbon emissions when supplying to ships. At a time when social distancing as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is at the top of the agenda for many, delivery by drone can also help reduce social contact.

The company has received Singapore’s first Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) drone delivery permit and is now scaling up commercial delivery with an off-the-shelf drone. In April the company had its first paying customer when it flew 2 kilogrammes of vitamins out to an EPS vessel MV Crystalgate 2.7 kilometres away in just 7 minutes. Nicolas Ang, Co-founder & CEO of F-drones, commented:

“We are working towards launching our first commercial drone flight of our proprietary drone which can fly 10 times further later this year. The support of GAC and all our partners is vital in helping us make this happen.”