Pilot Program to Test Drone Shore-to-Ship Deliveries for Sustainable Maritime Logistics

ST Engineering will be demonstrating UA shore-to-ship deliveries with its partners 6 photos
Photo: ST Engineering
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Drone deliveries are certainly a huge trend across multiple industries, gearing up to revolutionize air-based transportation of both essential and non-essential goods when they’ll reach large-scale implementation. One of the areas in which they could prove to be really useful is shore-to-ship parcel delivery, and this new pilot program is designed to demonstrate it.
We’ve talked before about the many different ways in which the maritime industry is working on reducing carbon emissions. One of them is to replace boat delivery from shore to vessels at sea with drone delivery. As one of the largest and busiest ports in the world, Singapore is a great place to test this innovative process. This is why ST Engineering, Skyports, and the Sumitomo Corporation have decided to launch a consortium that will provide this type of unmanned aircraft (UA) services.

The partners have announced a nine-month pilot program for maritime UA deliveries, with the goal of eventually establishing an extended delivery network based on drones that can carry payloads of up to 10 kg (22 lbs). ST Engineering will be providing its DroNet solution, a versatile platform that can be tailored to various types of applications.

The DroNet includes cutting-edge technology such as obstacle detection and avoidance, GPS-less navigation, real-time data analytics, and precision landing. It also boasts a robust structure and is able to cover large distances. Additionally, its manufacturer was the first in Singapore to obtain approval for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights.

Throughout the pilot program, Skyports (a top infrastructure provider for air taxi and cargo drone operations) will be the one conducting the BVLOS flight operations. Last but not least, the Sumitomo Corporation will add its own vessel fleet, as well as support for finding other customers in the industry for these UA deliveries.

Using drones instead of boats for delivering essentials to vessels at sea is not only better for the environment, but would also significantly reduce delivery time. The result would be sustainable, cost-effective maritime logistics. In the meantime, ST Engineering will also be showcasing the DroNet at the 2022 Singapore Air Show from February 15 to 18.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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