Companies join on shore-to-ship delivery with heavy-lift UAVs

February 15, 2022  - By
Photo: Skyports

Photo: Skyports

ST Engineering, Sumitomo Corp. and Skyports have formed a consortium to provide unmanned aircraft system (UAS) services for heavy-lift shore-to-ship parcel delivery in Singapore, home to one of the biggest ports in the world

Each consortium member will use its respective operational and technological capabilities to expand the use of UAS for deliveries of maritime essentials to anchored vessels. During a nine-month pilot program, the consortium will engage key customers for maritime UAS deliveries, with the goal of establishing a delivery network capable of carrying parcel payloads of 10 kg.

ST Engineering will provide the UAS technology using its end-to-end solution DroNet. Skyports will jointly conduct the beyond-visual-line-of-sight (BVLOS) flight operations with ST Engineering. Sumitomo Corporation will provide go-to-market support, including its own fleet of vessels.

As an unmanned systems participant in Singapore, ST Engineering has been testing and developing autonomous solutions to enable BVLOS UAS operations for shore-to-ship delivery in close collaboration with regulators and industry partners.

Through funding support from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), the group completed the initial development of a UAS for shore-to-ship parcel delivery based on the DroNet solution.

Compared to the traditional form of delivery by boats, UAS operations can significantly slash response time and speed up turnaround for shore-to-ship delivery, in addition to reducing logistics costs. Replacing launch-boat delivery with a UAS service also helps reduce carbon emissions and contribute to the maritime industry’s overall efforts to operate sustainably.

About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.