Shore to Ship Drone Deliveries to be Launched in Singapore

Shore to Ship Drone Delivery

Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Airbus will be introducing shore-to-ship drone deliveries in Singapore, delivering spare parts, documents, water test kits and 3D printed consumables via Airbus’Skyways unmanned air system to vessels at anchor.

This will mark the first time, the viability of autonomous drone deliveries to vessels has been put to the test in hectic, real-world port conditions, according to Marius Johansen, vice president commercial, ships agency at Wilhelmsen Ships Service.

“When we announced last year that we were pursuing drone delivery, we were greeted with a fair amount of skepticism,” he added, “but our collaboration with Airbus, shows we really do mean business”.

“Part of our standard services, we organize the delivery of essential spares, medical supplies and cash to the master via launch boat day in and day out all over the world. However, delivery by drone is much more cost effective, quicker, and frankly safer for all involved. Costing on average 90 percent less than launch boats, they importantly remove the risks inherently involved with making launch deliveries and also have negligible environmental impact”.

The new service is the result of more than a year of planning and close collaboration between Wilhelmsen Ships Service, Airbus, the Singapore Maritime Port Authority and the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore. The partnership will first undergo an initial two-week pilot trial with deliveries to ships anchored in Singapore’s eastern anchorage.

A command center will be set up at the pier to facilitate the deliveries, with an initial delivery range of up to 3 kilometers from the shoreline. A second delivery station will be positioned at an open space in Marina South to extend delivery coverage to more anchorage vessels.

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