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Maritime drone delivery flights in a pandemic

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

F-drones and Bernhard Schulte complete longest drone delivery in Singapore

At a time when countries are implementing travel restrictions and shutting down their borders due to COVID-19, drones have the potential to help reduce human contact in delivering items to vessels. F-drones, in collaboration with Bernhard Schulte, Innoport and DM Sea Logistics, is striving to fast-track its development to soon provide regular drone delivery services in Singapore and beyond.

During container vessel Mandalay’s brief stop-over in Singapore on 18th March 2020, F-drones completed test drone deliveries to and from the vessel. Mandalay was anchored 2.8km from the take-off location – along the coast, east of Marina South Pier.

The delivery to the vessel sent 3kg of ship supplies, while the return leg delivered a box of bunker samples. The flights also demonstrated the viability of drone deliveries to loaded container vessels. In this case, Mandalay only had an available space of a few containers. F-drones showcased precision landing on an area just the size of one container (20ft by 8ft), which was surrounded by items such as iso-brackets and flat bars on the deck.

These Extended Visual Line of Sight (EVLOS) flights once again demonstrated F-drones’ operational capability, which this time was witnessed by five officials from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). F-drones is one step closer to getting its permit for Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) flights.

Eugene Tho, Managing Director of DM Sea Logistics, quotes:

“We are happy to support the drone delivery flights. With the development of such technology, we foresee better efficiencies for smaller deliveries to vessels, and in some cases avoid the need to divert vessels into port for critical items. This will reduce unnecessary time loss due to such diversions, the consequential carbon footprint, as well as additional costs for the charterers/owners”

F-drones thanks Bernhard Schulte, Innoport, DM Sea Logistics, MPA and CAAS for their support in facilitating the Mandalay drone deliveries. 

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