Transport and logistics company DHL will be deploying large freight drones for urgent transport in the near future. To this end, the company has entered into a partnership with Dronamics. The first freight flights are to take place in 2022. The Black Swan drones that will be flown can carry a payload of 350 kg over a distance of 2,500 km.
DHL is going to use large freight drones for urgent transport
With the partnership, DHL aims to take a major step forward in medium-range drone delivery for a select number of industries and markets. DHL’s larger goal is to be able to operate completely CO2 neutral by 2050. Dronamics wants to contribute to that goal by allowing drones to fly on sustainable biofuels in the future.
The cargo drones that will be flown are of the Black Swan type. These can carry a total of 350 kg of payload, over a distance of 2,500 km. According to Dronamics, the costs are 80% lower than with a comparable manned flight. DHL wants to use cargo drones to enable same-day delivery in the field of medical goods, e-commerce, and other time-critical deliveries.
The intention is to combine the middle-mile drone deliveries using the cargo drones with DHL’s first and last-mile services. Dronamics provides the equipment, expertise, and service personnel to operate unmanned cargo aircraft.
‘Next generation of transport’ with DHL freight drones
“Innovation is an important part of DHL’s DNA. We are constantly exploring new technologies to deliver value to our customers, and we believe that cargo drones will be an element in the next generation of transportation in logistics. Dronamics is a pioneer and leader in cargo drones and our partnership will help create opportunities for urgent, sensitive, and time-critical deliveries. We are excited to test the use of the Black Swan in the market in the near future,” said Matthias Heutger, Senior Vice President, Global Head of Innovation & Commercial Development at DHL.
Dronamics aims to manage a fleet of 4,000 aircraft in the coming years. The first commercial drone delivery flights for DHL are planned for 2022.
DHL is not the first logistics service provider to use cargo drones for commercial transport. For example, the British postal company Royal Mail has been using a cargo drone since the beginning of the summer of 2021 to transport COVID-19 test kits, medical supplies, and packages to the remote Scilly Isles off the coast of Cornwall.
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