ST Engineering has partnered with Skyports and Sumitomo Corporation on a nine-month trial to explore the use of unmanned aircraft for delivering packages from shore to ship.
The pilot, which comes after two years of research efforts, will see the consortium working to establish an unmanned aircraft delivery network.
ST Engineering says it will provide unmanned aircraft technology using its DroNet solution and work with Skyports to conduct flight operations beyond visual line of sight to deliver packages weighing less than 7 kg (15 lbs).
Sumitomo, meanwhile, will provide go-to-market support, which includes the Japanese conglomerate’s own fleet of ships.
“The three consortium partners will undertake business development activities by leveraging their existing maritime network,” says ST Engineering.
The Singaporean company says using drones to deliver parcels can “significantly reduce response times and speed up turnaround times”, compared to delivering by boat.
“Replacing launch craft delivery with unmanned aircraft also helps reduce carbon emissions and contributes to the maritime industry’s overall efforts to operate sustainably,” the company adds.
This is ST Engineering’s latest foray into developing drone delivery services. It had previously partnered with Wilhelmsen Ships Service to “enhance the commercial and operational aspects” of shore-to-ship deliveries.
ST Engineering has also appealed for financial support from the civil aviation regulator of Singapore to help develop the service.