Singapore shipowner Hafnia has entered into an agreement with compatriot autonomous drone startup F-drones to use drones for deliveries to its Singapore-based vessels.
The Oslo-listed product tanker unit of BW Group said the move would enable the company to rely less on the use of boats to deliver smaller loads to vessels and thereby reduce CO2 emissions with every trip.
Hafnia carried out a successful test of using drones to deliver small payloads to its vessels in Singapore in June 2020. Further tests were conducted in 2022 with F-drones with a higher range, leading to an official deal for drone deliveries to vessels anchored in Singapore “depending on the right circumstances”.
Singapore has been trialing drone deliveries for quite some time. In 2020, F-drones was the first company in Singapore to receive authorisation from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to conduct beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone deliveries to ships in Singapore, with Eastern Pacific Shipping as its first paying customer. The company in March teamed up with fellow offshore vessel owner and operator Marco Polo Marine to co-develop what are claimed to be the world’s first large-scale, electric aerial delivery drones for offshore wind farms.
Also earlier this year, Singapore’s sole multipurpose port, Jurong, joined forces with advanced air mobility (AAM) infrastructure developer and drone operator Skyports to explore the development of ship-to-shore infrastructure.