Wilhelmsen Ships Service and Airbus have entered into a strategic collaboration to drive the development of an end-to-end service for deliveries of parcels to ships with an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).
The project, called Skyways, is an experimental project aimed at developing a safe and commercially viable aerial unmanned delivery system for use in dense urban cities in its first trial phase. The project is being led by a team in Singapore, where plans are progressing towards the launch of a first trial system at the National University of Singapore in July. It will start an initial two-week pilot trial with deliveries to ships anchored in Singapore’s eastern anchorage.
With Wilhelmsen Ships Service tasked with setting up the necessary maritime and port operations, gaining the relevant approvals from port authorities and securing maritime customers, Airbus will take care of all the corresponding aviation approvals, and the running and maintenance of the UAS and its control systems.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be working with a forward thinking, industry leader like Airbus. When we announced last year that we were pursuing drone delivery, we were greeted with a fair amount of scepticism, but our collaboration with Airbus, shows we really do mean business,” Marius Johansen, VP commercial, ships agency at Wilhelmsen Ships Service, adding that he is confident that drones will become a game changer in the agency and logistics business in the not too distant future.