DHL launches drone deliveries in China

DHL has begun making regular drone deliveries in China’s Guangzhou region dramatically reducing delivery times in the hard to reach area.

In partnership with Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) giant Ehang, DHL has started carrying out deliveries using Ehang’s new Falcon drones.

These drones are able to bypass complex road and traffic conditions, creating an 8km customised route which has successfully reduced delivery times from 40 minutes to just eight, while reducing the cost of delivery by 80 per cent.

Each Falcon drone is fully automated and includes accurate GPS with smart real-time flight path planning and can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight.

Special intelligent cabinets are used for the drones to take off and land on, which also autonomously load and offload cargo, while connecting to automated processes including scanning, sorting and storing express mail.

“Together with DHL we are very glad to bring the first smart drone delivery service route to China in Guangzhou; this marks a new beginning in building air logistics for smart cities,” Ehang’s founder and chief executive Hu Huazhi said.

“Riding on today’s launch, we expect smart drone delivery as an innovative logistics solution to be expanded and realised in more areas, and we look forward to working with DHL in building the eco-system for a multi-dimensional urban air transport system.”

DHL Express China’s chief executive Wu Dongming added: “This is an exciting time for the logistics sector, with continued growth of the Chinese economy and cross-border trade, particularly in South China and the Greater Bay Area, which is home to an increasing number of SMEs and startups.

“This means there is a tremendous volume of logistics needs, which in turn creates new opportunities for implementing innovative solutions that can continuously drive growth with greater efficiency, sustainability and lower cost.”

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