WSS trialing drone delivery for essential ship supplies

Wilhelmsen Ship Services (WSS) is set to start delivering ship spares and other essential supplies potentially reducing delivery costs by 90%.

Rather than the traditional method of delivering urgent supplies by launch to a vessel on an anchorage WSS is launching a large scale trial of delivery by drone, in an undisclosed port described as “one of the world’s busiest”.

“Whether it is deliveries of critical documents or vital medical supplies, tank inspections, or monitoring cargo and stockpile levels, we believe semi-autonomous drone flights can support and further enhance what our ships agency team can offer our customers,” said Marius Johansen, vp business solutions & marketing, WSS Ships Agency.

By using drones rather than launches WSS believes it can both cut delivery times, and slash costs by up to 90% from $1,500 on average for delivery by launch, eventually to just $150 for delivery by drone.

“In spite of the complexity of global aviation rules and restrictions placed on unmanned aerial vehicles, for WSS drone delivery is very much here to stay,” the company said.

WSS agency team will be on the Wilhelmsen stand [A1-7] at Nor-Shipping 2017 to discuss the project.

It is the latest potential usage for drones in shipping which are also be trailed for ship inspections.

Posted 19 May 2017

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Marcus Hand

Editor, Seatrade Maritime News

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