Marking a seismic shift in just how ships agents can support their customers, Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) will soon be delivering its agency essentials via drone.
A much talked about technology, with obvious applications for the shipping industry, it is WSS’ ships agency team, rather than the company’s supply chain, or product divisions, which have been assessing the business opportunities offered by drones.
Marius Johansen, VP Business Solutions & Marketing, WSS Ships Agency explains, “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”.
Adding, “Relied upon by owners, operators, vessels and crew to get spare parts, medicine, documents, or cash to master where it needs to be at moment’s notice, drone delivery is a natural extension of our existing agency service portfolio”.
Dispensing with the need for launch boats to deliver such essentials to vessels at anchorage, along with cutting delivery times, Johansen estimates drone flights will also slash costs. With launch vessels typically costing on average 1500USD, he suggests a drone delivery would eventually come down to costing just 150USD.
Launching a large scale working pilot project in one of the world’s busiest ports in 2017, in spite of the complexity of global aviation rules and restrictions placed on unmaned aerial vehicles, for WSS drone delivery is very much here to stay.