Maersk Tankers Claims First Drone Assisted Delivery To A Ship At Sea.
Maersk Tankers tests drones to be an alternative for delivery of small parcels to Ships at sea.
Maersk one of the largest tanker fleet in the world, successfully tested its first official drone delivery to an undocked ship. The drone was launched from a nearby tugboat, which dropped the package from a height of 5 meters above deck. The company says that bad weather disturbed their original plan of launching the drone from shore.
Large ships sailing at sea are often bothered when they are in need of some emergency supplies at sea. During such emergencies docking a large tanker ship is both expensive and time consuming. Generally such supplies are done by barges that include expenses often running thousands of dollars for a single delivery. Maersk with a view to cut down this cost, planned to operate drones. Drones could handle the most urgent of the deliveries, typically those involving mail, spare parts, or medicine, it could represent a huge savings for the company.
Maersk says that in addition to delivery, drones have the potential to be used for other business purposes such as inspections (e.g. to take high quality photos or videos of certain areas to identify cracks).
“It is fundamental that any drones used by Maersk Tankers are safe for the environment they are operating in. They must be certified as intrinsically safe for most tasks, so they cannot create any spark, even if they were to crash. Some inspections can pose risks if performed by humans. If drones are approved for tank inspections, it will improve safety on tankers and potentially in other oil-related installations,” says Markus Kuhn, supply chain manager.
The company is still working to put this idea into practice. For now the company has succeeded in testing the drones within its business. It further needs to ensure the safety of the technology.