This post is also available in: heעברית (Hebrew)

Smart ports use automated and connected technologies such as big data, IoT, blockchain, etc. to improve performance and economic competitiveness and increase safety. Smart ports form part of the smart city concept. Now, new technologies under development are expected to enable shore-to-ship deliveries by unmanned aerial vehicles. 

A UAV has a quicker response rate and turnaround time compared to traditional launch boat deliveries. Therefore, delivery by UAV has the potential to lower shore-to-ship delivery costs by up to 90%, according to maritimefairtrade.org. Furthermore, it removes the safety risks inherent with delivery via launch boat. By replacing launch boat deliveries with unmanned autonomous deliveries, the risks of personnel accidents to board vessel are significantly mitigated.

It is only a matter of time before a UAV shore-to-ship parcel delivery solution becomes a reality in the maritime industry.

A collaboration between ST Engineering and Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) will be testing the solutions in Singapore. The project will receive funding as part of the Call-For-Proposal by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Singapore Ministry of Transport.

The UAV navigates autonomously along pre-programmed pathways to the anchorage vessel. It lands on the vessel deck, the parcel is collected, and the drone flies back to its delivery point on shore.

ST Engineering will provide a suite of flight tests and technology development services for system integration and solution prototyping. Key enabling technologies to be developed include precision landing on-board ship vessel’s metallic platform, non line-of-sight datalink and parcel delivery authentication and release system, according to the announcement on stengg.com. WSS will help to strengthen the commercialisation and operational aspects of the solution development. 

In 2018, ST Engineering signed an MOU with CAAS to facilitate the development of Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) UAV operations in Singapore’s urban environment, including within and near an aerodrome. 

In January 2019, the company’s DroNet, an end-to-end solution that applies advanced unmanned technologies such as drones through a network system to carry out specific tasks or services, was granted the very first BVLOS permit for trial operations in Singapore.

Interested in learning more about the latest smart city technologies? Attend i-HLS’s InnoTech Expo in Tel Aviv – Israel’s largest innovation, HLS, and cyber technologies expo – on November 18-19, 2020 at Expo Tel Aviv, Pavilion 2.

For details and registration