DHL Express works jointly with EHang on last-mile drone delivery
DHL Express has agreed a strategic partnership with EHang in a bid to jointly operate a fully automated and intelligent smart drone that can undertake last-mile delivery in urban areas of China
DHL Express has agreed a strategic partnership with EHang in a bid to jointly operate a fully automated and intelligent smart drone that can undertake last-mile delivery in urban areas of China.
The launch ceremony was held recently at the EHang Command and Control Centre in Guangzhou. The EHang drone has already taken its inaugural flight for a DHL customer, making DHL the first international express company to provide such a service in China.
Wu Dongming, chief executive of DHL Express China, said: '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 start-ups.
'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 less cost.'
The drone flies over a route that was created specifically for the DHL customer, covering a distance of about 8km between the client's premises and the DHL service centre in Liaobu, Dongguan, in Guangdong Province.
Using the latest UAV in EHang's newly launched Falcon series of drones, the machine circumvents the complex road conditions and traffic congestion common to this and other urban areas. It reduces one-way delivery time from 40 minutes to only eight minutes and, said DHL, can reduce costs by up to 80 per cent per delivery.
UAVs also offer reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint compared with road transportation, reports London's Air Cargo News.
Hu Huazhi, founder and chief executive of EHang, commented: '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.'