DHL Express to Deploy  Drones for the Last Mile in Urban China
Smart Logistics

DHL Express to Deploy Drones for the Last Mile in Urban China

To save time and cost

TLME News Service

DHL Express and intelligent autonomous aerial vehicle company EHang, have entered into a strategic partnership to jointly launch a fully automated and intelligent smart drone delivery solution to tackle the last-mile delivery challenges in the urban areas of China.

The launch ceremony was held at the EHang Command and Control Center in Guangzhou, with the attendance of senior executives from both companies.

This cutting-edge solution takes its inaugural flight for a DHL customer, making DHL the first international express company to provide such a service in China.

It marks a new milestone in both companies’ continuous efforts to bring innovative and intelligent solutions with greater automation to the market.

The new customized route has been exclusively created for a DHL customer and covers a distance of approximately eight kilometers between the customer premises  and the DHL service center in Liaobu, Dongguan, Guangdong Province.

Using the most advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) in EHang’s newly-launched Falcon series, featuring the highest level of intelligence, automation, safety and reliability, the new intelligent drone delivery solution overcomes the complex road conditions and traffic congestion common to urban areas.

It reduces one-way delivery time from 40 minutes to only eight minutes and can save costs of up to 80% per delivery, with reduced energy consumption and carbon footprint compared with road transportation.

Said Wu Dongming, CEO, DHL Express China: “We are delighted to be partnering with EHang to set a new innovation milestone with this new fully-automated and intelligent drone logistics solution.

“The partnership combines the strength of the world’s largest international express company together with one of the leading UAV companies in the world.

“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 startups.

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Mr. Hu Huazhi, Founder & CEO of EHang, said, “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.

“Riding on today’s launch, we expect smart drone delivery as an innovative logistics solution to be expanded and realized in more areas, and we look forward to working with DHL in building the eco-system for a multi-dimensional urban air transport system.”

The EHang Falcon smart drone, with eight propellers on four arms, is designed with multiple redundant systems for full backup, and smart and secure flight control modules.

Its high-performance features include vertical take-off and landing, high accuracy GPS and visual identification, smart flight path planning, fully-automated flight and real-time network connection and scheduling.

As a fully-automated and intelligent solution, the drones, which can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight, take off and land atop intelligent cabinets that were specifically developed for the fully autonomous loading and offloading of the shipment.

The intelligent cabinets seamlessly connect with automated processes including sorting, scanning and storage of express mail, and will feature high-tech functions such as facial recognition and ID scanning.

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