First vessel package delivery by drone in Port of Rotterdam

The Port of Rotterdam reports that it has completed its first aerial delivery by drone, consisting of a parts consignment, to Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, the world’s largest vessel by gross tonnage.

Pioneering Spirit, designed for single-lift installation and removal of large oil and gas platforms and pipelines, was moored at Alexiahaven during the pilot project. The pilot, managed by Dutch Drone Delta, Allseas and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, aims to determine the potential benefits in transport efficiency that could be created by introducing drone deliveries in the Port of Rotterdam.

The package delivery on May 22 involved a flight by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) directly monitored by human observers, though the project partners expect that, in the near future, deliveries will take place entirely beyond the pilot’s physical line of sight.

“Utilising new technologies allows us to make our port smarter, more streamlined, more efficient and safer,” said Port Authority adviser Ingrid Römers.

“The current pilot project is a prime example: it makes a significant contribution to more efficient transport in general; and in due time, it will specifically help to reduce the pressure on our road network.”

“We intend to safely structure our airspace under the slogan ‘Rotterdam, the safest port to fly’. The results of this pilot project can also serve as input for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management when it drafts the required legislation and regulations. This will enable Rotterdam’s port business community to take optimal advantage of these new developments.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

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