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DHL Starts Regular Drone Deliveries in China in World First

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Courier company DHL has begun making regular drone deliveries in China after partnering with drone manufacturer EHang. The service in Guangdong Province is being billed as “the world’s first regular fully-automated and intelligent urban drone delivery service”.

For the moment, the regular deliveries are limited to an 8 kilometer route between a DHL service center and a specific company headquarters. EHang’s Hu Huazhi stated however that, “we expect smart drone delivery as an innovative logistics solution to be expanded and realized in more areas”.

According to a statement on DHL’s website, the drone delivery service, “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.”

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The company goes on to state that the drones “can carry up to 5kg of cargo per flight” and “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.”

Cover photo: DHL

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