AD Ports dips toe into aerial drone delivery market

AD Ports inks deal for aerial drone delivery trials

Maqta Gateway – AD Ports Group’s digital arm – Emirates Post Group, and aerial logistics provider SkyGo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide aerial drone delivery services in Abu Dhabi.

The three organisations will collaborate on a trial programme that will deploy aerial drones to carry parcels and documents to specified Emirates Post sites across the emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Upon successful short-range journeys trials, the programme will expand to long-range tests with an increased capacity to assess demand and understand the wider benefits.

Parties aim to provide a sustainable, quick, and user-friendly service with real-time tracking.

“As a leading trusted trade and logistics partner within the region and globally, Maqta Gateway is uniquely positioned to spearhead advanced innovations such as this initiative,” said Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, CEO – Digital Cluster and CEO – Maqta Gateway, AD Ports Group.

“We actively seek out projects that can positively disrupt and transform global trade, and this new collaboration offers a vital opportunity to do just that.

Drone services could enable greater convenience and faster delivery times for customers across Abu Dhabi, while ensuring a positive environmental impact.

“Margo Hub is a state-of-the-art integrated digital marketplace for all logistics needs, from trucking and warehousing through to the last mile and express delivery, so the expansion into drone services is a seamless extension.”

READ: EMSA deploys drones for vessel emissions monitoring

Maqta Gateway said it will deploy its integrated digital marketplace, Margo Hub, to facilitate online transactions between customers and Emirates Post Group, which in turn will manage the service and provide tracking and status updates, while SkyGo will provide drone solutions.

“This agreement comes as part of Emirates Post Group’s vision to foster collaborations with pioneering UAE firms that embrace advanced technologies, so that we may provide customers with innovative delivery solutions,” added Abdulla Mohammed Alashram, Group CEO of Emirates Post Group.

“Maqta Gateway is an ideal partner for this project, delivering UAE-initiated innovation through an advanced digital platform.

“This explorative drone project represents an efficient and environmentally responsible solution for the delivery of small to medium sized packages, in line with the Universal Postal Union’s (UPU) sustainable development objectives.

“By supporting this project, we are confident that we can alleviate road congestion and reduce fuel consumption in last-mile deliveries.”

READ: Why are more ports using drones?

Details of the trial programme will be released towards the end of 2022, with a full commercial offering planned for launch in the next year, pending approval.

In September, AD Ports Group kicked off construction works of its new container terminal, CMA Terminals Khalifa Port.

The development of the new terminal was first announced in September 2021, with budgeted capital expenditure of AED 3.3 billion ($898 million).

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