MOL Trials Aerial Drone Inspections


Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has announced its participation in a demonstration test, which saw aerial drones used to inspect a MOL-operated coal carrier.

The ship class survey, completed alongside Nippon Kaiji Kyokai (ClassNK), Hitachi Systems and Mitsui Co, included a simulated ship inspection inside the cargo hold and ballast tank, using video footage shot from an aerial drone.


Credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) 


According to a statement, the test verified the effectiveness of using drones to monitor rust, corrosion, and the presence of cracks.

Read more: Terminal Drones: Game-Changing or Hot Air?

Class NK typically conducts visual inspections, while ship management companies usually handle maintenance and inspection works by assembling scaffolds during dry docking.


Credit: Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL)


The use of drone is expected to contribute to improved operational safety and efficiency, since these processes require work to be done at great heights and in dangerous environments.

Chris Mason, Rajant, discusses how drones can be used to future-proof seaports in a recent Port Technology technical paper

A further statement from MOL read: “MOL continually seeks new applications in the ocean shipping industry for rapidly advancing drone technology.”

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