WSS Wants Drones to Take Over Maritime Operations


Global maritime industry group Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) has shared its view on shipping’s future and pointed towards drones as playing a key role in its services going forward.

The company’s VP of Business Solutions & Marketing, Marius Johansen, has said that unmanned aerial vehicles will eventually be used in a range of the company’s operations, including deliveries of critical documents and vital medical supplies, monitoring cargo and stockpile levels, as well as tank inspections.

Johansen said: “We believe semi-autonomous drone flights can support and further enhance what our ships agency team can offer our customers.

“Relied upon by owners, operators, vessels and crew to get spare parts, medicine, documents, or cash to master where it needs to be at moment’s notice, drone delivery is a natural extension of our existing agency service portfolio.”

Johansen believes that drone flights will slash costs and cut delivery times as the technology will remove the need to launch boats to deliver essentials to vessels at anchorage and bring costs down from US$1500 to as little as $150.

WSS has plans to launch a large scale drone pilot project in one of the world’s busiest ports in 2017, in spite of the complexity of global aviation rules and restrictions placed on unmanned aerial vehicles.

The company has stated that it will discuss the project in more detail at Nor-Shipping 2017 in Norway.

Another new concept for how drone technology could revolutionise the shipping industry was recently shared by Natilus, a company specialising in large amphibious aircraft drones, which is developing a new form of freight transport to take business away from both ocean and air carriers.

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