Global Maritime Group Sees Drones as ‘Natural Extension’ of Company

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Wilhelmsen, a global maritime industry group founded in 1861, says it will soon be delivering essentials via drone for its ships service unit.

Wilhelmsen Ships Service (WSS) says drone technology has “obvious applications” in the shipping industry. Thus, WSS’ ships agency team – rather than the company’s supply chain, or product divisions – has been assessing the business opportunities offered by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

“Whether it is deliveries of critical documents or vital medical supplies, tank inspections, or monitoring cargo and stockpile levels, we believe semi-autonomous drone flights can support and further enhance what our ships agency team can offer our customers,” states Marius Johansen, vice president of business solutions and marketing for WSS’s ships agency unit.

“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 adds.

In addition to cutting delivery times, Johansen estimates that UAS will also slash costs for the company. With launch vessels typically costing an average of $1,500, he suggests a drone delivery would eventually come down to costing just $150.

Wilhelsem, headquartered out of Lysaker, Norway, has a presence in 2,200 locations around the world.

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