Pain Points - Ship-to-Shore Drone Delivery Providers

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Pain Points - Ship-to-Shore Drone Delivery Providers

Key Takeaways

  • The typical drones that are used in commercial operations also have technical limitations that can prevent them from operating in challenging atmospheric conditions.
  • Commercial drone deliveries such as shore-to-ship drone operations are typically allowed only during daytime hours because of technical and operational difficulties when flying them at night.
  • Another pain point for shore-to-ship drone delivery operators are the multiple requirements and licenses needed to operate in the highly-regulated drone market environment.

Introduction

Some of the pain points that are encountered by ship-to-shore drone delivery providers include technological and structural challenges, nighttime operations, and stringent regulations. For each pain point, we have presented an overview, why is it a pain point, recommended steps to address the pain point, and any available potential impact of the pain point.

Technological and Structural Drone Operation Pain Points

  • As the drone technology for this type of operation is still new, there might be some unknown risks that might impact the complete operation.
  • The typical drones that are used in commercial operations also have technical limitations that can prevent them from operating in challenging atmospheric conditions.
  • Some drone types also have endurance and speed constraints due to their designs.
  • The way drones are typically designed and equipped can also prevent them from landing on rocking or moving ships even when these are anchored.
  • Standard drones also lose signals from typical 4G networks when they are 2-3 km. from the shore. If used in shore-to-ship services, these drones can lose their navigation data and might not reach their target vessel destinations.
  • To address this, companies that provide shore-to-ship drone operation services need to retrofit their drones to use a GPS navigation system instead. They also have to be equipped with advanced computer-vision software. The software can take over to handle the landing operation once the drone reached the target vessel.
  • Additional technologies also need to support the drones to completely address these limitations. Some of the supporting features that can be added include multi-auto-pilot systems, main hardware systems redundancies, additional airspeed sensors, multiple rotors, and other options.

Night-time Operations

  • Commercial drone deliveries such as shore-to-ship drone operations are typically allowed only during daytime hours because of technical and operational difficulties when flying them at night.
  • This pain point might prevent providers from fully meeting the demands of ports globally to provide a 24/7 service. It will be tough to compete with small ship delivery services that can provide this 24/7.
  • This pain point can be further dealt with by ensuring the complete and regular testing of the drones that will be used like what F-drone did.
  • Data from these tests also need to be gathered to detect any risk or potential concerns that need to be addressed urgently.

Stringent Regulations in the Industry


Research Strategy

For this research on the pain points that are encountered by ship-to-shore drone delivery providers, we leveraged the most reputable sources in the public domain including the website, brochures, reports, press releases, and other documents of shore-to-ship drone operators. We also looked through drone or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) publications (Drone Life, etc.), maritime reports (Maritime Executive, Maritime Fair Trade, Spectrum, etc.), and other relevant sources.

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