What doesn’t take the tunnel under the mountains just flies over them: by drone. Since letter and parcel delivery is hard work in the Alpine countries, especially in winter, this latest Swiss Post project is attracting close attention.
Starting next year, Swiss Post intends to transport mail using drones for the first time. General delivery by means of aircraft is nevertheless not currently envisaged. Instead, a corporate customer’s two locations are to be connected by air shuttle in an initial trial.
Swiss Post has been experimenting with drone transports since 2015 . Current models can carry loads of up to 5 kg, and have a maximum range of 20 km, and can reach a speed of about 60 km/h.
DHL has already been testing drones in Germany since 2013. As part of a research project in 2016, a novel type of parcelcopter was tested at Reit im Winkel and on the Winkelmoosalm in Bavaria; it can autonomously load and unload at special packing stations referred to as Parcelcopter SkyPorts . In test operation, the devices covered an 8 km-long route where they surmounted a cumulative elevation of 500 meters in eight minutes. Transport by car, in contrast, would have taken about 30 minutes in the winter.