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.