Rhenus partners with Wings for Aid on relief drone operations

Rhenus Air & Ocean and drone charity Wings for Aid have signed an agreement to work together to explore the feasibility of a strategic alliance for the ‘last mile’ delivery of relief goods in disaster areas.

The two companies currently work together with Wings for Aid providing unmanned small airplanes and smart technology that allows self-landing boxes of emergency aid to land in otherwise inaccessible places.

Meanwhile, Rhenus Air & Ocean looks after the logistics needed to get the delivery system to its destination quickly and efficiently. The system can be used for disaster relief, but also for the planned supply of medicines in remote areas

In 2018, the system was tested in the Dominican Republic, delivering 20 kilograms of emergency aid per flight. Work is now underway on the next generation of unmanned aircraft capable of carrying 120 kilograms per flight, over a distance of 250 kilometres, and then returning for the next flight. Further tests will be carried out in the summer of 2019.

“Bridging the so-called ‘last mile’ in disaster areas that are difficult to reach is a major logistical problem. It is estimated that 100 million people in disaster areas are in need of emergency aid every year, 20 percent of whom are poorly served,” the partners said.

“The goal of our partnership is to combine our growth ambition, by offering innovative logistics solutions, with the drive to also have a positive social impact,” said Frank Roderkerk, Regional Manager Air & Ocean Benelux of the Rhenus Group.

“Our goal is to provide emergency aid where no one else can,” added Barry Koperberg, Director of Wings for Aid, “and to be there within 48 hours, anywhere in the world. The strength and network of Rhenus Air & Ocean will help us achieve that ambition.”

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