Are drones in ports and shipping the next big market for the drone industry? Drone technology offers huge benefits for the shipping industry – and now, the U.K.’s Associated British Ports (ABP) has moved from drone pilot program to drone operations.
ABP says it “has successfully embedded drone technology into its asset management practices and policies,” according to a press release. Consulting giant PwC’s team designed the project, while Aerodyne Group has been chosen as drone service provider. The project offers a significant proof of concept for other shipping and logistics companies around the world. “ABP’s 21 ports and rail freight terminals around Britain offer unparalleled marine, road and rail access to domestic and international markets, and include 87km of quay and 1.4 million sqm of covered storage,” says the release.
Over the last 6 month, Aerodyne has performed extensive site testing across 8 locations. At the same time, ABP worked with Aerodyne and PwC to build a “drone visual asset management system which enables its teams to view asset condition dashboards, asset management information and build inspection reports, with only a browser required to access,” says the release.
It’s an exciting project – and one that has proven to have a signficant return on investment. According to the report, “Analysis and data collection from the flights has demonstrated considerable cost saving and benefits; operations were safer, 25% more cost effective; and took 55% less time compared to traditional methods for selected assets.”
ABP’s Group Director Safety, Engineering and Marine, Mike McCartain, said: “After an initial proof of concept with PwC, we realised drones could offer significant value to our asset and property inspections, using drone and data technology integrated with a secure cloud platform. They are safer, faster and more cost-effective, enabling us to optimise operations and reduce risks.
“The cloud platform we’ve built with our partners gives our teams simple and intuitive access to the drone information, including the ability to build inspection reports in the browser, aligned to our existing asset management systems. Without a doubt, this is a big step forward in ABP’s digital transformation and safety journey using the latest available technology.”
Steve Russell, a Partner at PwC, elaborated: “It can be complex to implement drone technology and our team of digital transformation experts have supported ABP through the drone case for change, vendor selection and implementation, ensuring a systematic and low risk approach to making technology work for their business. ABP chose Aerodyne Group after our work with them on vendor selection and we are pleased to work with Aerodyne, noting their leading cloud software platform, local capability and significant global scale, with more than 300,000 infrastructure assets inspected across 25 countries.”
Founder and Group CEO, Aerodyne Group, Kamarul A Muhamed, said: “We are honoured to be selected as exclusive drone solution provider for ABP. Globally, our clients have benefited from optimised management of their critical assets and infrastructure leveraging on our solutions. We are committed to provide consistent quality services while complying to established regulations and standards.”
“ABP’s next project is the development of an in-house drone capability to complement the Aerodyne solutions and it has just retained PwC’s specialist drone team to assist with this critical implementation,” says the release.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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