DHL has stopped development of the “Paketkopter” delivery drone

DHL has stopped development of the "Paketkopter" delivery drone

The Deutsche Post DHL Group has discontinued its parcel drone development project “Parcelcopter”. The project has not been continued for a long time, said a spokesman for the Deutsche Post DHL Group on Saturday when asked in Bonn. The “Welt am Sonntag” had previously reported on it.

Also a Pilot project for the delivery of medicines in Tanzania together with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the drone manufacturer Wingcopte will not be continued.

“In the past few years we have tested various use cases for the DHL Paketkopter, in which the drone was mainly used when transport via established infrastructures was difficult or would have taken significantly more time,” said the spokesman. Important insights were gained in the process. “But we have also pointed out several times that regular operations in the field of delivery by parcel drone are not planned in Germany. There are also no new pilot projects planned,” it said.

Deutsche Post started its drone project a few years ago with great ambitions. After the first test flights in 2013, a drone first carried medicines to the North Sea island of Juist in 2014. In addition, in 2016 the company said it was the first parcel delivery company in the world to involve customers directly in parcel delivery by drone. From January to March 2016, customers at two rural locations in Upper Bavaria were able to receive and send parcels by drone as part of a research project.

The more complicated delivery in urban areas also made progress initially: In China, DHL set up a fixed route with a corporate customer in 2019, on which parcels weighing up to 5 kg could be transported by drone. But the various research projects never got out of their niche – shortly after the China test track, the company admitted that drone delivery was a marginal issue. In cities, a broad implementation is not feasible, here one relies more on packing stations and cargo bikes.

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