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The benefits of drones in logistics

27 January 2020

Danish logistics and international shipping giant, DFDS, has been combining drones and AI to streamline terminal operations. DFDS provides transportation services, supply chain solutions and warehouse management, handling millions of trailers every year.

The company has been exploring the potential for drones to be used to improve freight inspections at their harbour terminals. Locating individual trailers has long been a pain point and an unavoidably manual task. But with increased scale and ever more complex and demanding supply chains, developing a better method was necessary.

Drone use has been on the rise in the logistics industry, but DFDS required an original solution to simplify terminal freight management. First, the company consulted UAS Denmark. That led to a partnership with drone software developer Lorenz Technology.

Working with DJI’s Matrice 210 and its onboard SDK, Lorenz Technology had the access needed to develop a customized solution. Also important was the payload: DJI’s Zenmuse XT2, which has visual and thermal sensors capable of supporting AI features, such as identifying objects.

The solution developed by Lorenz Technology allowed the DJI drones to fly autonomously around the terminal, pinpoint and relay the exact locations of each and every trailer by recognizing their unique IDs. As a result, truck drivers could quickly find their load in the terminal, saving time and streamlining the logistics process for all parties.

Beyond that, the ability to identify and confirm the position of trailers saved on average 15 minutes during loading and discharging trailers from vessels. In turn, there were significant fuel savings and a reduction of CO2 emissions, manpower and costs.

You can read DJI’s full case study, Leveraging Drone Automation for Terminal Inspections, here.

Source: dronelife.com

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