Royal Mail has partnered with DronePrep, Skyports and what3words to become the first nationwide UK parcel carrier to deliver a parcel for recipients via an unmanned aerial vehicle. In a UK first, the consortium arranged an initial drone delivery to a remote lighthouse on the Isle of Mull in December.
This is the first step in a consultation program and trial, which will focus on engaging with the community to explore the viability of using drones to deliver to rural communities on the Isle of Mull, where Skyports is already using its drones to help NHS Scotland with the response to Covid-19.
This will help to identify opportunities to support postmen and postwomen in delivering to very remote areas and addresses in the UK. Tom Nunn, local postman for Isle of Mull, said, “Some of the houses on the Isle of Mull include a 30 minute walk to the front door so the use of drones will be a huge help!”
As with all Royal Mail deliveries across the UK, the postcode will route the parcel toward its destination. The local postie will then use drone delivery to reach the most remote locations in their patch faster. For the drone delivery, residents consulted on the Isle of Mull will be invited to use the DronePrep platform to assess the viability of their property for drone delivery and pinpoint a suitable landing location within their ownership using the what3words integration.
To enable this for the trial, Royal Mail is asking recipients to provide the what3words address, a 3×3 metre square, that corresponds to the precise landing point for delivery of Royal Mail parcels via the drone from the Royal Mail van.
Nick Landon, chief commercial officer, Royal Mail, added, “We’ve seen a huge increase in parcel volumes this year and this is just one of the ways we are looking at to support our frontline delivery staff and deliver fast, convenient and green services for all of our customers.”