Royal Mail drone delivery for parcels will soon be available on the Isle of Mull, where a local postman says that the walk to the front door alone can be 30 minutes.
In a country-wide first for the U.K., Royal Mail has partnered with a consortium of drone companies: DronePrep, Skyports and what3words “to become the first nationwide UK parcel carrier to deliver a parcel for recipients via an unmanned aerial vehicle,” says the press release.
The consortium performed a drone delivery to a remote lighthouse on the Isle of Mull this month: in future Royal Mail drone delivery will be available to other communities on the island. Skyports is already involved in a drone delivery program with NHS Scotland to provide COVID-19 response services to the Isle of Mull: which the consortium says will help them identify opportunities to support the Royal Mail in the area.
The release describes how the program will work:
As with all Royal Mail deliveries across the UK, the postcode will route the parcel towards 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 own using the what3words integration.
To enable this for the trial, Royal Mail is asking recipients to provide the what3words address, a 3 meter by 3-meter square, that corresponds to the precise landing point for delivery of Royal Mail parcels via the drone from the Royal Mail van.
“I am very pleased to be involved in this fantastic trial. It is an exciting opportunity to test out new ways of working to support us posties that deliver in some of the most remote areas of the UK. Some of the houses on the Isle of Mull include a thirty-minute walk to the front door so the use of drones will be a huge help!” said Tom Nunn, a local postman for the Isle of Mull.
“Delivering the first live parcel in the UK by an unmanned drone was a landmark day for us. We are incredibly proud to be working with DronePrep, Skyports, and what3words to trial new ways to support the more remote and isolated communities we serve. This is part of our constant drive to incorporate the best innovative technologies into our network. 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,” said Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail.