Muscat: In an encouraging sign for the logistics sector in Oman, drone delivery could be a reality in the Sultanate of Oman.
One of the leading global providers of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions on Wednesday announced that it has successfully completed a drone delivery test flight in Muscat in partnership with USA-based global drone technology provider, UVL Robotics.
As part of Aramex’s “Future Delivery Program” which aims to enhance last-mile delivery through autonomous drones and vehicles, the project is on track to expand across the Middle East.
The drone testing is aimed at leveraging the next generation of last-mile delivery solutions including drones and autonomous vehicles to boost delivery efficiencies, improve customer satisfaction, and generate cost savings in last-mile delivery.
The usage of drones is in line with Aramex’s commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) as it yields environmental benefits including a reduction in carbon emissions and traffic congestion.
This test is the first of a multi-phase programme as Aramex embarks on its vision to fully transition its fleet to emission-free electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The pilot focused primarily on testing a fully autonomous drone to deliver parcels safely and efficiently across various terrains, distances, and weather conditions in Muscat.
Alaa Saoudi, Chief Operating Officer – Express at Aramex, said: “We believe the next generation of last-mile solutions, including drones and autonomous vehicles, will be a game-changer as it ensures efficient delivery while being eco-friendly. The program will support our sustainability ambitions to significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2030.”
Moosa Al Balushi, Regional Director for UVL in the MENA Region, said: “We strongly believe that last mile delivery by drone is the important part of future logistics and one of key goals in business’ sustainability strategy. Moreover, use of drones can significantly reduce operating costs and almost triple the time it takes to deliver a package to hard-to-reach locations. We are looking forward to scaling up our collaboration with
Aramex as a recognised industry leader – increasing the number of routes and the share of drone delivery in the total number of shipments.”
Aramex plans to expand its drone delivery testing across the Middle East region, as well as other core markets where it operates. To ensure a comprehensive evaluation, the company plans to test a multi-modal approach that will include a combination of drones and other electric and autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries.