Drones
A vision has become reality

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Swiss Post is at the forefront of drone development and deployment for logistics. It transports special healthcare consignments in cooperation with a range of partners in various regions of Switzerland.

Swiss Post drone logistics
Fast, ecological transport

Together with the drone manufacturer Matternet and partners from the healthcare sector, Swiss Post is using drones to transport laboratory samples. At present, samples are transported by road. But thanks to the use of drones, transporting these samples should become more flexible, more eco-friendly and less dependent on the traffic situation. A car journey lasting 45 minutes becomes a flight of just a few minutes in the uncongested airspace, which means true added value for customers and their patients. This is because healthcare consignments in particular are often urgent and the speed at which they are delivered can be crucial.

However, as 140 million parcels are sent per year, the nationwide use of drones would not be expedient. This means that drones can complement traditional parcel delivery where required in the future, but they will not replace it.

Technical drone information

Taking to the air to serve the healthcare sector
Where Swiss Post drones are deployed

Find out where the elegant white drones have been deployed so far.

A first in Switzerland: in 2017, Swiss Post introduced the first drone service for the transport of laboratory samples in Lugano, in collaboration with the Ticino hospital group, EOC. Since then, more than 2,000 flights have successfully been completed between the Ospedale Italiano and the Ospedale Civico. The Lugano drone is now deployed every day, transporting laboratory samples up to 45 minutes faster than road couriers.

Swiss Post has been transporting laboratory samples by drone on behalf of University Hospital Zurich (USZ) and the University of Zurich since December 2018. The route runs from a roof terrace on the north wing of USZ to the University of Zurich at Winterthurerstrasse 190. Wherever possible, the drones fly over a wooded area.

The drone takes about four minutes to cover the two-and-a-half-kilometre stretch. Compared to a courier on the road, the drone is able to travel the route twice as quickly, is more environmentally friendly and is unaffected by traffic volumes.

For two weeks in June 2018, Swiss Post trialled the use of drones to transport laboratory samples on behalf of Insel Gruppe. The drones operated between Tiefenau Hospital and the central laboratory at Berne University Hospital.

Insel Gruppe and Swiss Post are currently evaluating the flights in Berne.

From June 2018 to spring 2019, Swiss Post transported lab samples high above the basin of Lake Zurich on behalf of Zentrallabor Zürich (ZLZ). The drone linked the ZLZ emergency laboratory at Hirslanden Klinik Im Park with the central laboratory at Forchstrasse 454 in Zollikon. It covered the distance in about seven minutes, reaching its destination up to five times faster than a road courier.

Impressions
Drones in logistics

Looking to the future
Considerable interest from business customers

Taking supplies to villages cut off by a natural disaster, extinguishing fires that are difficult to reach, monitoring sensitive installations such as reservoirs... experts agree that the use of drones will grow considerably in the coming years. As a logistics specialist, Swiss Post wants to make full use of the potential offered by drones in transport solutions, to ensure that society as a whole can benefit. Partnerships in the healthcare sector are the first step towards this goal.

The Swiss Post early Label

“Drones” is an early product from Swiss Post. The early Label stands for innovations which Swiss Post tests and develops together with its customers. For more information, go to www.swisspost.ch/early.

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