Rhenus Air & Ocean and Wings for Aid last month signed an agreement to collaborate over the next two years to explore the feasibility of a strategic alliance for the ‘last mile’ delivery of relief goods in disaster areas.
Rhenus said bridging the ‘last mile’ in disaster areas that are difficult to reach is a major logistical problem and estimates that 100 million people in disaster areas are in need of emergency aid every year, 20 per cent of whom are poorly served.
Wings for Aid responds to this with an innovative delivery system consisting of unmanned small aircraft and smart technology that allows self-landing boxes of emergency aid to land with great precision in otherwise inaccessible places.
Rhenus Air & Ocean looks after the logistics needed to get the delivery system to its destination quickly and efficiently, anywhere in the world.
The system can be used for disaster relief, but also for the planned supply of medicines in remote areas. In 2018, the system was tested in the Dominican Republic, delivering 20 kilograms of emergency aid per flight.
Based on the positive results, work is now underway on the next generation of unmanned aircraft capable of carrying 120 kilograms per flight, over a distance of 250 kilometres, and then returning for the next flight. Further tests will be carried out in the summer of 2019.
“The goal of our partnership is to combine our growth ambition, by offering innovative logistics solutions, with the drive to also have a positive social impact,” said Frank Roderkerk, regional manager air & ocean Benelux of the Rhenus Group.
“Our goal is to provide emergency aid where no one else can,” added Barry Koperberg, director of Wings for Aid, “and to be there within 48 hours, anywhere in the world. The strength and network of Rhenus Air & Ocean will help us achieve that ambition.”