SF Express just annouced on June 29th that they have obtained the first drone delivery authourization in China.
Many express deliveries in China are planning to deliver the packages by drone, the two giants, SF express and Jingdong, are two of them. Presently, drone delivery is still under testing in some areas, there’s far way ahead before popular. Except the technology reason, the development is also depending on government’s rules towards the UAV.
On June 21st, the application of UAV logistic demonstration area that jointly submitted by SF Express and Ganzhou was officially approved by military. It is the first such formal approval in China. The UAV logistic demonstration area will be a special area that promoted by SF Express, local government and miltary.
At the beginning, the UAV logistic are is limited to 5 towns in Nankang district of Ganzhou Jiangxi province. SF Express has started its first drone delivery on June 29th by using the quadcopter that developed by themselves . “SF drones has entered the front of logistics business”, as what the spokeman of SF Express said.
From 2012, SF Express has started to work on the solutions of drone delivery. By now, SF has obtained 151 patents related to drone dlivery.
As the next step, SF’s drones will not face to the end customers directly, but transfer the packages between its different facilities, ans send the packages to the remote areas which are hard to reach by manpower.
In addition to the technical limit, SF drone delivery is also facing a great challenge from government regulatory in China. With the frequent occurence of UAV incidents, the government is more and more strict with the regulatory policies. China Civil Aviation authourity has asked all the buyers who purchase the drones with a weight over 250g need to be registered with real names.
Although it is still a far way ahead, definitely the drone delivery authourization is a breakthrough to SF Express. Prior to the China State Post Bureau has predicted that China’s logistics maret size would reach 550 billion US Dollars by 2020, that is the main reason why all the giants in China are flushing into the delivery market, including SF Express, Jingdong and Alibaba.