Logistics provider Aramex has completed the pilot phase of its drone delivery programme in Muscat, Oman. The test flights were conducted in partnership with US-based UVL Robotics, a drone technology provider.

The drone testing is part of Aramex’s “Future Delivery Program”, which aims to leverage the next generation of last-mile delivery solutions to boost delivery efficiencies, improve customer satisfaction, and generate cost savings, the company said in a statement.

The test is the first of a multi-phase programme as the logistics provider aims to 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, the statement added.

Moosa Al Balushi, Regional Director for UVL in the MENA Region, added, “ Drones produce 26 time less CO2 emissions than cars, which has a positive impact on the region’s ecology. 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 recognized industry leader – increasing the number of routes and the share of drone delivery in the total number of shipments.”

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. Through the successful drone delivery testing with UVL Robotics, we have proven that these automated modes of delivery will enable us to further enhance the speed, accessibility, and reliability of package deliveries, especially to remote areas with hard-to-reach terrain. In addition, the program will support our sustainability ambitions to significantly cut our greenhouse gas emissions and reach carbon neutrality by 2030.”

Aramex plans to expand its drone delivery testing across the Middle East region, as well as other core markets where it operates. The company said that it plans to test a multi-modal approach that includes a mix of drones and other electric and autonomous vehicles for last-mile deliveries.

UVL Robotics publishes a very detailed study of the drone logistics market and its pathway to a scalable, globally accepted solution.