April 5, 2022

Skyports strengthens maritime drone delivery commercialisation efforts; inks two new partnerships with shipping companies Wilhelmsen and Thome

Skyports has entered into two new commercial partnerships with Thome Group, a fully integrated ship management company, and Wilhelmsen Ships Agency, one of the worlds’ largest ships agents. Adding the reach and competencies of Thome and Wilhelmsen will accelerate Skyports’ ambitions in bringing drone delivery services to Singapore’s bustling maritime sector.

With strong backing and partnerships, Skyports is on the path to full-scale commercialisation of maritime shore-to-ship delivery services and the concurrent development of the necessary infrastructure to support these services for all industry players in Singapore and beyond

Mr Yun-Yuan Tay, Head of APAC, Skyports said, Skyports is proud to be working with some of the leaders in the shipping and maritime industry, and to have forward-looking partners like Wilhelmsen and Thome recognise the importance and relevance of using AAM in their operations. Looking ahead, we hope to continue developing the AAM industry in Singapore and the region to enhance processes in the maritime industry by reducing delivery times and carbon emissions, providing a new transportation option that is both more efficient and more sustainable.

Wilhelmsen and Thome are two of the biggest players in the maritime industry, managing ships and providing agency services for thousands of vessels in Singapore’s port every year.

Separate trials will see Skyports in close collaboration with Wilhelmsen Ships Agency and Thome Group, as well as the Maritime Port Authority (MPA) in Singapore, and other government agencies. Skyports will lead the development and testing of the Concept of Operations (ConOps) for Proof of Concept (PoC) operations for shore-to-ship drone deliveries, leading into the operationalisation of drone delivery services in the maritime sector.

Skyports’ trials will deploy Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) deliveries from the temporary drone delivery distribution hub at the Maritime Drone Estate to vessels at pre-identified anchorages. Skyports is looking to complete up to 100 deliveries over the partnership period.

Wilhelmsen is excited to be working with Skyports to incorporate drone delivery option into our service offering, said Ms Jodie Reibel , VP Governance & Sustainability for Wilhelmsen Ships Agency. We are committed to exploring new opportunities in renewables, zero-emission shipping, and marine digitalization, and this partnership with Skyports is just one example of such collaborations. The use of drone technology and digitalisation of shore-to-ship deliveries would improve efficiency of our operations significantly, and offer our clients a more sustainable and convenient option.

The second contract signing ceremony took place between Skyports’ Head of APAC, Mr Yun-Yuan Tay (L), and Mr Peter Schellenberger (R), Vice-President, Supply Chain, Thome Group

Mr Peter Schellenberger, Vice President, Supply Chain, Thome Group said, Thome is continuously improving its services and offerings to enable customers to remain competitive in the maritime sector and is happy to be working with Skyports on this new collaboration. The company works closely with partners like Skyports to explore new technologies and methods to offer customers versatile solutions in ship management and offshore structure management. With the volume of cargo moving through Singapore’s port every day, the company sees the potential of the AAM industry to change the way the maritime sector operates and is looking forward to developing this further. Regulatory compliance is extremely important, and we work closely with our clients, suppliers, and principals to tackle important issues such as decarbonisation, sustainability, and governance. This forward-thinking approach has meant that the Thome Group is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading independent international ship managers.

Mr Ng Yi Han, Director (Innovation, Technology & Talent Development), MPA said, The agreements between Skyports and Wilhelmsen Ships Agency as well as Skyports and Thome Group are a testament to the potential of drone technology as they seek to develop drones for shore-to-ship deliveries in the unique operating environment of Singapore. The accelerating momentum for drone technology makes such partnerships important for both regulators and industry players to better understand how commercial operations can take place in our port environment to bring about commercial solutions that are effective and safe.

Images courtesy of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

Title image: Officiated by Mr Chee Hong Tat (centre), Singapore’s Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Transport, the first contract signing ceremony was executed between Skyports Head of APAC, Mr Yun-Yuan Tay (L), and Ms Jodie Reibel (R) ,Vice-President Governance & Sustainability for Wilhelmsen Ships Agenc