China’s SF Express “given licence to start drone-based transport network”

China Money Network (https://www.chinamoneynetwork.com/2018/03/28/sf-express-use-drones-delivery-chinas-remote-regions) reports that SF Express, one of China’s biggest express delivery companies, has announced its subsidiary Jiangxi Fengyu Shuntu Technology Co. Ltd. has secured China’s first provisional drone operating licence from the East China Regional Administration of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to begin deliveries within the country’s pilot zones approved by the CAAC. Experimental pilot deliveries have been carried out in Nankang District in Jiangxi province’s Ganzhou City since June 2017.

SF Express said the licence will help build a three-stage national air transport network to facilitate the delivery of goods to consumers within 36 hours. Large, crewed cargo airliners will transport major shipments of goods to regional warehouses; large drones will distribute the goods locally and then small-scale UAVs will make deliveries to customers.

Other press reports say the company has already developed its own drone models in partnership with Sichuan Tengdun Technology Co. Ltd.

According to China Money Network “In February, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com Inc was also granted the first national drone operating license with provincial limits by China’s Northwest Civil Aviation Authority and Civil Aviation Administration of China. With the licence, JD.com can perform commercial operations of logistics delivery within Shaanxi province. JD.com’s current logistics system already covers most of China’s urban centres, but the company is hoping to expand its coverage to China’s rural areas. The company has developed drones that can take heavier loads and plan to build fully automated warehouses as well.”

(Image: SF Express)

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