Cargo Handling

dnata enhances Dubai cargo operations with autonomous drones

dnata enhances Dubai cargo operations with autonomous drones
According to dnata, the use of autonomous drones has already seen a 20 per cent reduction in processing times on the rack inventories.

dnata has announced the successful integration of autonomous drones into its cargo operations in Dubai.

The cargo handler said this “strategic” initiative has “significantly” enhanced operational efficiencies at its Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) facilities – delivering “remarkable” benefits for airline customers.

According to dnata, the use of autonomous drones has already seen a 20 per cent reduction in processing times on the rack inventories and over 99 per cent accuracy in shipment tracking.

On average, the drones monitor some 1,800 shipments daily across 2,400 rack locations.

Guillaume Crozier, dnata’s senior vice president for UAE cargo and global cargo strategy, said: “We are thrilled to witness the outstanding results that our drone technology has brought to our cargo operations.

“The precision and reliability of these drones have surpassed our expectations, leading to a transformative impact on our efficiency levels.

“These advancements have a direct positive impact on our airline customers who can benefit from heightened accuracy, reduced turnaround times and smoother logistics operations.

“The launch of autonomous drones in our operations reflects our commitment to delivering top-notch services through the latest technologies.”

The drones can operate at temperatures between 0-50°C within a closed environment, enabling dnata to take advantage of the technology in its state-of-the-art cool chain facilities, the cargo handler said.

dnata has plans to introduce them at further stations across its global cargo network in the coming years.

With routine tasks automated, human resources can be allocated to more complex responsibilities, ultimately improving overall workforce productivity.

The use of drones has also contributed to a reduction in carbon footprint and improved safety by reducing the need for mobile elevating work platforms (also known as ‘cherry pickers’) and man lifts in the warehouse.

dnata’s software partner, Gather AI, enables the drones to map the environment, collect inventory data, count cases, measure temperature and read barcodes using only their cameras, without the need for any additional active infrastructure.

The drones are paired to a tablet device providing live inventory data. The collected data can be viewed directly on the tablet or the web dashboard, via a user-friendly application.

Sankalp Arora, CEO and co-founder of Gather AI, said: “Gather AI and dnata have already turned the vision of a fully digitised air cargo ecosystem into a ground-breaking reality.

“Our autonomous inventory drones are not merely futuristic concepts – they are operational game-changers today, enabling real-time transparency into the inventory and air cargo processes.

“dnata has been at the forefront of the digital revolution in air cargo, and we at Gather AI are proud to be the technology partners that have made this vision come alive.”

At its DWC facility, the cargo handler has two drones in use at one time with four in reserve, estimating the whole warehouse can be done in two to three hours.