For the first time to date in the maritime industry, a drone has been used to deliver goods to a ship.
The delivery might only have consisted of a simple box of cookies to a Maersk tanker in Denmark, but the method of delivery is radically different to the typical flat-bottomed supply barge.
The cookie delivery marks the first step in testing drones as a method of delivery for smaller parcels such as urgent spares or mail.
Maersk estimate there is the potential to save between US $3,000-$9,000 per shop each year using this method.
Drones can also offer a significant time saving, taking only one and half minutes to cross a distances of up to one kilometre.
It is important to note however, that safety is paramount. In the event of a drone crash there must be environmental and tanker safety measures in place. However, the drones being tested by Maersk are approved for use in potentially explosive environments.
For now, Maersk say the deliveries are kept low-key, but in the future drones may be used for high quality inspections using photo and video evidence and also piracy in high risk transit areas.
Drones are being trialled across the Maersk Group. Maersk Oil is using them for installations across the North Sea and port cranes.
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