Cargo Drone Delivery Services: What We Know So Far?

Published by:By Sharad Ranabhat for Beyond Sky
Cargo Drone Delivery Services: What We Know So Far?

Cargo Drone Delivery Services: What We Know So Far?


In recent years, the world has witnessed remarkable advancements in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), more commonly known as drones. These unmanned aircraft systems have rapidly evolved from being mere recreational gadgets to becoming powerful tools for various industries. 

Among the latest developments, the emergence of long-distance commercial cargo by drones marks a significant milestone. Additionally, the participation of commercial airline pilots in this venture is helping to shape the future of beyond-visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations, while simultaneously boosting sentiments in the drone delivery segment.

Beginning of Long Distance Commercial Cargo by Drones

The advent of long-distance commercial cargo delivery by drones has ushered in a new era of efficient and expedited logistics. Initially, drones were primarily used for short-range deliveries, serving as a convenient means for last-mile transportation. 

However, technological advancements have allowed for the expansion of their range and payload capacities, enabling them to undertake longer journeys. 

Companies like Amazon, UPS, and Wing (owned by Alphabet, Google's parent company) have embarked on ambitious projects to utilize drones for the delivery of packages and essential supplies to remote areas or congested urban regions.

The future of drone delivery seems quite interesting and promising, also the potential benefits of this technology are significant. As technology continues to evolve and regulations are put in place, drone delivery is likely to become a more common and accepted method of cargo delivery.

Here are a few drone delivery companies from around the globe that are providing services:

Dronamics: Dronamics, a European company, is paving the way for long-range cargo drone delivery services. They have made significant strides in the development and testing of their cargo drones, demonstrating their potential to revolutionize the transportation of goods over vast distances.

Amazon Prime Air: Prime Time Air is a USA-based company specializing in drone delivery services. They focus on providing efficient and timely delivery of various goods, including packages and essential supplies, utilizing their advanced drone technology and infrastructure.

Wing: Wing, an American company owned by Alphabet (Google's parent company), aims to revolutionize the delivery industry through drone technology. They have developed a fleet of delivery drones capable of transporting packages and goods to customers quickly and safely, reducing delivery times and traffic congestion.

Matternet: Matternet, based in the USA, is at the forefront of medical drone delivery. They focus on transporting medical supplies, including vaccines, blood samples, and medications, to remote and hard-to-reach areas. Matternet's drones have been deployed in various countries to improve healthcare access and save lives.

DroneUp: DroneUp is a USA-based company that offers comprehensive drone services, including delivery, inspection, and emergency response. They collaborate with businesses, government agencies, and individuals to provide innovative drone solutions tailored to their specific needs.

Zipline: Zipline, an American company, specializes in drone delivery for medical supplies and blood products. They have successfully implemented their drone delivery system in countries like Rwanda, Ghana, and Kenya, providing fast and reliable access to critical medical resources, particularly in remote areas. The company has delivered over 1 million packages, and it has saved countless lives.

Flytrex: Flytrex, a USA-based company, focuses on drone delivery for consumer goods, including food and retail items. They aim to provide convenient and efficient delivery services, enhancing the overall customer experience and reducing reliance on traditional logistics methods.

Wingcopter: Wingcopter, a German company, is known for its innovative vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) drone technology. They specialize in both commercial and humanitarian drone deliveries, offering versatile solutions for various industries, including e-commerce, healthcare, and disaster relief.

Manna: Manna, based in Ireland, utilizes drones for food and item delivery in urban areas. They have successfully completed numerous deliveries in Dublin, enhancing convenience and efficiency for customers. Manna has plans to expand its services to other cities in Europe, catering to the growing demand for quick and reliable deliveries. The company has completed over 1,000 deliveries, and it plans to expand to other cities in Europe.

Kyte: Kyte, a Norwegian company, focuses on sustainable drone delivery solutions. They are committed to reducing carbon emissions and developing eco-friendly logistics systems. Kyte's drones are designed to carry out efficient and environmentally conscious deliveries, contributing to a greener future.

TSAW: TSAW, an Indian company, is dedicated to revolutionizing the logistics industry through drone delivery services. They provide efficient and cost-effective solutions for various sectors, including e-commerce, healthcare, and agriculture, leveraging drone technology to overcome traditional logistical challenges.

Skyport: Skyport, based in the UK, specializes in providing advanced drone delivery infrastructure and services. They collaborate with various companies and organizations to develop reliable and scalable drone delivery networks, unlocking the full potential of this innovative technology.

Avy: Avy, a Dutch company, is at the forefront of developing VTOL cargo drones focusing mainly on emergency services. They are on a mission to offer an affordable, reliable and efficient network of Avy drones, to aid healthcare and emergency response services.

PEN Aviation: PEN Aviation, a Malaysian company, specializes in the development of cargo drones. DHL Express and Pen Aviation have signed an agreement to develop and use cargo drones at shipping ports. 

By offering faster, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional airfreight, Dronamics aims to optimize supply chains and enable same-day shipping for a wide range of industries, including e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and spare parts. The company has already completed a number of successful test flights, and it plans to begin commercial operations in 2023.

By offering faster, more cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional airfreight, Dronamics aims to optimize supply chains and enable same-day shipping for a wide range of industries, including e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, and spare parts. The company has already completed a number of successful test flights, and it plans to begin commercial operations in 2023.

These are just a few of the many companies that are developing or using cargo drones. As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more companies entering this market.

Current Situation

Here is a brief overview of the current situation of cargo delivery using drones:

  • The use of drones for cargo delivery is still in its early stages, but it is growing rapidly.
  • There are a number of companies that are developing or using cargo drones, including Amazon, UPS, and Wing.
  • Drones are being used to deliver a variety of goods, including food, medical supplies, and packages.
  • Drones are being used in a variety of settings, including urban areas, rural areas, and disaster zones.
  • There are a number of challenges that need to be addressed before drone delivery can become widespread, including safety, regulations, and cost.


Even though the potential benefits of drone delivery are significant, the industry faces some challenges. Here are some of the challenges that need to be addressed before drone delivery can become widespread:

  • Regulatory hurdles: There are a variety of regulations governing the use of drones, which can limit where drones can fly and how they can be used. These regulations are still evolving, which can make it difficult for businesses to operate drone delivery services.
  • Safety risks: Delivery drones can pose safety risks to people and property if they malfunction or collide with obstacles during flight. There have been a number of incidents involving delivery drones crashing into cars or trees, causing injuries or damage.
  • Weather constraints: Delivery drones are limited by weather conditions such as high winds or heavy rain. In high winds, drones can be blown off course or even crash. In heavy rain, drones can become waterlogged and fail to fly.
  • Noise concerns: The noise from delivery drones can be a nuisance, especially in residential areas. Some people have complained about the noise from delivery drones flying overhead, which has been loud enough to wake people up from their sleep.
  • Payload and battery capacity: Most delivery drones have limited payload capacity, which means they can only carry small packages or items. Additionally, the batteries in delivery drones typically only last for a few miles, which means that they cannot be used to deliver packages over long distances.
  • Cost: The cost of developing and operating drone delivery services is still high. We need infrastructures like special landing areas like vertiports, dedicated airspace highways, developing special RPAS courses, etc which are sizable but unknown investments. The last-mile delivery companies are showing promise in terms of getting their costing right, but we need to wait and see what it means for long-distance cargo drone services.
  • Public acceptance: It is the most critical challenge that will decide the pace at which the drone delivery segment will grow, globally. Though people appreciate and accept the positive role drone delivery plays in life-saving situations, like delivering vaccines, and medical supplies, assisting first responders, etc. they are still sceptical to have hundreds of drones flying around them every day.  

Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of drone delivery are significant. As technology continues to evolve and regulations are put in place, drone delivery is likely to become a more common and accepted method of cargo delivery.

Dronamics Black Swan Completes Inaugural Flight

Exactly one year ago on this day, 25 May 2022, they made history by being the first company to receive a drone airline license - the EU’s Light UAS Operator Certificate (LUC), issued by EASA. Dronamics, the world's first cargo drone airline, has achieved a groundbreaking milestone with the successful inaugural flight of its flagship aircraft, the Black Swan, at Balchik Airport in Bulgaria. 

The inaugural flight took off at  6:24 am (GMT+3), travelling a distance of 21.5 km at an altitude of up to 2,000 feet and at an average speed of 140 km/hr. The total flight time was recorded to be 10 minutes 27 seconds.

This achievement marks a significant step forward for the logistics industry, showcasing the potential to enhance efficiency in product transportation. 

With a vision to revolutionize delivery services, Dronamics aims to enable same-day delivery for everyone, anywhere. The completion of this maiden flight is the result of extensive testing and development, with the Black Swan being remotely piloted by two commercial airline pilots from Dronamics' ground control station. On landing the pilot echoed on the radio, “All stations, all stations, the black swan has landed, we are now black swan 01.” 

Inching towards operational Commercial Cargo Drone services

The successful flight test validates Dronamics' licensed cargo drone technology for commercial operations in Europe, scheduled to commence later this year. The company aims to serve various industries, including e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, spare parts, and perishables, by offering a fast and cost-effective solution that meets the evolving needs of consumers. 

This milestone demonstrates the feasibility of using cargo drones to revolutionize the delivery landscape, enabling businesses to expedite shipments and optimize their supply chains.

Quotes from Dronamics Founders

Konstantin Rangelov, Co-Founder and CTO of Dronamics expressed his pride and excitement, stating, "Since the day we first imagined what the Black Swan aircraft could look like, we've worked towards this flight. Today, we've made history and are proud to have demonstrated the validity of our drone technology." 

Moreover, Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of Dronamics added, "It's taken an enormous amount of hard work, belief, and drive to prove that what we envisioned works. We can now focus on the next step, the roll-out of our commercial operations, and we couldn't be more excited."

Unleashing the potential of the Black Swan

Dronamics stands out as a leader in the development and operation of large, long-range cargo drones. The Black Swan, the company's flagship aircraft, is capable of carrying payloads of up to 350 kg (770 lb) over distances of up to 2,500 km (1,550 mi). 

These drones offer transportation solutions that are up to 80% faster, 50% cheaper, and up to 60% more environmentally friendly than alternative modes of transport, including airfreight. 

This breakthrough technology enables same-day shipping over vast distances, benefiting a wide range of industries, from pharmaceuticals to food, from e-commerce to spare parts.

Collaborations and Future Growth

Dronamics has received significant support from early-stage funds, angel investors, and the European Union, with a total of $40 million in pre-Series A funding. 

As Europe's first licensed cargo drone airline and the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) first Strategic Partner for drones worldwide, Dronamics is well-positioned for growth and collaboration in the industry.

Signed two manufacturing agreements to produce the Black Swan at scale in Europe and Australia. Joined the UK’s first medical drone distribution network. Announced partnerships with Zero Petroleum and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to adopt fossil-free alternatives to power the Black Swan’s engine.

With its experienced team of aerospace and logistics experts, the company is poised to reshape the future of deliveries.

Commercial Airline Pilots and BVLOS Operations

The involvement of commercial airline pilots in the drone delivery sector represents an important step toward understanding the operational needs of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) pilots, particularly for BVLOS operations of high complexities. 

Commercial airline pilots possess extensive experience in navigating complex airspace, adhering to rigorous safety protocols, and managing real-time flight operations. Their expertise is invaluable in shaping the operational frameworks, development of comprehensive training programs, and standardized operating procedures, for future drone delivery systems.

Boosting Sentiments in the Drone Delivery Segment

The introduction of long-distance commercial cargo delivery by drones has sparked renewed excitement and confidence in the drone delivery segment. As people witness the successful deployment of drones for commercial purposes, they become more open to embracing this innovative mode of logistics. 

Consumer sentiment towards drone delivery is growing increasingly positive, as the public recognizes the potential benefits of faster, more efficient, and environmentally friendly delivery options.

Moreover, the increasing acceptance and adoption of drone delivery systems by major industry players and regulatory authorities instil trust and credibility in the technology. Companies investing in and successfully implementing drone delivery solutions serve as trailblazers, demonstrating the viability and scalability of this emerging industry. 

As more organizations enter the market and establish reliable drone delivery networks, public sentiment is likely to further improve, bolstering consumer acceptance and demand for such services.


The advent of long-distance commercial cargo delivery by drones has ushered in an era of efficient and expedited logistics. Companies like Dronamics are pushing boundaries, achieving significant milestones, and validating the feasibility of cargo drones for widespread use. 

The involvement of commercial airline pilots and collaborations with industry partners highlight the collective efforts to shape regulations, operational frameworks, and standardized procedures for drone delivery systems. 

As public sentiment grows increasingly positive and major players continue to invest in and implement drone delivery solutions, the future of cargo drone delivery looks promising, revolutionizing the way products are transported and delivered worldwide.

(Photo credits: Dronamics) 

Was this article helpful?