Danish transport and logistics company DFDS has begun using drones to inspect the nation's harbor terminals and precisely track more than three million trailers that transit them. The latter operation had previously been performed manually and was tedious and time-consuming.
Working with UAS Denmark and Lorenz Technology, DFDS paired DJI Matrice 210 drones equipped with Zenmuse XT2 cameras with thermal sensors and artificial intelligence (AI). Lorenz developed “Hive” software that allows users to program flight operations with the Matrice 210 to conduct automated inspections. This allows DFDS to precisely locate and identify trailers with features including live video feed, accurate GPS coordinates, and relevant timestamp data. Hive organizes this data and then sends it to the DFDS terminal management system, giving drivers exact trailer location and facilitating more efficient loading. The technology cuts the time needed to load and offload trailers from vessels by 15 minutes compared to manual operations, which not only saves time but also significantly reduces CO2 emissions, manpower, and costs.
DFDS is now exploring using AI from drones to detect cargo damage and improve handling and customer service.
“We see great potential for the use of drones in our terminals,” said DFDS project manager Mads Bentzen Billeso. “We can optimize operations dramatically for the benefit of employees, customers, and the environment.”