Last Wednesday the Japan Post Co. started transporting documents by drone in Fukushima, Japan. it was a first in the history of the country, following an easing of regulations to deal with labor shortages in the transportation industry. The drone document delivery service will run six days a month and will complete two round trips on those selected days. The intention is to expand the service to rural areas and islands in the future.

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Japan Post Co. launched drone document delivery service

The Japan Post Co. launched the test operation after the government eased regulations in September. Prior to the easing a drone operator was required to keep the unmanned aerial system in line of sight.

Last Wednesday’s test flight delivered New Year’s cards and pictures hand drawn by children from the post office in Minamisoma to the town of Namie 5.6 miles away. The delivery drone is capable of the maximum speed 33.5 mph and the trip to Namie only took 15 minutes.

“This will be a turning point for logistics,” said Namie Mayor Kazuhiro Yoshida, according to the Japan Times. “I’m happy to receive these drawings full of dreams.”

It is good to see the Japan Post Co. experimenting with a drone document delivery service as many other parts in the world face similarly challenging terrain where drones could present a significant time-saving over traditional delivery methods.

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