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Pioneering drone technology introduced at DFW warehouses


Global ground handler and travel services provider, dnata, has partnered with US-based technology start-up, Gather AI, to introduce the use of autonomous drones at its warehouses at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).

Dnata notes that the initiative is designed to digitise the warehouse inventory processes by monitoring shipments with 99.8% accuracy.

Gather AI’s innovative software 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, via a user-friendly application.

DFW notes that each drone can operate at temperatures as low as -10 Celsius degrees, enabling dnata to take advantage of the technology in its state-of-the-art cool chain facilities, too. There are plans to gradually roll out the drones across dnata’s global cargo network in the next years.

Guillaume Crozier, dnata’s divisional vice president for operations and product development, said: “We are excited to introduce leading-edge drone technology in our operations to take cargo handling to the next level.

“Our partner’s autonomous drones and inventory management platform provides greater transparency across our entire operations. This new technology, combined with our strong cargo product expertise, enables us to significantly enhance efficiency and mitigate the risk of revenue leakage throughout the customer journey.

“We continue to adopt the latest technologies to deliver world-class value for our partners at every stage of the cargo handling process.”

He notes that dnata has significantly invested in new technology and digitalisation in the past few years, the company’s investments including the introduction of hi-tech cool dollies in Australia and Singapore, a UV cabin cleaning service in Switzerland, and thermal screening in the US.

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