State postal service tests multi-point drone delivery in western islands

By Park Sae-jin Posted : December 15, 2022, 15:40 Updated : December 15, 2022, 15:40

[Courtesy of Korea Post]

SEOUL -- South Korea's state postal delivery service Korea Post has tested a multi-point delivery in seven islands located on the west coast for the first time in the country. The postal service had been testing drones to deliver medicines and other necessities to islands without a hospital or supermarket since 2018.
South Korea's western and southern coastlines are dotted with hundreds of small islands with a small number of residents each. The islands are often used as small ports for fishing boats while some are used as farmlands. Many of the islands do not have a hospital, school, or supermarket. The residents of the islands find it inconvenient when they are in urgent medical situations but ships carrying medicines take hours to arrive.
Korea Post said that the postal service used delivery drones with a maximum carrying load of 10 kilograms (22 pounds) and a maximum flying distance of about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The drones carried daily necessities such as pairs of socks, face masks, and a back scratcher from a post office in Wonsan Island some 140 kilometers south of Seoul to nearby islands. The drones hopped between two to three islands to finish their delivery run and return to their base camp in Wonsan Island.
"Starting in 2023, we aim to provide drone delivery services to suburban, rural, and mountainous areas through regulation exemption programs," Korea Post chief Son Seung-hyun said in a statement on December 13.
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