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Today’s Pickup: Canadian cargo drone firm lands a big customer, DSV

Drone Delivery Canada’s sales agreement with Air Canada pays off as it reaches a deal to provide a drone platform at DSV Panalpina’s facility near Toronto.

Drone Delivery Canada will deploy its Sparrow drone to DSV's facility near Toronto. Photo: Drone Delivery Canada

Good day,

Drone Delivery Canada (TSX-V:FLT) has reached a deal with DSV Panalpina (CSX:DSV) to deploy its cargo drone system at the global logistics provider’s Canadian headquarters in a significant milestone toward commercial viability. 

Toronto-based DDC said sales partner Air Canada (TSX:AC) helped secure the deal, announced October 23. Initially, a single 10-pound payload Sparrow drone will begin operating at DSV’s 1.1-million square-foot complex, the largest in the Danish company’s worldwide network, in 2020.

But DDC said it could deploy 20 or more drone routes for DSV in the future. 

“Our strong partnership with Air Canada Cargo and now DDC will offer our current and potential partners best-in-class solutions and service excellence that is scalable and futureproof,” said DSV Managing Director Martin Roos.

DDC operates drones remotely from its operations near Toronto using a property flight system, charging C$10,000 (a Canadian dollar equals US$0.76) per route or drone per month. 

Did you know?

Deaths in accidents involving large trucks increased by 0.9% to 4,951 people in the U.S. in 2018, according to a research note from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those include 885 deaths of truck occupants, a 0.8% percent increase.


“The beauty of this is that Scorpio Bulkers shareholders love Scorpio Tankers’ stock.”

— Scorpio Bulkers President Robert Bugbee on the separation of the two parts of the Scorpio shipping family.

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Final thoughts:

The deal between DSV and Drone Delivery Canada is the latest sign that autonomous aerial vehicles will become an important part of the supply chain. 

The fact that DSV is using its first drone system within its Toronto-area facility suggests it wants to test out the technology before deploying it more broadly. It also could suggest that DSV sees potentially usefulness internally, and not simply as a final-mile solution.

Hammer down everyone!

Nate Tabak

Nate Tabak is a Toronto-based journalist and producer who covers cybersecurity and cross-border trucking and logistics for FreightWaves. He spent seven years reporting stories in the Balkans and Eastern Europe as a reporter, producer and editor based in Kosovo. He previously worked at newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area, including the San Jose Mercury News. He graduated from UC Berkeley, where he studied the history of American policing. Contact Nate at [email protected]