Drone pilot

Chilean department store, Ripley, pilots drone delivery service in Peru.

Ripley, a Chilean department store with a strong presence in Peru, recently launched AeroRipley, a pioneering drone delivery pilot project in Peru. Ripley’s drones have a load capacity of 6kg and will comply with the country’s aerial regulations.

A Ripley executive commented, “We firmly believe in the development of technology-based initiatives, which also allow us to get closer to more homes and improve our customers’ experience. We are always looking for new options so that our customers’ orders arrive faster and faster and in perfect condition. This is how AeroRipley was born. We are in a development and evaluation stage and aim to transport orders weighing up to 6 kg around the Asia district of Lima.”

“We are in a development and evaluation stage and aim to transport orders weighing up to 6 kg around the Asia district of Lima.”

Executive, Ripley, Peru

The project will run only in the Asia district of Lima and a national roll-out looks challenging as concerns loom over safety, privacy and even energy efficiency. Moreover, warehouses would have to adapt in order to accommodate drone landing areas and charging points while the whole industry rethinks new methods of picking, packing and shipping specifically for drones.

There are other challenges that a drone pilot in Peru was quick to point out, “Providing such a service would be difficult in Peru: there are a lot of electricity and telephone cables to navigate, the payloads have to be small and the range is limited to about 3 kilometres. Finally, if a building covers the signal between your remote control and the drone, you lose an USD 8,000 drone and you can cause an accident. So, there are many risks involved.”

“Providing such a service would be difficult in Peru: there are a lot of electricity and telephone cables to navigate, the payloads have to be small and the range is limited to about 3 kilometres.”

Drone pilot, Peru

Ripley launched this scheme to consolidate its position as a company at the forefront of technology in Latin America. In the long term, drone delivery is seen as an opportunity to create more resilient supply chains that will reduce congestion in traditional trucking systems. Drone delivery also has the potential to improve delivery times and reduce pollution levels when delivering small products in urban centres.

Drone regulation is still in its infancy in Peru and, at present, there is no specific regulatory framework for delivery by drone which will have to be implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Trade. The drone pilot described the current environment, “Regulation is an obstacle, for example, in San Isidro in Lima, there are privacy laws and the Serenazgo (local security forces) can confiscate the drone. We pilots have a license and we also take out risk insurance against third parties.”

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