It was an interesting premiere – the first official package delivery by a drone in the Czech Republic. Mall.cz, the market number two among electronics online retailers, became the first Czech e-shop to test out this promising way of shipping goods to customers.
If the technology actually makes it into everyday use, it could considerably reduce shipping costs and accelerate deliveries. Amazon, DHL and Swiss Post have already tested drone deliveries with success abroad.
However, shipping of goods by drone is currently at odds with Czech legislation, meaning the Civil Aviation Authority [ÚCL] had to supervise the trial. “It may still be a long time before the necessary legislation is in place but it is important for us to be part of the whole process and to be in a position to offer gained practical trial experience,” said Jakub Havrlant, CEO of Mall Group.
According to Mall.cz, the trial aimed to test and verify a complete process – from the order placement through to the identification of the goods in a distribution centre to the loading of the drone chosen to make the delivery to the customer.
The trial took place in and around Mall’s distribution centre in Jirny, near Prague. It was live-streamed on the e-shop’s Facebook profile and on a dedicated website. Mall.cz said its drone is capable of carrying packages of up to two kilograms in weight. Deliveries of this size make up approximately 80 percent of all orders for the big online retailers and Mall.cz is no exception in this respect.