Home INTERVIEWS Drones World Editor in- chief B. Kartikeya talks to Leon Zhao Chief Operating Officer of Antwork

Drones World Editor in- chief B. Kartikeya talks to Leon Zhao Chief Operating Officer of Antwork

by Editor

The outbreak of this epidemic has strengthened the necessity of drone delivery, and it is also an inevitable trend of future
development

 Can you brief us about the journey of antwork?

Antwork is a tech company that is dedicated to building Urban air delivery network. Back in 2012, the founding members of Antwork Technology started working on a delivery drone project in China. After 3 years, in 2015 Antwork technology was formally founded in Hangzhou, China. Within the first year Antwork technology started delivering for their first client – China Post. Starting 2016, several VCs started investing in our company and shortly we opened ‘Antwork Express’ a direct-to-consumer drone delivery service, a first-of-its kind in the world. In 2018, we became the first company to initiate test flights to operate in urban environment. Before the end of 2018 CAA of China, granted us the world’s first approval to operate commercial drone delivery in urban areas. And ever since we completed close to 24000+ deliveries for commercial clients.

Which markets (medicine, retail, food, industrial materials, or other) and which types of deliveries (rural, suburban or urban) do you focus on and why?

The current business focus is on the field of “urban air delivery”, in which the application scenarios of medical emergency, instant delivery, emergency support and postal express are derived. Before 2018, we all carried out business exploration and flight in country areas, but gradually we found that country areas were not the most demanding areas for instant delivery, and users were not sensitive to timeliness. So we have gradually shifted our business focus to cities from 2018. As we expected, in 2019, China’s instant delivery users have exceeded 400 million, and the single volume has exceeded 18 billion. This is exactly the market we need.

Since the outbreak of the epidemic in 2020, a large number of medical institutions have exposed the demand for medical transportation, and the advantages of drone delivery began to show. So at this stage, we will focus more on medical transportation.

 What are your biggest challenges right now? And, how are you trying to overcome them?

First of all, we need to be sure that the outbreak of this epidemic has strengthened the necessity of drone delivery, and it is also an inevitable trend of future development. In terms of policy, it is expected that a sound system will emerge, and the technical challenges may come from batteries and battery life.

What has been the key to your success as a drone delivery pioneer in China?

At present, the practical application of drone in the market is relatively diversified, and our company has been focusing on the field of urban logistics transportation with drone for a long time. We are relatively focused on the development direction since its establishment and the distribution of professionals. With this focus, we have also obtained the approval of the Civil Aviation Administration of China in terms of safety and compliance. In October 2019, we obtained World’s first Approval and business license for operating commercial drone deliveries in urban areas.

Who are you clientele?

B-end customers are the focus of our attention, but all customers who require instant delivery will be our customers.

The COVID-19 virus caused lockdowns around the globe, forcing people to stay home. Will last-mile drone delivery have its first great wave in public acceptation due to this crisis? How have you been involved in the current efforts to curb the public health crisis?

As early as the outbreak of the epidemic, the people’s Hospital of Xinchang County came to us and hoped to cooperate with us to help transport medical materials, reduce manpower in the epidemic and make the materials delivered as soon as possible. So on February 6th, our drone RA3 and TR7S completed their first flight in Xinchang, and the whole deployment process took only a week.

The occurrence of this epidemic confirmed the necessity of drone delivery, and it is also an inevitable trend of future development.

So up to now, despite the development of the epidemic situation in China, we are still helping some medical customers to build a medical transportation network for daily blood transportation and sample testing.

According to the data, we have added 25 stations and 48 routes since the outbreak.

Your records say that you operated more than 60,000 km already, what are you aiming for 2020?

In terms of market: this year, it will build a city model room in China and accumulate replicable experience;

Products: further expansion and improvement, to provide a wider coverage, higher quality and more intelligent services;

And in terms of milage, we believe at least it will be doubled to over 120,000km.

What are the countries you are planning to serve in the near future?

Japan and Europe are places where we are bound to fly, and we are looking forward to serving Indian customers (especially medical institutions) as well, In fact, our team did go to India last year to seek for market opportunities.

Can you comply with NPNT for Indian market?

Yes, with some minor changes on the hardware, we’ll surely be able to comply with NPNT.

Where could you see the Drone Delivery market in next 5 years?

From the perspective of urban freight service, people’s demand for timeliness will be higher and higher, so drone delivery is undoubtedly a significant improvement in timeliness; in addition, with the reduction of birth rate and the gradual aging of the population, the increase of labor division cost is the general trend, so drone delivery can also liberate human resources from this type of work.

Whom can we contact for Indian Business Enquiries?

Interested Clients may please contact our International Business Development Lead – Mr Sidharth Venkatarman, for further details of the system. He can be reached at sid@antwork.link

Mr Sidharth Venkatarman

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