Finland is the land of thousand lakes...and probably just as many hard to reach islands, Source: Depositphotos

Finland to deliver newspapers by drone

Finland to deliver newspapers by drone

The experiment is the first of its kind in the world and it aims to bring the news to island villages

Finland is the land of thousand lakes and some of these lakes have islands populated by communities. It’s pretty idyllic, but it is also a logistical nightmare when it comes to regular mail deliveries to such localities.

As a way to tackle this long-standing problem, a local logistics company has decided to try out a new solution, set to be launched next year (2023), mail delivery by drone. More specifically, the flying machines will bring in the daily newspapers, as these are the items that require the most regular delivery schedules.

The site for the experiment will be the island villages of Saarikylät to the southeast of the city of Tampere in the Pirkanmaa region. There are seven such villages located on different lake islands.

This flying mailman won’t need to ring twice

Markus Hohenthal is the CEO of Lentola Logistics, the company behind the pilot project. He told Yle news agency that the three-month trial is scheduled to begin in March. "We are trying out a new way of distributing to rural areas instead of by car. This is more cost-effective, faster and more environmentally friendly than the current way," he explained.

A survey of customers, carried out by the company, suggested that people are willing to pay extra if their newspaper arrives early and in their own yard. According to the company, this has not been tried anywhere else in the world.

The drones set to be used for the trial can carry a load of more than 3.5 kilos at a time, but will only carry a few newspapers at the start and will be restricted to distances of about 20 kilometres. They have the ability to fly at a speed of 80 km/h and the estimate is that it takes a minute to deliver each newspaper, however, the whole return trip would take about 20 minutes.

Still, there will be challenges, such as the freezing weather in winter. Nevertheless, the Media Industry Research Foundation of Finland is supporting the experiment with funding of 60,000 euros.



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