I am happy to introduce to LawCustoms readers a guest article from folks at Natilus Inc. The article is futuristic, brave, and in light of rise of drone popularity in military sector, casts a shade of a very real entry into the civilian market segment. At the end, readers are invited to fill out a brief survey.
There are going to be some major changes coming to freight logistics in the coming years. Just as we see a rise in hi-tech companies working on driverless cars, Amazon working on drone delivery, and major aerospace corporations producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) to fight on the forefront of today’s wars, a company is trying to break through into the freight logistics market by delivering large quantities of cargo using an autonomous drone. The idea might sound as crazy as it is far-fetched, but the logistics, technology and funding seem to be falling into place.
Meet the Natilus drone from Natilus Inc., a company specializing in the production of long distance autonomous drones for use in the freight forwarding market. Natilus is the next generation cargo carrier, an organically designed, built and serviced large cargo capacity UAV – not a deliverer of small packages.
The production model of the Natilus drone is designed around a 200,000 lbs payload with a range of over 6500 miles, equivalent to a non-stop flight from the Asian eastern seaboard to North America. Amphibious and about the size of a Boeing 747, the Natilus drone flies over unoccupied air space and does not utilize existing airport runways for take-off and landing. The drone takes off and lands on water. With just a slight increase in time in-transit, Natilus is projected to offer approximately twenty-percent (20%) increase in profit margin to small and medium sized freight forwarders.
Natilus identified the “sweet-spot” in the international air freight market as “timely” versus “urgently timely” demand for transport. Prevailing single choice of legacy Boeing 747 class of carriers intrinsically forces end users to pay a premium for timely transport use cases with a 12 hour flight time over the LA-Shanghai route. Categories of goods such as high-tech equipment and consumer products, agricultural products, temperature controlled pharmaceuticals, and hazmat, require “timely” but not “urgently timely” transport capability. A 30 hour transport time at a 20% profit margin increase offers the optimal alternative this $15 billion market segment has been missing.
Natilus believes that their drone can be built for US $25 Million, compared to US $250 million that it currently costs for a Boeing 747 Freighter. The reasoning behind that is the removal of the numerous cockpit infrastructure systems designed around humans being placed in the aircraft as well as quadruple redundant flight control systems, load safety levels, weight and complexity costs associated with keeping human occupants alive. With a large portion of the design done, the Natilus team thinks to have an initial vehicle operational in 3 years.
The future seems to be heading in this autonomous direction full of robotic vehicle systems. It will be remarkable to see the impact they will have on both local and international logistics.
The company is starting to develop the initial routes and launch customers, offering to pay for insurance on top of their reduced freight forwarder pricing. According to Natilus CEO, Aleksey Matyushev, there will only be a single launch freight forwarder per route.
Visit www.natilus.co/launch to get on the coveted list of launch customers.