Supplier Spotlight

Which of the following digital innovations are you investing in as a priority?

Web Exclusive Articles

« back to listing

Launch platform

August 12, 2015

DPDgroup, the parcel delivery arm of GeoPost, announced in July that it had developed a new drone delivery terminal that ensured safer operating standards when taking off, landing and delivering parcels by drone. This innovation came on the back of more than a year’s worth of testing at an exclusive drone testing facility, Centre d’Etudes et d’Essais pour Modeles Autonomes (CEEMA), in France. To read more about DPD’s drone tests click here.

Jean-Luc Defrance, executive vice-president, process, IT, digital, DPDgroup, and Moustapha Kasbari, director, CEEMA/Atechsys, explain the group’s thinking behind the drone testing. 

Why is DPDgroup interested in developing drone technology?
Jean-Luc Defrance: We launched the DPD drone project to study the potential of this new technology. We are open to innovation and we should keep an open eye on what is happening in our environment. Our thinking has led us to conduct tests to estimate the drone’s capacity (operation range, transportable weight) and to understand the safety issues around it. Our objective is to learn and to develop solutions. 

How will DPDgroup use delivery drones to improve its operations?
JLD: We don’t believe that drone technology is the future of the express delivery industry, but it is certainly a part of it. An economic use of drones for parcel delivery is not a possibility today as there are still a lot of technical and legal issues to solve before even thinking about developing a business offer.

Could you tell us more about the drone delivery terminal?
JLD: Security is one of our main concerns and our innovative delivery terminal allows for secured operation phases (take-off, landing) without any direct interaction with the equipment, unlike standard landing platforms.

What role has CEEMA/Atechsys played in developing the drones?
Moustapha Kasbari: DPDgroup asked CEEMA/Atechsys to assist them in its examination of drone technology. CEEMA/Atechsys participates in the project by providing its expertise in the development of technology such as electronics and composite materials, and also by performing trials. We are able to achieve this thanks to our unique expertise and structure in Europe.

What considerations have to be given regarding French airspace?
JLD: There is a specific legal framework in place for the use of drones and this technology must be regulated if we want to have the safest use possible. For our testing, we are working with a unique structure in Europe in CEEMA/Atechsys – which has its own proper flight zone and all the required authorizations. It is the ideal testing structure and area.

In France especially, drone use is highly controlled and requires an individual agreement from the DGAC (French department of civil aviation). Flight zones are strictly regulated and a trial outside CEEMA’s testing area would require specific authorization, which is a long process. The European Union’s regulation is not too restrictive but it relies on each country’s policy in terms of drone use.

Are there plans to roll out the program to other countries?
JLD: Right now we are focusing on technical and legal issues before even thinking of developing a business offer and extending it in Europe.

Interview by Daniel Symonds

August 12, 2015


Video Exclusives

Tompkins launches autonomous robotic sorting system

Technology developer Tompkins Robotics has partnered with IT provider Lab Z to launch its t-Sort portable, automated sortation system. The new solution uses a network of automated drones fitted with tilt trays to harmoniously sort parcels and packets into dedicated containers.

30 January, 2018

FarEye launches Drop&Pick app in Europe

Digital logistics platform FarEye has launched its cloud-based web and mobile app Drop&Pick in Europe. The app allows logistics firms to set up local stores as automated parcel shop hubs to meet the growing demand for fast, convenient parcel dispatch and collection.

23 January, 2018


Your email address:

Read Latest Issue

Read Latest Issue

Exclusive Articles

Leo Jeoh, Skyways project lead at Airbus, talks exclusively to Postal and Parcel Technology International about how the company is developing drone technology and revolutionizing the parcel delivery industry. March 13, 2018  
Click here to read more

Roger Morris, head of parcels, Royal Mail, speaks to PPTI about peak 2017 and the company’s latest tracking developments    February 1, 2018
Click here to read more

Ian Kerr, founder of the Postal Hub Podcast, and Marek Różycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, take a closer look at the 2017 peak season. January 16, 2018 
Click here to read more


Ian Kerr, founder of the Postal Hub Podcast, and Marek Różycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, take a closer look at the 2017 peak season. January 16, 2018 
Click here to read more

Ian Kerr, founder of the Postal Hub Podcast, and Marek Różycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, explore how La Poste’s latest partnership with convenience store chain Casino is a win-win scenario for the companies and the consumers.   March 12, 2018
Click here to read more

Marek Rożycki, managing partner at Last Mile Experts, looks at some of the options available to domestic carriers and posts when taking on larger carriers in the last mile March 6, 2018  
Click here to read more

Supplier Spotlight

Supplier SpotlightClick here for listings and information on leading suppliers covering all aspects of the postal technology industry. Want to see your company included? Contact for more details.

Submit your industry opinion

Industry BlogDo you have an opinion you'd like to share with the postal technology community? We'd like to hear your views and opinions on the leading issues shaping the industry. Share your comments by sending up to 500 words to

Submit Your Recruitment Ad

Recruitment AdTo send us your recruitment advertising or to receive information on placing a banner please email