Drones may be used to move seafood

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A MAJOR Chinese company is looking at a plan to use drones to ferry seafood from some of Canada\’s production plants on the east coast to the airport, reducing the need for long overland journeys.
The company jd.com has been holding talks with the federal government in Ottawa to allow it to test such a drone fleet.
China is a large purchaser of Canadian lobster, prawns, farmed salmon and clams.
The company is already developing a drone network for Canada\’s west coast to carry fruit to airports trading with China and believes seafood, which is also highly perishable, is the next logical step.
Based in Beijing and founded in 1998, jd.com is already the world’s leading company in high-tech delivery using drones and other forms of automated technology, such as robots and driverless vehicles.
CEO Richard Liu has met the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, in Beijing to seek government approval and a licence to operate the drones, which would be needed if such a plan can go ahead.
Globe and Mail Canada reports that Liu believes the idea has now moved beyond the conceptual stage and could take flight in as little as a year.
The company\’s interest in drone flights, Liu added said, has been sparked by the high cost of domestic road transport and shipping and the small number of airports which have direct links with China.
Canadian seafood is normally flown from Halifax to Toronto before leaving for Shanghai and Beijing and other large cities.
Drones could help to radically cut down the time between fish processing plants and various regional airports, which can involve hundreds of miles. The Canadian government is expected to reply later this year.


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