The Postal Corporation of Kenya (PCK) has entered into a 3-year deal with Swift Lab, a drone manufacturing company, to roll out drone-based delivery services countrywide. Deliveries will include goods like medical supplies, e-commerce purchases and essential cargo.
Under the 3-year agreement, Swift Lab will manufacture and operate drones that can travel up to 70 km and carry a payload of up to 4kg. PCK currently has a partnership agreement with the Kenya Medical Supplies Authority (KEMSA).
Swift Lab will provide the technical expertise in the drones’ design, manufacturing, maintenance, software integrations and regulatory approvals while adjusting the kilometres of travel for drones to up to 200 km and more on a need basis.
The two organizations will jointly mobilize resources for manufacturing the drones, while PCK will provide its facilities and infrastructure across the country as operation bases for drone delivery services.
“We want to invest in the production of drones, it is not only our obligation as government to invest in Kenyan technology, but we are also keen on clawing back our market position as the courier and logistics services provider of choice,” said Dan Kagwe, the CEO and Postmaster General of PCK.
James Munyoki, CEO and Co-Founder of Swift Lab said, “Swift Lab has already been issued a Remote aircraft Operations Certificate (ROC) by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, which makes us the only company approved for drone manufacturing and one of a few approved to operate drones in the country.”
Munyoki added that the partnership was also a quest to open the hinterlands of Kenya, making healthcare inaccessible in areas that cannot be reached via road owing to extreme weather such as floods.
“The drones manufactured by Swift Lab Limited have vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability, therefore no runways or expensive infrastructure is required. This allows us to scale their operations across the country. The drones are utilizing clean energy and are powered by rechargeable batteries,” he explained.