ESR to design world’s first cargo drone logistics facility in Greater Tokyo

ESR to design world’s first cargo drone logistics facility in Greater Tokyo
ESR Higashi Ogishima Distribution Centre Phase 1 (project rendering)

APAC focused logistics real estate platform ESR Cayman Limited (ESR), has announced a collaboration with VRCO to design and demonstrate ‘the world’s first cargo drone logistics facility’ at ESR Higashi Ogishima Distribution Centre, located in the Greater Tokyo Metropolitan Area.

”Upon completion, this pioneering development will validate how ESR’s tenants can use electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) airframes to revolutionise the movement of commercial cargo from ESR distribution facilities of the future,” said ESR in a statement. ”Working closely with local regulatory authorities, government agencies and the local technology supply chain, ESR and VRCO will demonstrate in detail how a highly automated fleet of smart and self-aware air-cargo vehicles which are controlled by a state-of-the-art command centre can take a scalable approach to volume delivery by air, factoring in weather and changing demand.”

“We continuously monitor developments that could be of interest to our customers and the movement of cargo in a sustainable, direct aerial mode presents significant opportunities. It is clear that eVTOL aircraft will have a dramatic effect on cargo and people mobility over the coming years,” said Michael de Jong-Douglas, Senior Managing Director of ESR and Head of the Future Solutions Group.

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ESR said this concept will be developed at ESR’s Higashi Ogishima DC and expanded to other ESR distribution centres in Japan as well as other markets in ESR’s pan-Asia portfolio.

“We are delighted to be working with the leading logistics real estate platform in Asia which appreciates the opportunities presented by eVTOL transportation. This is both relevant and timely now that Japan has published a roadmap embracing the Airmobility
revolution. Underpinning this revolution is the need for the infrastructure to be there and ready. The evolution of a distribution centre to facilitate eVTOL cargo movement provides a compelling use case and value proposition to both ESR and its customers. Welcome to Airvolution,” said Daniel Hayes, Co-Founder of VRCO.

With a GFA of 365,385 sqm (110,529 tsubo), the ESR Higashi Ogishima DC – Phase 1 will be a ninestorey, double-ramped facility located in the Greater Tokyo region. The facility is scheduled for completion in March 2023.