Singapore Post (SingPost) and Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore have successfully trialled the first delivery of mail by drone or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

The test flight carried a letter and a packet containing a t-shirt about 2km from mainland Singapore to Pulau Ubin in five minutes.

The drone was built upon the Pixhawk Steadidrone platform by IDA Labs.

Infocomm Development Authority managing director Jacqueline Poh said: "Although it will be a while before it is viable for drone mail delivery to take-off in Singapore, taking into consideration commercial and safety factors.

"This first step by SingPost and IDA demonstrates what Singapore is trying out with our Smart Nation vision."

"This first step by SingPost and IDA demonstrates what Singapore is trying out with our Smart Nation vision; to have the various parts of our ecosystem collaborate, experiment with new ways of doing things, and in the process, literally aim for the sky with new technology."

SingPost claimed this as a world first for using a UAV for point-to-point recipient-authenticated mail delivery; however, DHL, Swiss Post and the Posti Group have all reported similar delivery-by-drone trials in Germany, Switzerland and Finland, respectively.

With the trial, SingPost aims to explore drone technology and provide enhanced urban logistics solutions for growing eCommerce in the Asia Pacific region.

SingPost group CEO Wolfgang Baier said: "SingPost is pioneering eCommerce logistics across Asia Pacific and building ecosystems to facilitate eCommerce for businesses, as well as end-consumers.

"We are seeing success in our digital transformation, which did not happen overnight. Our success is made possible through collaborations with industry experts and our business partners.

"Now, we want to make innovation more accessible and bring more tangible benefits to our customers and consumers."

SingPost has been providing postal services in Singapore for more than 150 years.

Currently, SingPost is offering eCommerce logistics solutions in Singapore and the Asia Pacific, with operations in 15 countries.