May 12, 2016 12:00 PM, EDT

DHL Completes Three-Month Test of Delivery Drone


German firm Deutsche Post DHL completed a three-month test of delivery drone Parcelcopter on May 9 and became the first postal service to successfully deliver packages to customers by drone, according to the company.

DHL said that between January and March customers in the Bavarian village of Reit im Winkl were able to send and receive packages using drones.

The operation charted 130 successful autonomous drone deliveries, several of which involved heavy loads, long distances and navigating difficult mountainous terrain.

"We are the world's first [postal service] to use a transport drone for end-customer deliveries," DHL head Juergen Gerdes said.

He added that during the trials the service was able to deliver "urgently needed medicine or last-minute sports equipment" in as few as eight minutes.

Several companies, including Amazon,com, Google and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., have long been working on drone delivery methods, leading to numerous claims of the "first" successful drone delivery.

The German postal service, which employs 340,000 worldwide, intends to use drones to access less-populated areas.