Achievements/case studies

Kosuge Village

Challenges Facing Kosuge Village

Kosuge Village is a small village with a population of 615 and a very high percentage of elderly people, making depopulation and the resulting deterioration of convenience a serious problem. There are only two stores in the village, and it takes about 40 minutes to drive to the nearest supermarket each way. This is compounded by the 2024 logistics problem, and logistics in Kosuge Village has become an increasingly problematic issue for a wide range of products, including daily necessities, pharmaceuticals, and foodstuffs.

Deployment of new smart logistics SkyHub®

In November 2020, Aeronext concluded a collaboration agreement with Kosuge Village and has since been pursuing the societal implementation of new smart logistics SkyHub®, while partially utilizing a regional development grant (Society 5.0).

In January 2021, Aeronext established NEXT DELIVERY, a strategic subsidiary, in Kosuge Village, and in April 2021, we set up a Drone Depot® in the village to serve as a logistics warehouse and base of operations, and launched a new logistics mechanism that connects the ground and sky, our new “SkyHub®” smart logistics system.

The new smart logistics SkyHub® initiative in Kosuge Village has been adopted as an excellent example of the Digital Rural City National Concept and is being expanded in other areas throughout Japan.

In August 2023, joint delivery services were also initiated, aimed at maintaining and rebuilding the delivery network around Kosuge Village through collaboration between the local government and logistics companies in anticipation of the 2024 problem. As of April 2024, it is already functioning as a key infrastructure.

Furthermore, in April 2024, Aeronext renewed its collaboration agreement with Kosuge Village and added NEXT DELIVERY and Seino Holdings to the agreement, concluding a “Comprehensive Partnership Agreement for Regional Development through the Use of Next-generation Advanced Technology, including Drones”.

The private sector and the government will continue to work together to further promote the social implementation of the new smart logistics SkyHub®.

Drone Depot®

Warehouses and bases for the accumulation and delivery of goods at the connection points between existing land-based logistics and drone logistics, with a setup that enables drone delivery of goods.

We are utilizing a vacant structure that used to be a store.

Drone Stand®

Facilities or locations for drone takeoffs and landings located at the origin and terminus of drone logistics.

Ten locations have been established. (as of April 2024)

Services Offered

The following services are operational in Kosuge Village. (as of March 2024)

On-demand delivery service: SkyHub®︎ Store

SkyHub®︎ Store is an on-demand delivery service that allows users to order groceries and daily necessities from an app and have them delivered in as little as 30 minutes. The delivery fee is 300 yen per delivery, and you can choose from approximately 100 items that are stocked at Drone Depot. Once ordered via the dedicated app, a drone will deliver the item to your designated Drone Depot® in as little as 30 minutes after the order is placed. If the drone delivery is not feasible due to weather or other circumstances, items will be delivered by land using a vehicle delivery service.

Shopping service in collaboration with local stores: SkyHub®︎ Delivery

SkyHub®︎ Delivery is a shopping and delivery service that delivers products from supermarkets and stores outside the village to your home on the date and time of your choice. The delivery fee is 300 yen per delivery and the service charge is 10% of the product price. Orders placed by noon will be delivered on the same day.

Food delivery service in collaboration with local restaurants: SkyHub® Eats

SkyHub® Eats, a food delivery service, has also begun at four restaurants in the village. SkyHub® Eats also serves to support the DX initiatives of local stores. Those who have smart phones can order online or by e-mail, while those who do not have smart phones can order by phone or other methods. Food delivery in the village is available from 12:00 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 17:00.

Collective Delivery

Collective Delivery is a service in which parcels are collected by each company at a Drone Depot® and then delivered to the customer’s home. This service has become a new infrastructure to maintain logistics in the midst of the 2024 problem. We are also testing Japan’s first drone delivery of jointly delivered packages. This will enable deliveries to be made even in areas where land transportation is difficult, and is highly anticipated.

Smart Store

Because stores in the village close early, the SkyHub Smart Store Kosuge, an unmanned convenience store that allows customers to shop until late at night, is located next to the product center at the Kosuge Roadside Station. The store offers about 100 items, including snacks, frozen foods, and souvenirs of Kosuge Village, and is cashless.

Other Services

Other services include pharmaceutical delivery and drone delivery to tourist facilities. Since there is only one clinic in the village and it is small in scale, there are limits to the types and quantities of medicines that can be prescribed, but this problem can be solved by using an online pharmacy to dispense prescriptions. Drone delivery to tourist facilities is still at the stage of a demonstration experiment for a limited period of time, but drones are being used to deliver barbecue sets and other items to campgrounds.