Cranes and containers are seen at the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, Guangdong province, China May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Martin Pollard

LONDON, June 29 (Reuters) – Leading German freight forwarder Hellmann will start using unmanned planes operated by Bulgaria’s Dronamics from next year to speed up deliveries of vital goods in Europe and work around stretched supply chains, executives involved say.

Global disruptions due to COVID, reduced air activity and major congestion at ports due in part to backed up container ships have upended logistics networks over the past year with companies looking for ways to ease pressure.

Hellmann Worldwide Logistics said using drone planes developed by Dronamics was “a real game changer”.

“At the moment we are seeing a lot of sea freight being converted into air freight around the world which is underscoring the need for urgent transport options for cargo,” Jan KleineLasthues, COO airfreight with…