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Sat September 25 2021

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Virgin plans hyperloop system for cargo

30 Apr 18 Virgin Hyperloop One is joining up with logistics business DP World to develop an express delivery service for cargo.

DP World Cargospeed is intended to use a hyperloop system to support faster deliveries of palletised cargo.

The team estimates that in just two years, e-commerce will grow to US$4 trillion globally – a bit more than the national GDP of Germany. On-demand deliveries will become ubiquitous, they said, with a profound impact on the freight and logistics industry, including a doubling in demand for air freight. This growth will strain already overtaxed air, roads, and rail infrastructure to the max, said Virgin Hyperloop One.

The DP World Cargospeed brand for hyperloop-enabled cargo systems is intended for high-priority, on-demand goods; the aim is to deliver freight at the speed of flight and closer to the cost of trucking.

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The idea is that DP World Cargospeed will have top speeds of 1,000km/h and be used for goods including fresh food, medical supplies, electronics, and more. It will be connected to existing modes of road, rail, ports and air transport. The Virgin Hyperloop One system being used for DP World Cargospeed would not need to be passenger-only or cargo-only.

“Two elements control freight transport: cost and speed. If you want something fast, be prepared to pay a high multiple,” said Virgin Hyperloop One. “If you can wait several days, ship it via ground transportation, and it will be cheaper. We’re looking to change that equation. With DP World Cargospeed powered by Virgin Hyperloop One, a four-day truck journey can be reduced to 16 hours and costs will plummet.”

In India, 25% of cargo traveling through the Mumbai port has its origin or destination in Pune. A large portion of the cargo travels along the crowded Mumbai-Pune Expressway which carries 110,000 vehicles daily. “A mixed-use Virgin Hyperloop One system in the region could reduce a two-to-three hour journey between the two cities by truck to just 25 minutes and combine the state’s two largest economic centres into a thriving, competitive megaregion,” claimed the developers of the new service.

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