Urban Transport

Cargospeed: How 1000 km/h Hyperloop technology could supercharge freight delivery

Cargospeed: How 1000 km/h Hype...
The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
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The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
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The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
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Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
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The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
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Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
Chairman Richard Branson attends the launch of Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service in Dubai
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Chairman Richard Branson attends the launch of Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service in Dubai
Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
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Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
Chairman Richard Branson attends the launch of Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service in Dubai
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Chairman Richard Branson attends the launch of Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service in Dubai
Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
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Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
Virgin Hyperloop One's test track
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Virgin Hyperloop One's test track
Virgin Hyperloop One's test track
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Virgin Hyperloop One's test track

The people-moving potential of a Hyperloop rightly generates a lot of the buzz, after all we are talking about fizzing passengers through low-vacuum tubes at close to the speed of sound. But what about its capacity to moves goods with new levels of efficiency? Richard Branson's Virgin Hyperloop One has just introduced a new service called Cargospeed that, if it gets up and running, is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds at trucking-like costs.

Cargo has always been a part of the Hyperloop picture, in fact Virgin Hyperloop One signed a deal with Dubai port operator DP World back in 2016 to conduct a feasibility study, looking at how the system could move goods inland from the region's ports. The two are now building on that partnership, by revealing a further fleshed out plan for how such a system would work.

Called DP World Cargospeed in full, the service was conceived to deal with an expected surge in demand for high-priority shipments over the coming decades. The companies reckon global freight transport will quadruple by 2050, and a network of high-speed Hyperloop tubes is the best way to take the strain off airlines, roads and rail.

The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of traveling at around 1,000 km/h. It says this will allow for four-day truck journeys to be completed in 16 hours at comparable costs.

Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs

Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs
Virgin Hyperloop One's Cargospeed service is promised to deliver cargo with airline-like speeds and trucking-like costs

Further down the track, DP's ports will integrate Hyperloop technology, where goods can autonomously be loaded into the pods and carted off to their destination. And this could have advantages beyond simply making for faster deliveries. It could mean finished goods sit on the shelf for less time, so less warehouse space is needed and therefore operations will become cheaper overall.

The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h
The Virgin Hyperloop One system used for Cargospeed will be the same used for its passenger service, a mixed-use transport system capable of top speeds of around 1,000 km/h

Virgin Hyperloop One has recently outlined plans for a 10-km (6.2 mi) test track in the UAE's capital Abu Dhabi. It is not clear whether this will incorporate its Cargospeed service, but the company does point to the Mumbai port in India as one high-potential route. It says the choked up Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which carries 110,000 vehicles every day, can be alleviated somewhat by a hyperloop system, which would cut the two to three hour truck journey to just 25 minutes.

The company hasn't put a timeline on when its Cargospeed service will be up and running, but in an interview with CNBC on Sunday, chairman Richard Branson described the Hyperloop technology as ridiculously exciting and said he expects it to become operational in two to three years. While targeting speeds of 1,000 km/h plus, the fastest Virgin Hyperloop One's pods have traveled in testing is 387 km/h (240 mph) last December.

You can check out the promo video for Cargospeed below.

Source: Virgin Hyperloop One

7 comments
neon-yellow
How well has magnetic transport been tested on living creatures? Does it have any sort of safeness? There was an article, a story about a man who was violently killed by this technology, and another article describes risks of the magnetic resonance imaging. Seems to me that hyperloop technology could seriously augment passenger risk over that of simple imaging. https://www.sharecare.com/health/mri-magnetic-resonance-imaging/what-risks-magnetic-resonance-imaging https://www.kare11.com/article/news/nation-now/indian-man-dies-after-being-sucked-into-an-mri-machine-while-carrying-an-oxygen-cylinder/465-933080cc-2263-423c-aa1d-e97b7cc7065c
BrianK56
Proof of concept will be realized with a much longer track to attain and maintain the proposed speed for these systems. 6.2 mile is better than the one mile that has been used but not long enough to prove the system.
f8lee
Well, at least when the inevitable vacuum-loss induced screech-to-a-halt accident occurs, with a freight 'train' fewer lives will be lost...
Bruce Golden
ah ... statistics and wonderment without any backup ... Virgin's info sparse on real details ... Pune to Mumbai is a busy route but typical expressway times are 3-4 hours (not days) so cargospeed could be faster but still have the challenge of getting from the cargospeed terminal to the customer (on both ends) ...
MichaelShortland
This 1000KLM speed that they keep saying, is this a hard cap for some reason or could the system go much faster ?? I mean the tube's are nearly in vacuum, so isn't a higher speed possible ?
Brooke
Much better would be a cargo only system with a much smaller diameter tube, maybe 1 meter, that would operate like the systems that used to be in department stores. There's probably an optimum diameter related to the cost of boring horizontal holes under cities. The tubes would have freight terminals in central locations.
attoman
Elon Musk has failed to discuss the important safety issues inherent in a high speed carriage moving through air in the tube well below the pressure to sustain mammals (including humans). Elon also has failed to explain that his transport mechanism that eliminates most friction is a failure and has been replaced by the well trusted and tested magnetic levitation. This is not the behavior that engenders trust.