Until a few years ago, a ground transportation system to move cargo and people at speeds exceeding 1,000kph seemed an idea fit for the pages of a science fiction novel. Now, experts say the technology - known as hyperloop - is seemingly just around the corner and ready for deployment.
Last week, Virgin Hyperloop One and UAE ports operator DP World announced they are forming a new firm, DP World Cargospeed, that will use hyperloop’s vacuum tube-based technology to deliver goods at previously unprecedented speeds. According to DP World chairman Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, hyperloop means any cargo can be moved around the world in 14 hours “whether you are in China or on the North Pole”.
According to Virgin Hyperloop One’s chief technical officer, Josh Giegel, the implications for the movement of goods across the GCC are enormous. “It’s moving at the speed of flight for the cost of trucking,” he says. “You could put a central distribution system here [Dubai] and be able to distribute all your goods, within a couple of hours, all throughout the GCC. You’d be able to have same-day shipping.”
For the logistics sector, the possibility of rapid delivery comes at a time of significant changes in the industry. According to data from Statista, e-commerce is set to grow to $4trn globally by 2020, prompting a dramatic shift in consumer and business behaviour, and the pressing need to be able to respond to each.
Jeremy Lawrence and Bernd Debussman discuss the future of cargo in today's Inside AB.
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(Source: Arabianbusiness.com YouTube channel)