Pressurized capsules in a low-pressure environment could not only carry passengers but also transport cargo. While the construction cost seems immense at first glance the price of transport could overcome it in the long term.
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In the year 2013, Elon Musk came up with the Hyperloop system that would carry passengers at high speeds in low-pressure tubes. The passengers would of course sit in pressurized capsules. It’s like a giant version of pneumatic mail. Hyperloop is actually being worked on and not only by Musk’s company.
The company Hyperloop Transport Technologies recently presented a high-speed system for transporting cargo called HyperPort. Essentially, it’s just the Hyperloop system but instead of transporting humans, it transports cargo containers. According to the current draft, HyperPort should capable of transporting up to 2,800 containers per day while transporting them over a distance of hundreds of kilometers in just a few minutes.
Hyperloop Transport Technologies are cooperating with the German Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG – a logistical and transport company that runs many cargo terminals. The HyperPort concept is quite elegant and futuristic-looking. And it’s creators also think it should fit current industrial standards.
Obviously, building such a transport system won’t be easy. The World Bank estimated that just a kilometer of the standard hyperloop (no matter whether for passengers or for cargo) should cost 17 million dollars (in China) or 56 million dollars (in California). And we aren’t even talking about all the technical challenges such a huge project would come with. The crazy speed would come at a high price. Yet, Hyperloop Transport Technologies claim that in the end, they will transport cargo at the speed of air travel at the cost of terrestrial travel.
As it tends to be with these cases, it will take a long time before a concept becomes reality. But HyperPort has some things going for it. It is much more green and faster than compared to a fleet of traditional trucks. But, HyperPort may still not be the future as other companies are working on electric trucks which may not be as fast as HyperPort but can get anywhere as they do not need the network of tubes. Nonetheless, we can be sure the transport industry is going to go through huge changes.
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