Hyperloop for Cargo Transportation – Reality or a Dream

Monday February 12, 2018


Hyperloop one of the long awaited innovations in the field of transport will revolutionize the transportation and freight industry.

Theoretically, Hyperloop can achieve a maximum speed of 700 mph. If the concept is realized it could take the pod 380 miles in about half an hour.

But the question is whether cargo needs to be transported at that speed. It is a different case if you transport people, humans value time and needs to reach somewhere at a particular time.

But in case of goods, they needn’t be rushed in a particular time. The cost of transportation is more important when it comes to transporting goods.

Of course, the nearly vacuum tube which shoots the pod through it will save a lot of time and doesn’t emit any harmful pollutants can have a lining of solar panels over the tube which reduces cost even more.

The pod uses magnetic levitation to reach high velocities. While consuming very low levels of energy it can go from 0 to 500 mph in less than one minute.

It is conceived to be high speed transportation for both cargo as well as passengers.

Contributions to Supply Chain Industry

The ultimate mission is to carry passengers and goods creating a system of tubes across distances that can take passengers at airline speeds.

The fact is that the system neither has air friction due to the vacuum, nor ground friction as it uses magnetic levitation.

For one to travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles there is more than 370 miles which can almost take up 6 hours of time.

In a Hyperloop, the same would take less than half an hour. This gives you idea about how fast the commute is.

Virgin group has invested in the project which is developed by Elon Musk , the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX.

This is a major technical achievement as Hyperloop plans to connect metros making it efficient for freight supply chains. It is said to reduce inventory costs by making deliveries on the same day.

If there is a requirement for transporting freight at the speed of sound, the technology comes handy as it can make a 3 hour journey into a 10 minute one.

It is not yet clear how Hyperloop can contribute to the logistics industry. It would be much safer to transport goods at the moment.

The technology works by mounting a giant compressor the front of the capsule is what makes the Hyperloop possible.

It transfers huge volumes of air away from the nose, without it the pod would be pushing all the air in front of it. It can transport cargo through tunnels, above ground and underwater.

Like we discussed earlier the cost of transportation is included in a good that is transported.

But if the speed of transportation increases so does the value of the good. In turn, this can help bridging the divisions in social and economic norms.

On the other hand it is good for business as it saves a lot of time for commuting goods.

Concept and Reality

“I don’t know how they’d move any kind of bulk commodity in that technology. You would have much smaller weight and/or more capsules going through the tube,” a skeptical Eric Jessup, co-director of the Freight Policy Transportation.

Large containers with a lot of weight may be unsuitable for transportation in the Hyperloop. In the outskirts of Sierra Nevada the company tested the Hyperloop pod to attain a speed of 192 mph.

Although the test track conceived that speed, they hope to achieve 250 mph speed at its Dubai program.

This might be a long term solution for the ports that are clogged with goods which costs billions of dollars.

It is a reality that it makes an inefficient product and supply chain. If the Hyperloop can be a solution to this, then this may be a solution for us to create a better logistics chain.

Once it is fully operational, the US based Hyperloop One plans to hit the transportation industry in the Gulf region so as to create business worth 12 billion dollars.

The pod can transport freight like food products, oil, minerals, metal, chemicals, and other agricultural products that are easily perishable. However shipping companies talk in terms of cost per volume shipped.

The Hyperloop can’t deliver more than one container at the same time. Other established forms of transport like shipping delivers cargo at a slower pace but still can deliver hundreds of containers at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Let us wait for a time when goods will start to be transported through the tube. At least for perishable goods this is going to make a change.

Hopefully there will be a time when we get delivered the products that we order on the same day we make a purchase.

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