When shipments are ultra-express and travel at 1,200 kilometers per hour: the idea of truly futuristic tube logistics that is materializing in the mind of the DHL transport company, taking inspiration from what the visionary CEO of Tesla Elon Musk imagined as far back 2013.
That is Hyperloop, the supersonic train that one day will also arrive in Europe revolutionizing mobility as we know it today: a network capable of initially connecting the 600 kilometers that separate San Francisco and Los Angeles in just 30 minutes, where both goods and passengers would be transported in small supersonic speed boats.
In short, the Tube logistic, literally the logistics of the tubes, is gradually attracting the attention of many cities, startups and national postal services such as Swiss Post who are precisely exploring alternatives for underground freight transport due to the slowdown and the increase in the costs of road transport in urban areas and long distance.
Upstream of the natural shift of the attention of the logistics industry of the future towards the use of tube infrastructures for freight transport c the increasing traffic in the metropolis and the consequent technological progress in the driving systems: Hyperloop systems for long distances can in fact reach speeds potentially higher than 1,200 kilometers per hour through the use of magnetic propulsion technology, a very similar technology already used for Maglev trains.
Specifically, the underground urban freight transport systems are made up of special dedicated or newly constructed pipe-freight networks, or integrated with existing pipes. The capsules without drivers can be loaded on euro-pallets or transported as parcels and can operate autonomously in dedicated tracks: for example, between peripheral consolidation centers through the city nodes.
This type of transport would allow the movement of large volumes of goods in urban areas which are now highly trafficked, without causing any impact on surface vehicles. Other benefits can be drawn from the reduction of noise and air pollution.
The use of the urban metropolitan system for freight transport already in place in megacities such as Tokyo and New York where, for example during the night, the existing wagons are used as cargo: this solution is particularly practical for those cities where night delivery to street level not allowed due to noise pollution.