DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One to build global ultra-highspeed cargo network

New company, DP World Cargospeed, will focus on first working system within decade

DP World, the Dubai-based ports operator, has announced that it will formally partner with Virgin Hyperloop One to build ultra-highspeed cargo delivery systems around the world.

Already the largest investor in Virgin Hyperloop One, DP World occupies two board seats and participated in the US-based company’s latest $50-million funding round. The formal partnership will result in the formation of a new company – DP World Cargospeed, which will focus on designing a hyperloop system to deliver freight from point to point, at a top speed of 1,000kmph.

In a statement, Richard Branson, chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, said that the new joint venture will transport high-priority, time-sensitive goods such as fresh food, medical supplies, electronics and so on.

“Two elements control freight transport: cost and speed. If you want something fast, be prepared to pay a high multiple. If you can wait several days, ship it via ground transportation, and it will be cheaper. We’re looking to change that equation. With DP World Cargospeed powered by Virgin Hyperloop One, a four-day truck journey can be reduced to 16 hours and costs will plummet,” he asserted in the statement.

“The DP World Cargospeed system has the potential to change freight transportation around the world. Take India as an example. Today, 25% of cargo traveling through the Mumbai port has its origin or destination in Pune.

“A large portion of this cargo trundles along the crowded Mumbai-Pune Expressway which carries 110,000 vehicles daily. A Virgin Hyperloop One system in the region could reduce a two-to-three-hour journey between the two cities by truck to just 25-minutes and combine the State’s two largest economic centers into a thriving, competitive megaregion.”

Virgin Hyperloop One has planned routes between Mumbai and Pune in India; in Saudi Arabia, and in the UAE. At present, there are only 10-kilometres of Virgin Hyperloop track being built – all of it in India.

In a Gulf News report, Virgin Hyperloop One said that the cargo routes would be developed in tandem with its passenger routes, meaning that the first working system will be operational by 2025, at the earliest. The only differences between the two systems will be the pod, which can be customised to accommodate pallets, instead of people.

A senior Virgin Hyperloop One executive told Gulf News that a concrete arrangement with the RTA to determine a route for passenger transport was expected in the coming weeks.

“With operations in 40 countries around the world, DP World is an unparalleled expert in trade and supply chain logistics. That expertise combined with our ground-breaking hyperloop technology creates a winning combination. DP World Cargospeed can create a high-speed logistics and supply chain backbone capable of supporting the on-demand global economy for the next century,” Branson’s statement concluded.

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