Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG and Hyperloop Transportation Technologies have established a joint venture company to explore and develop an innovative solution for the transport of shipping containers at high speed for both seaport and inland operations.
According to the two companies, the goal of the joint venture is to develop and bring to market a Hyperloop transport system for shipping containers. The project will initially involve connecting a cargo-based Hyperloop system from an HHLA container terminal at the Port of Hamburg to container yards located further inland. A transfer station will be constructed for testing purposes, including an initial 100-metre cargo route along with a special freight capsule and loading dock.
“With the Hyperloop transport system, HHLA is pursuing the goal of developing an additional component of efficient logistic mobility solutions in Germany,” said Angela Titzrath, chairwoman of the executive board at HHLA. “As a gateway to the future, we want to employ innovative approaches to make a contribution towards relieving the strain on the transport infrastructure in and around the Port of Hamburg and to use the capacities of our terminal facilities in an even more efficient way.”
The company hopes to bring the new technology to ports and shipping and logistics companies around the world to expand capacity, reduce congestion and lower the carbon footprint of port activities.
“HHLA has a long history of innovation,” said Dirk Ahlborn, CEO and co-founder of HyperloopTT. “Years before we were talking about self-driving vehicles, containers moved autonomously in Hamburg. Together, we will develop a complete system that not only concentrates on speed and efficiency, but also takes into account the issues ports face in daily operation.”
Michael Westhagemann, minister for economy, transport and innovation of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, said that digitization and technological developments are increasingly changing the day-to-day work of people.
“In order for us to remain a leading global logistics hub in the future, we need new ideas and new business models in the logistics environment, as well as infrastructure projects such as the adjustment of the navigation channel of the river Elbe and the expansion of motorways,” he said. “It is good when we can develop and test such innovations here in Hamburg.”
HHLA was first to introduce GPS and automated port operations in the late 1990s. In 2001, it was also one of the first terminal operators to incorporate self-driving vehicles into daily operations.
“Together with HHLA, this joint venture will be able to develop a commercial product that fills a missing need in the port industry,” said Bibop Gresta, chairman and co-founder of HyperloopTT. “We have one of the best possible partners to bring this to market globally.”
HyperloopTT is a technology company focused on realizing a system which is capable of moving people and goods at unprecedented speeds safely, efficiently and sustainably. The concept uses magnetic levitation technology to send transport capsules through a tunnel which contains a partial air vacuum. A test track is currently under construction in Toulouse, France. The first test journeys in Europe are scheduled to take place next year.
HyperloopTT was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Los Angeles, comprising more than 800 engineers, creatives and technologists in 52 multidisciplinary teams. The company has already signed agreements in the US, the UAE, Brazil, France, India, China, Korea, Indonesia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Ukraine.