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In early November, the port of Hamburg signed an agreement with the California company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies on the construction of Hyperloop. Work on the network of tunnels would begin in two to three years.

The logistics operator of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG (HHLA) is currently conducting intensive negotiations with the Californian company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT), reports Hamburger Abendblatt. Two letters of intent have already been signed.

We are conducting advanced negotiations with HTT. However, there are still many discussions regarding technical, legal and financial matters that should be clarified at this stage to be able to move on to the further implementation of the project,” said Hans-Joerg Heims, head of the HHLA communication department in a conversation with Cargo Forwarder Global.

What is Hyperloop?

The system called Hyperloop was invented by Elon Musk, the head of SpaceX. The concept assumes the construction of special tunnels filled with vacuum, as a result of which the friction is eliminated and the air resistance is significantly reduced. Transport capsules can thus reach speeds of up to 1,200 kilometres per hour.

For Hyperloop to be used in the port of Hamburg, however, it requires some modifications. The network must first of all be equipped with solutions enabling loading and unloading processes. The cabins, originally designed for passengers, are redesigned and adapted for container transport.

If all goes well, over the next decade 4 thousand containers could be transported daily at the speed of sound. The Hyperloop line is to start at the Altenwerder container terminal, yet it is not yet clear where it will lead.

Towards port 4.0

The port of Hamburg is the largest universal port in Germany. Last year, the volume of cargo reached the level of 136.5 million tonnes. Currently, there are 156 thousand people working in the port.

During this year’s digital strategy presentation, Axel Mattern, Port CEO of Hamburg, announced that the port aspires to be a pioneer in Northern Europe in terms of advanced processes of digitization, technology and port infrastructure. According to Matterna, Hamburg also has all the advantages to manage global transport networks and become port 4.0 in the near future.

Photo: HHLA /Thies Rätzke

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