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DP World and Branson launch hyperloop cargo joint venture

DP World’s vision of a cargo carrying hyperloop has moved a step closer from pipe dream to reality with the launch DP World Cargospeed.

The new company is a partnership between DP World and Virgin Hyperloop One and is to develop hyperloop-enabled cargo systems to support the fast, sustainable and efficient delivery of palletised cargo.

The launch of DP World Cargospeed on Sunday in Dubai was attended by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.

HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “The UAE is keen to be a leading player in shaping the future of the world. Being a pioneer means taking bold decisions that open the way for adopting innovative solutions. We have big aspirations because we have unlimited mindsets and the confidence that we can achieve whatever we set our minds to.”

Branson highlighted the dramatic shift in consumer and business behaviour brought about by e-commerce. “On-demand deliveries are a novelty today. Tomorrow it will be the expectation. DP World Cargospeed systems powered by Virgin Hyperloop One will enable ultra-fast, on-demand deliveries of high-priority goods and can revolutionise logistics, support economic zones, and create thriving economic megaregions,” Branson said.

DP World Cargospeed systems, enabled by Virgin Hyperloop One technology, aims to transport high-priority, time-sensitive goods such as fresh food, medical supplies, and electronics, linking existing modes of transport.

Watch an introduction to DP World Cargospeed

“We believe in Virgin Hyperloop One’s long-term vision. They are the right partner to shape the future of global logistics, and we look forward to developing the first DP World Cargospeed systems with them,” said Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman and ceo of DP World.

Dubai is at the forefront in the development of hyperloop technology which aims to transport both cargo and passengers through low-pressure tubes on levitating pods at speeds of up to 1,200 kmh. DP World became a significant investor in Virgin Hyperloop One in 2016 and Bin Sulayem sits on its board.

Read more: DP World announce 'significant' investment in Hyperloop One as Sulayem elected to board

The DP World Cargospeed system is designed to be mixed use for both cargo and passengers. Rob Lloyd, ceo of Virgin Hyperloop One, said: “Based on McKinsey’s assessment of our technology, Virgin Hyperloop One-enabled supply chains can dramatically impact business bottom lines by reducing both finished goods inventory and required warehouse space by 25%.”

In August 2016 DP World signed an agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One to explore shipping cargo via hyperloop from its flagship Jebel Ali Port to an inland container depot (ICD) 29km away near Dubai’s new Al Maktoum International Airport.

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