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Hamburg signs up for Hyperloop

Hamburg has signed up to Hyperloop with the German port expected to shift boxes at high speed through steel tubes.

Hamburger Hafen und Logistik and US firm Hyperloop claim their vision with the new joint venture is to transport containers at high speed through a tube to and from the Port of Hamburg.

The goal of the joint venture is to develop and later market a Hyperloop transport system for shipping containers. Initially, the construction of a transfer station for testing purposes at a HHLA terminal in Hamburg and the development of a transport capsule for standard shipping containers are planned.

With the help of magnetic levitation technology, the transport capsules used in the Hyperloop system will be sent through a tunnel, in which there is a partial air vacuum, at speeds reaching or even exceeding 1,000 km/h.

“With the Hyperloop transport system, HHLA is pursuing the goal of developing an additional component of efficient logistic mobility solutions in Germany. As 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,” commented HHLA’s chairwoman, Angela Titzrath.

“HHLA has a long history of innovation. Years before we we’re 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,” said Hyperloop founder Dick Ahlborn.

A Hyperloop test track for transporting people and goods is currently under construction in Toulouse. The first test journeys in Europe are set to take place there next year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


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