British company Magway plans a Hyperloop-inspired network of tunnels that will transport parcels around London in magnetic carriages traveling at 40mph by 2022. Magway is set to install a network of underground tunnels that could deliver over 600 million packages a year in London alone.
Magway is an innovative e-commerce delivery system that improves air quality and congestion by removing a significant number of parcels and the delivery vans that carry them, from highways and urban areas. Online shopping parcels, garbage, and even containers may be delivered below the ground in the future to reduce the effect on ground traffic and improve efficiency.
A series of tunnels would transport 72,000 carriages per hour each holding four parcels along a magnetic track, which propels them forward at just under 40mph when activated by an electric charge. This will give online retailers a quick and cheap way to move goods between distribution and fulfillment centers and could be up and running in as little as three years. To transport packages along London’s 9197 miles of road far more than 26 miles of tunnels will be needed.
Magway calls itself a ‘delivery utility’ and plans to deliver parcels between distribution centers and consolidation centers via underground pipelines similar to those used by water, gas and electricity companies.
Also, Shanghai has begun researching an underground transport system between major container ports and inland areas to reduce the number of container trucks on local roads and pollution, senior engineers with the Shanghai Municipal Engineering Design Institute told the Shanghai Summit on Global Urban Underground Space Development and Utilization.
“It is realizable and essential for China to develop such underground transport systems due to the huge number of online shopping parcels being delivered every year,” said Qian Qihu, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and one of China’s top experts on underground development. The underground parcel transport tubes are smaller than the subway system and can be operated automatically, Qian said. “Major Chinese cities like Shanghai have developed complicated underground subway systems, and the underground logistics system is far easier than that.”