Hamburg has high hopes for Hyperloop

Paul Gunton
Paul Gunton

06 December 2018

Transporting containers at high speed through a tube to and from the Port of Hamburg – that is the joint vision of container terminal operator Hamburger Hafen und Logistik (HHLA) and the US-based research and development company Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT).

The two organisations have formed a joint venture to bring the vision to reality. The goal 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.

The Hyperloop is a concept initially developed by Elon Musk. Behind the concept of the Hyperloop is the idea of transporting people and goods at high speed through a tube. With the help of magnetic levitation technology, the transport capsules used in the system will be sent through a tunnel, in which there is a partial air vacuum, at speeds reaching or even exceeding 1000 km/h. A test track for transporting people and goods is currently under construction in Toulouse, France. The first test journeys in Europe are set to take place there next year.

Angela Titzrath, Chairwoman of HHLA’s Executive Board, said, “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.”

Dirk Ahlborn, founder and CEO of HTT said, “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.”