Hyperloop transportation: Speed of an aeroplane, but pay the price of a truck Filed on October 2, 2021
DP World is showcasing a full-scale hyperloop cargo pod and a cutaway passenger pod as part of its pavilion at Expo 2020.

High-speed transport system for goods and passengers is expected to become a reality by 2030

Hyperloop technology is shaping up fast and will be implemented sooner than later, a top official of DP World says.

In an interview with CNN, DP World Chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem said high-speed transport system for goods and passengers is expected to become a reality by 2030.

While replaying to a question about time scales for the Virgin Hyperloop, Bin Sulayem said the technology can be implemented soon.

“It’s not decades, it’s years,” said Bin Sulayem, who is also chairman of Virgin Hyperloop. when asked how long before the first passengers will be travelling by Hyperloop.

Talking to CNN’s Becky Anderson on Connect the World, he said this high-speed transport system is expected to become a reality even before 2030.

“I hope. So I will see it either in India at first, or in Saudi Arabia at the moment. Our hope is that when we achieve economy of scale and you have longer routes and it is popular, probably for the speed of an aeroplane, you will pay with the price of a truck,” Bin Sulayem said.

DP World, an Emirati global logistics company, is responsible for moving 10 per cent of the world’s trade. It operates a network of ports and data-driven logistics businesses around the world, including Dubai’s flagship port Jebel Ali.

The Dubai-based company is showcasing a full-scale hyperloop cargo pod and a cutaway passenger pod as part of its Flow pavilion at Expo 2020. Upon arrival to the pavilion, visitors will see a full-scale commercial cargo pod replica, which measures nearly 10 meters long. Once in the pavilion, guests will be able to sit inside a cutaway passenger pod complete with production intent finishes to see what a future journey on hyperloop will feel like.

“I hope that visitors will be able to imagine the not-too-distant future in which they are passengers on a commercial hyperloop system in the Gulf region and beyond,” said Josh Giegel, CEO and Co-Founder of Virgin Hyperloop.

Supply chain disruption

The DP World chairman also discussed how the pandemic has affected global supply chains.

“Today you’re lucky to find an empty container. Today from $7,000 a container from the West Coast of America to China or the Far East, it’s now $30,000. These are unheard of costs, but people need products and supply chains have to fulfil it. And people now are going to decide, do we really need to manufacture everything in the Far East, is it logical? I believe the pandemic taught us something and gave us opportunities.”

US-China trade war

Bin Sulayem also spoke about tensions in the US-China relationship, emphasising that his company was a partner with both nations.

“China is actually our main trading partner, for a long time. And the United States is also a big trading partner and an ally. Today, I believe that the cold war between America and China is not as harsh as during the Trump administration. We are friends with both. And we are businessmen, we are not politicians.”

About the disruption to the industry caused by the pandemic, he said it will take time to revert to normal practices.

“Short term we dealt with it, long term it will linger with us for a while. Look at China, China is locked down. And every time there is an incident, a Covid case, a whole port will be locked down. And this will continue for a while,” he said.



Muzaffar Rizvi

Business Editor/News Editor of Khaleej Times is a well-connected journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the mainstream journalism since 1997, covering the UAE's economy and key sectors. He holds a post-graduate degree in Economics and has won many awards for authentic and insightful reports on global and regional businesses and economic trends.

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